Today’s blog is written by a lovely northern lass called Chloe. I’ve met her and her fella a couple of times, but we mainly know each other through chatting on Facebook. I thought the only thing we had in common was a bad taste in music, but I recently found out she’s also sober – and has been for 2 and a half years! I asked her to share her experience by writing a guest blog for Soberpunks. Here it is:
As of writing this I have been 805 days sober.
Me and alcohol have had a rocky relationship which started at the tender age of 16. I bought my first pint in a local cricket club while watching some bands play. It is one of them things every teenager does, tries to get served under aged. Well it worked, how can you say no to a 6ft goth girl covered in piercings? I can’t say I enjoyed it, in fact it revolted me.
I didn’t drink much after this event, I didn’t feel the need to, none of my friends did it, so why should I?
Once I started college everything changed. I made friends with people who used to go out to local pubs and clubs and drink in there underage. This became a frequent thing for us, sneaking alcohol in our bags or getting older companions to buy us drinks. I would be out until the early hours of the morning drinking and I wasn’t exactly in the best state in these times.
Just before my 17th Birthday it was New Years Eve, and I was diagnosed with Anxiety disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and depression. I had these things for a while but it just took its time in being tested. So on New Years Eve, the day that I started my medication, I decided to go out drinking, almost to help me through it. A coping mechanism if you will. From here on things got worse, my mental health got worse which meant that I was drinking more. I had no confidence, I felt like I couldn’t leave the house because of my OCD, but drinking made me better, it helped me. Some of the time I cant even remember leaving the house to go out to meet friends at the pub.
I started working in a pub during this time, which was great! I mean you could finish work and use all your tips on drinks! The thing is though, I used to drink at speed. I finished work at 5pm and was hammered by 7pm. I mean I could drink every one under the table, demolishing drinks like there was no tomorrow. But it hit me when I woke up in the morning, no not the hangover. The depression. Many of these times I would be sat outside work crying to myself. But what would I do; go out and drink to try and make myself feel better. It worked for a short while, and then the cycle began again.
I would be spending £50 to £70 a night 3 times a week on drinking, this was along with the £100 I would lose out of my wage a week also. Most of my wages where going back to the place that I worked!
It got to September 27th 2014 – I was going to a gig in Manchester, somewhere I have never been, with people I hadn’t met. The anxiety kicked in. Once arriving at the venue I managed to down 16 vodkas within an hour and a half, let’s just say that the rest is a blur. I have heard that I fell down a flight of metal stairs (well I could tell that was true by the fact I couldn’t walk in the morning and my arse was purple) the bouncer was also shining a light in my eye to make sure I was still conscious. I don’t have a clue what happened that night I was fuuuucked up. But when I woke up in the morning I decided enough was enough. If this was the state that I had to get in just to feel comfortable it is not doing me any good what so ever.
Fast forward 805 days and I am encountering my 3rd sober Christmas and New Year. I can’t say it’s been the easiest of journeys, but I know that I am doing it for me. It was my choice to do this, which I think makes it all a bit easier. It is still so difficult for me even after over 2 years. I lost a lot of my “friends” in the process because I began to shut myself off because I felt awkward going out. And to be honest when you are the only sober person at a party you realise how much of a bellend everyone acts.
I still don’t go out much but my life has changed for the better since I have stopped drinking. I watched Petrol Bastard and the Cheeky Girls sober…. that was an experience in itself! I have managed to get healthy and lose a considerable amount of weight. I got myself a puppy! Everyone loves puppies. I never thought that I could ever have the responsibility of a live animal, I was never at home and I couldn’t even look after myself. I’m still struggling with things, I find it hard to go out and socialise as it is such a big thing in this day and age that you have to drink when you are out. You can’t even go to the Christmas markets without having mulled wine shoved in your face.
Christmas is a very difficult time of year for us sober people. “Why don’t you just have one?” or “go on…have a drink, it’s Christmas!” but then all that hard work has gone to waste. It ends up as “go on, have a shot of tequila, snort the salt and squeeze lemon in your eye” which once upon a time I would have done chased by a few pints of cider mixed with prosecco, sambuca, 6 jugs of Long Island iced tea and some vodka, and that was just for starters. But I can say that I am not into that shit anymore. I think about that and it just makes me sick, not just at the thought of all them liquids sloshing all over and being thrown up at high speeds down a shop window, but at how much of my life I had wasted, well… being wasted. It’s nice to wake up in the morning without thinking “shit… who have I pissed off this time? What have I lost? Where the fuck is my bag?! WHY AM I COVERED IN COCO POPS?!?.”
Being sober has opened my eyes; you don’t need to be getting smashed to have a good time. I find joy in the simplest of things, I never thought that I would enjoy trudging through mud in the early hours of a cold winter’s morning with my dog, but I do. I never thought that going out with friends at night and just drinking non alcoholic cocktails and bitching about life would be enjoyable, but it is. I feel that I am my own person now; I feel like me, I’m not using alcohol to hide behind. My mental illness is still there but it isn’t being enhanced by alcohol, I just take it every day step by step. Everyone has bad days and good days, you just need to realise that hitting the bottle isn’t going to help, but making a bang on lemon drizzle cake with all your heart and effort will bring you much more happiness, everyone needs a bit of drizzle cake in their life.
So as it hits Christmas once again, I will be sticking to my Shloer and my caffeine free diet coke (yes I don’t even drink caffeine now what is the world coming too?!”) and I will be eating, drinking and being merry in my own way, usually lay on the couch with a turkey and stuffin’ butty and cold roast potatoes.
Congratulations to all those that are sober, and good luck to anyone who is thinking about jumping aboard the wagon!
Drop me a message if you’d like to write us a guest blog too.
Word to your collective mothers,