Wednesday, 27 March 2013

What it feels like to be teetotal

I gave up drinking 2 and a half years ago.  I'd been to a party the night before and had drunk a bottle of wine.  The next day i felt devastatingly depressed.  My boyfriend found me curled up on the bathroom floor sobbing and i begged him to leave so i could kill myself.  Admittedly i was in the middle of a depressive episode anyway, but this reaction terrified me and my boyfriend. We went to my GP who told me i had to stop drinking.  For me this was just another way i was different to other people and i felt even more freakish.

I have been drinking since i was 16, when we used to get quarter bottles of vodka on a Saturday night and go out and watch bands.  It was great.  I fondly remember being 17 as being a year of drinking, smoking and having sex (with my boyf, not randoms).  

I am not a smug non-drinker i am actually quite embarrassed   I want to have a glass of wine with my dinner, I want to go out for cocktails, I want to have champagne when i go to a wedding.  But, the memory of the bathroom floor is still strong.  People ask if i'm driving (I don't drive), and i don't know what to say.  I don't want to go into why i'm not drinking, it'd be a major buzz kill for everyone.  Because i used to drink, and quite a lot, I think a lot of people think i'm an alcoholic.   I am not inclined to dispel this theory.  I feel more comfortable with being thought an alcoholic rather than mentally ill.

Some people are really kind.  I remember going to a party when everyone was doing shots.  I was getting a lot of pressure to take part but i knew i couldn't.  One guy made me a shot of mixy-up juice in the same colour to what everyone else was doing though so i didn't feel left out.  And, to be clear the picture at the top is a mocktail. 

Now when i go out i drink orange and lemonade or diet coke so it is less obvious i'm not drinking.  When i go to parties i take a bottle of fruit fizz and drink it in a wine glass so it looks like rose. 

I don't know if i'll ever be able to drink again and i'm now getting used to that idea.  I miss the way alcohol lets you loosen up.  I don't mess the headaches, sickness and feeling generally shitty.  

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