I chose to drink. It was rubbish.

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(I originally posted this on reddit, but want it recording here as part of my journey.)

I had a drink on Saturday night. I made the active choice to have a drink, rather than caving to cravings or anything like that; it was one of my best friend’s pre-wedding celebrations and as I can’t/won’t drink at the wedding, I decided to toast the couple over the weekend.

I expected to feel really tipsy because I’ve not drunk in 8 months. It didn’t really affect me at all. That scared me: my alcohol tolerance was dangerously high before I stopped drinking and it feels like nothing has changed. I was worried this would make me feel like “OK, one more” and another, and another. (It didn’t, but it easily could have.)

I didn’t feel like it made any difference whatsoever to my ability to have fun or relax. (I am a social/outgoing person and have never needed a drink to act like a fool!)

It didn’t make me enjoy the evening any more than I could or would have.

I did wake up feeling groggy and shaky the following morning. It was very mild, but I felt it. Such a difference from the clarity and peace of mind I’ve grown used to.

I did have strong drinking dreams last night, which deeply upset me.

I gained 3lbs over the weekend. (I’m halfway through a 12 week cut so this is intensely annoying.)

So: only downsides, and no upsides to having had a drink. A deep sense of it having not been worth it. And that makes it sort of worth it: because it’s squashed the niggly doubts I had not-so-long ago about why I’m doing this – making this journey sober – and reinforced every single reason I had for stopping in the first place. It’s killed the “just have one” voices.

I’m writing this because in the early days of stopping, I regularly re-read the desperate plea for help that I wrote [on reddit] when I needed the encouragement to stop. I hope too that in my future sober weeks & months I can come to use this post as a source of strength should I need it.

Jem Turner jem@jemjabella.co.uk +44(0)7521056376

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