What characterises my state of mind from being a drinker, albeit a fairly high bottom-ed one, and being a non-drinker, is the fact that I decided to take seriously the task of not-drinking.
I was definitely the ”fuck it” kind of person. In the ”Okay, I’m not drinking during the week this week” and I get a text, ”Apéro? I have a lovely bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon…?” and I definitely was the ”Oh fuck it yes, Marlborough is the favourite vineyard and I will not drink the rest of the week”.
Which of course never really happened, because there would be another fuck it moment, and I’d find some other excuse to just have one, or just a couple.
It strikes me that that is a very hard attitude to shake. Because even now, when I see people taking something too seriously, my instinct is to say, ”lighten up you assholes” in a kind and gentle manner of course. And then it makes me want to be naughty. I am doing a course which requires a certain level of seriousness and indeed it has to have that element given the nature of the course, but when I see someone too earnest and eager, I can be found doing an inward eye roll.
So that rebel part of me still exists alive and well. But I was the girly swot taking seriously my not-drinking. Why?
Drinking is SO life draining. It is so insidiously creeping. It is incredibly innocent seeming. I just was not a one glass girl. No point. And maybe not everyones’ life is drained, maybe some people can have half a bottle of wine and just laugh it off and get up raring to go in the morning. But I was just not that person. The drinking guilts, the wondering what I’d done on occasion, the general apathy and feeling low and shit, from even a little tame session, just stopped being worth the night before.
It stopped being worth the night before some 20 years ago but I still plugged on….
Focus, Barbara, I had to say. It is time to take not-boozing seriously, like a full time job. Just for a short period.
And fuck it, it has worked.