My big thing after I took the wine away was that while I didn't want to be a miserable boozer any more I most certainly did not want to be a miserable NON boozer either. I couldn't bear the thought of spending the second half of my life feeling like I was missing out, not going out, not having fun with friends, not laughing or dancing or talking shit at parties.
So that's what I worked really hard on and still work on to this day. I'm trying to articulate this process now in my book writing and have gone and ordered the two books that I remember being the most influential to me in those early days - Allen Carr's 'The Easy Way to Stop Drinking' and Jason Vale's 'Kick the Drink - Easily!' (it kind of irks me that he's put an exclamation mark in his book title for some stupid reason, but then that's the kind of guy I think he is. Actually I can't complain, I love a good exclamation mark!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)..
These books are actually bloody hard to get, not available at any of the stores or libraries in my city so I had to track down second hand copies on Amazon. The Jason Vale one is going to take weeks to arrive (hopefully before my deadline). Allen Carr arrived this week (great excitement!) and I opened it to discover it's full of someone else's underlining and comments throughout. This is the inside cover.
I've been wondering who this person is with their weird scripty handwriting, when did they read this book and write these notes to try and stop drinking? There must have been millions of humans over the decades who have tried to do what we are all trying to do - live a great life with no alcohol added.
So anyway my big thing was/is to try and rework my brain so that I won't be a miserable git sitting at home like a boring sober loser. I wanted to go to bars and laugh with my friends and go to weddings and cut it up on the dance floor to cheesy pop tunes and I wanted to huddle outside on the balcony at parties and rant madly and I wanted to do all of that without the wine messing me up.
The bottom line is, I think we don't have to miss out on anything. I think if you think very hard about the scene you are entering into .. think about all the elements that are there, the people, the setting, the atmosphere, the food, the music, the friendship, the giggles, the gossip etc etc and focus on those - those are the things that make an occasion special. It shouldn't have to matter that the glass you hold has lemonade not champagne in it.
It takes a bit of work to get this and sometimes you hit the jackpot and have a blinder of a night! Sometimes you just break even and the night is just fine, and sometimes you lose out and do feel a bit flat and sober and go home feeling a bit low (but it's never that bad in the overall grand scheme of things.) And whatever the case, I never, ever wake up in the morning regretting not having drunk the night before (unlike the waves of drinking regret that used to dominate my life).
The sun is shining and I've got a child free day so will get busy with the laptop!
Love, Mrs D xxx
P.S. Quick Whole30 update. I'm on Day 8. It's amazing. I feel great. Not in the least bit hungry because I'm eating a lot, just veges and eggs and meat and fruit and not crappy easy stuff. Love it. I am having to take a little extra time planning what I am going to eat but I really do feel lighter and happier. That's the crazy bit. This is not just physical but really works emotionally as well. I feel positive, not negative. Duh, can't believe I'm only just cottoning on to the 'what you eat affects your moods' concept. Good one Mrs D.