Today marks the start of my sixth month of sobriety. After a friends passing comment noticing how much I liked a drink, a bout of depression and yet another prosecco hangover I decided to hit the sauce on the head.
Unlike my friends who joined 'the rooms', the ones that got straight edge tattoos or paid countryside retreats to remove the bubbles from their lives I was able to just quietly stop. I told very few people and I didn't make a song or dance about it - I just gave up drinking. I’ve done it with the help of will power and the slightly perverse feeling of being sober around drunkards.
It's been an eye opening experience - I've realised how important drinking is to our identities and how unnerved people are if you don’t drink. Occasionally you have to put your foot down to the Mrs Doyle’s of this world that keep asking “won’t ya have a cuppa vodka? Ah go on!” until they get the answer they desire.
One of the most revealing observations has been the question that often follows declining a bevvy – “why?” Apparently giving up alcohol either means you were or still are an alcoholic, you’re emotionally unstable or you do really want a drink but feel embarrassed to ask for one. The answer can never just be “no, thanks”.
Telling folk you are sober is like coming out – its slightly awkward and you quickly get tired of repeating the same story over and over again. Although, I’m yet to devise a way I don’t sound like that person who thinks life is one long yoga retreat - revealing your sober status often leads you to spurting out naff clichés about ‘the gifts of sobriety’ that ultimately make you look like a giant instagram hashtag.
Who knows how long it will last - when faced with a barrel of Malagian sweet wine will I cave in for a glass of my beloved Pedro Ximenez? As one very drunk woman told me last month “…lets not dress it up by saying fancy stuff, or this is from 19-fucking-70-whatever is better for you - its still fucking crack, isn’t it?”
Here’s to drinking fizzy water, constantly saying no to free booze, people thinking you’re weird and the view from the moral high ground.