By Morning Girl Australia
Twenty years ago I was knee deep in the binge drinking lifestyle. Years of boarding school (hello cheap vodka mixed with McDonald’s Fanta), followed by university in Sydney (where Wednesday was the biggest night of the week), had led me to believe that alcohol was an essential part of life.
During my twenties I continued my love affair with wine and cider. A quiet night in, a big night out, celebrations, commiserations, long lunches, early brunches, friendly BBQs or work functions – all of these revolved around booze.
I endured hellish hangovers, the type that sees you clutching onto a bottle of PowerAde as though it were a life preserver.
But two and a half years ago, I woke up with my 599th hangover (a guesstimate) as a 37-year-old woman and said ‘I don’t want to do this anymore.’
I committed to three months off the booze. Then extended it to six. Then a year. And now I don’t count anymore, I’m simply a non-drinker.
But am I ready to say that it’s forever?
People often ask me if I’m done forever or just for right now, and I tend not to give a straight answer.
I used to think, ‘what if something really bad happens and I need a drink?’ But to be honest, I think I know too much now to really ‘enjoy’ the feeling anymore.
Once you know something, you can’t un-know it. I have done so much reading to remove the unconscious beliefs that I had about drinking, as well as the effects of alcohol, so now I just don’t want it anymore. I don’t miss it.
I guess it’s like if you decide to become a vegetarian, there’s the feeling of ‘outing’ yourself. What if one day, you just really truly fancy some bacon? How can you go back on your word once you’ve told everyone you’re not longer eating animals?
I’ve now been through some major sobriety milestones, and had an absolute ball. A friend’s house party, a wedding, Christmas, New Year, my own birthdays, friends 40ths, long lunches, baby showers, even a hen’s party. There is literally nothing that could come up that I wish I could drink at. So why am I reluctant to say I’m done for good?
I used to say that the idea of ‘forever’ seemed too scary. But now I feel as though it will give me the freedom that I’ve been looking for.
By Lee Price
Morning Girl Australia