The day is here! I bloody did it! ONE YEAR SOBER!
First things first: Quinn you owe me £150.
Good, now that’s sorted, let’s move on.
On the 31st of December last year at precisely 11.45pm, I had my last alcoholic drink (a glass of Telegraph red wine). There were a variety of reasons for giving up the bottle and I thought it would be interesting to look through them and comment upon them – to see if giving up alcohol affected things in the way I thought it would, or not.
Main reason: I wanted to spend the year concentrating on my business (Blogosphere) and be at 100% mental capacity at all times. I didn’t want to waste any time feeling hungover.
YES. It was a success. 2016 was focused 100% on business – I worked and worked and worked, and it paid off. Blogosphere is in a very different position than it was at the beginning of the year. It has grown both as a company and as a brand and we rounded off the year with an issue that went viral. So really, I’m pretty pleased.
Reason 1: 99% of all things I have ever regretted in life happened whilst under the influence.
Yes. I can say with confidence that I have no regrets from this year.
Reason 2: I don’t want to have memory blackouts and wake up not knowing what I did the night before.
Yes, I haven’t had any memory blackouts. I’ve been fully conscious for the whole year! Hurrah. A side note, however, I have recently begun to have sort of migraine blackouts. No headache as such – just pins and needles up my arms and then I lose vision (not consciousness). Think 2017 calls for a trip to the doctor.
Reason 3: The fear, which results from the aforementioned, is not something I want to experience again. Self-loathing on a weekly basis is not healthy.
YES! One of the best, best things about giving up alcohol. No beer fear, no morning after anxiety. The morning after a sober night out is fantastic.
Reason 4: I want to have full weekends – doing interesting things – and not spend half off them in bed, demolishing packets of paracetamol in an attempt to feel normal again. I just want to feel normal – all the time.
Yes and no. Yes, I haven’t spent weekends in bed all day feeling dreadful. I’ve been up and out – mainly working, though. Next year, I’m going to make more time for weekend activities. And then in terms of feeling normal all the time. While I haven’t been hungover, I’ve been ill more times this year than ever before. I’ve had EIGHT, I repeat EIGHT colds and one fluey virus (horrendous). In fact, any time I try and take a little break, I’m sick. And, now with the aforementioned black out, loss of vision thing, yeah I don’t feel 100% normal all the time…
Reason 5: I want to go on a run, and then another, and then another, and build up fitness. I want to do this without ruining the progress with a huge night out at the weekend and then having an alcohol stitch when I go back to the gym.
No. Though this started off well, see sober update 3… it all went to pot around early September. I was playing a lot of tennis and having a lesson a week… But come the magazine’s 10th issue and moving on to the 11th, I just didn’t make time for it. Though there’s a difference between mental and physical exhaustion, when the first kicks in sometimes it deters you from doing the second. I’ve decided that 2017 is my year of getting fit and strong. Looking after myself mentally and physically.
Reason 6: I don’t want to eat fast food – when sober I don’t even like fast food. The only time I eat it is when drunk or excessively hungover.
No. Apparently I also eat fast food when stressed. I mean, it’s not eating chips or a Chinese at 3am or for breakfast – there haven’t been any occasions this year where I’ve done that. But, come 8.30pm at the office, yes – a Thai takeaway courtesy of Deliveroo can find its way into my office. I do, it seems, like fast food.
Reason 7: I don’t want to wake up with unexplained bruises on my body.
Yes. No unexplained bruises!
Reason 8: I’d rather not wake up at 5am at least once a week and roam around my flat naked trying to find a glass of water for a thirst that is unquenchable.
Yes. No midnight quests for water. And also a much, much better and deeper sleep. Going to sleep rather than essentially taking a sedative measure to sleep…
Reason 9: I do not want to scroll through my phone the morning after a big night and find that I’ve sent inappropriate messages to men. Or see that I’ve made Facebook calls. (Yes, they exist).
Yes. I’ve made none of those damn Facebook calls in 2016! No inappropriate messages! Whoop.
Reason 10: I want to keep my belongings. Not lose purses, phones…and dignity on nights’ out.
Yes. Nothing lost this year.
Reason 11: I don’t want to wake up with make-up all over my face, and eyelids glued shut with gunky mascara. And a mouth that feels like the desert.
Yes. I have taken my make-up off – without fail – every night! And I don’t think I’ve ever been so hydrated. I tend to match people for drinks on nights’ out – for every glass of wine, I’ll have a water.
Reason 12: I want to spend my money on making memories, rather than on drinking to have no memories.
Ish. I’ve had some good times this year. But, in all honesty, I’ve mostly been working. I have worked and worked and fricking worked some more. So next year, I would like to make some more memories…
So…now that I’ve done it, well almost – I’m in Australia at the moment, and we’re 11 hours ahead (so officially it won’t be until the 1st here that I’ve done a whole year in UK time, and no I won’t be drinking until it’s a full year Quinn, you’re not getting out of that £150 that easily) – will I drink again?
I’m not going to forbid myself. But for now, I don’t think so… life without alcohol is actually really rather good.
As for next year, I’ve decided rather than give up something, I’m going to take up something. And that’s getting strong. 2016 was the year for business. 2017 is the year for wellness.
See you on the other side and happy New Year!