Drink Before You Think, or Think Before You Drink

I sit on the edge of a couch eagerly awaiting my next sip of the drink I hold in my hand. Wine. The warm liquid flows down my throat. I relish the taste and devour as much as I can as if it is water. I fall off the couch with no elegance whatsoever. Bursts of giggles escape my lips with no control as I crawl around on the ground pretending to be an animal of some sort.

I struggle to my feet and look around me. I knew only a few people when I first arrived at this rowdy gathering. These strangers have morphed into my best friends for the night. The music and alcohol unites us.

The club we arrive at is where it all begins and ends. We look at one another and nod our heads. Our bodies flowing to the music. Sweat and lust linger in the air the locking of lips begins, tongues dance, groping, determination. An abrupt pause occurs, this is it. The song reaches its climax. The music travels across the room touching each person as it goes. It lingers on their skin transforming them from stiff statues to exotic dancers.

The beat of the song is my outdoing. I close my eyes, and tilt my head back creating invisible lines with my hands. Flashes, strobe lights, laughter. I am in my zone dancing terribly, but not caring at all. I feel a sudden rough hand creep up my leg and grab me. I jump and turn around on full alert. An old man who resembles Santa Clause gives me a creepy toothless grin. I am about to give him a piece of my mind but the music booms over my loud thoughts. I walk away fuming. My mood has spiraled into a sour one no one notices my absence as I stumble out of the club and onto the sidewalk.

Coldness slaps me, clinging onto me, begging me to wake up and gain some sense. My subconscious shakes its head at me. My body has had enough. I sit on the sidewalk, holding back vomit. I rest my head in between my knees, hoping for a magic carpet to take me home.

I end up in my bathroom curled up on the floor by the toilet attempting to make myself throw up to get rid of this dreadful feeling. I cough violently as I stick my finger down my throat. Nothing comes. I give up and look in the mirror. It looks as if a raccoon has done my hair and makeup, I wrinkle my nose in disgust. I don’t want to feel like this anymore…

I am NEVER drinking again.

We’ve all said it. The “I’m never drinking again” Like a failed glue stick I would never stick to this line. So after living in a town where the student culture always drinks I decided to do a sober challenge for three months. Every time I told someone they would look at me like I had just morphed into a bird, and crapped on their face so let me elaborate as to why I did it.

Binge drinking

New Zealand values sunblock, slip, slop, slap, and wrap, it protects them from the sun. We also value alcohol, it protects us from reality and life’s problems.

  • 1.2 million believe it is OK to get drunk,
  • 350,000 binge drink on their last drinking occasion
  • 275,000 setting out to get drunk on their last drinking occasion.
  • Many adults who currently drink do not appear concerned about their physical or mental wellbeing
  • Many parents do not know much about their children’s drinking
  • The benefits of alcohol as a ‘lubricant’ and ‘relaxant’ are well recognized (Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand, 2004)

I was over being part of the 1.2 million. I wanted to be whisked away to a classy place where drinking was frowned upon. To experience what would be like living in a different country where most of the nation did not get hammered. 

Health

Drinking too much can weaken your immune system making your body a much easier target. I would never wake up and stretch dramatically like they do in those cereal advertisements smiling because some Up N Go had magically appeared in my hand. I woke up bleary eyed with a throat like the desert. I was never one to vomit after drinking, but my body and stomach started to have zero tolerance for alcohol. The scary facts is that high consumption of alcohol can lead to some depressing things in the future which people never think will happen to them. Heart and liver damage, cancer, and let’s just say the list goes on.

Family

I was raised in a Christian househould therefore drinking was off the agenda. When I got introduced to my first sip of alcohol I was intrigued. I wanted to fit in like everyone else. I would get laughed at when I tried having a party because I wasn’t allowed alcohol. Even at such a young age it was drilled into my mind a party without alcohol. What nonsense. It was a wake up call for how much it was affecting my family.

Happiness

Indeed I had wonderful times with friends and some hilarious memories alongside it.I just wasn’t happy. My life was like the Pursuit of Happiness, except instead of finding happiness all I found was a bottle in my hand, hoping it would transform into Jeremy Kyle so he could yell some sense into me.

Peer pressure

Alcohol is easy to access. It’s in the media, with advertisements, billboards, and songs dedicated to it such as this one by Kendrick Lamar, Swimming Pools (drank);

Pour up drank, head shot drank

Sit down drank, stand up drank

Pass out drank, wake up drank

Faded drank, faded drank

Kendrick wrote it based on his experiences with alcohol about his Grandfathers drinking resulting in his death. How there is peer pressure accompanying drinking and wanting to ‘fit in with the popular’, that no one drinks in moderation anymore,leading to swimming in a ‘pool full of liquor.’ I realize it sums up the world we live in.

If you go out to get black out hammered no one bats an eye, go out and tell people you’re sober and everyone goes crazy.

Excuses

My friend is visiting/it’s their birthday/they just won the lotto/they’re moving to Alaska so it’s time for leaving drinks. There is always an excuse to drink. Had a bad week?  Broke up with someone? Heck, might as well buy the whole bottle store. Whatever happened to celebrating and having fun with friends via a good ol’ nonalcoholic event? Like a sleepover and huddling under the blankets with a Disney movie. Or having a birthday with the best excitement of the night a game of twister. 

Town

Alcohol + ego = not good mix

I used to play a game when I was younger called Zoo Tycoon, and I realized town is in fact a zoo. Like the game you have a choice of animal you want. In this case it is a person who you shall corner in a club attempting to woo them or get their number. Males come out of their sober cages dropping drinks down their shirts and grabbing female’s. Females run around screaming at people “Girl I haven’t seen your face in ages!!” deafening anyone within a miles radius. Like a friend said they go to town to…

Have fun, meet someone new, get lucky. 

Drunk mind speaks sober heart

Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, and can affect the way the brain looks and works. These disruptions make it harder to think clearly and move with coordination. Therefore this drunk mind speaks a sober heart saying is simply used to comfort those who do ridiculous things whilst drunk. There is no other logical explanation except to blame it on the alcohol. Newsflash, if you are repeating the same ‘mistakes’ because you know you will get away with it because of liquor? Well then you know the problem most likely lies with you whether it is alcohol abuse, dependence, or you simply don’t know the definition of the word moderation. Basically ask yourself if you were sober would you do these things?

Drink driving
Violence, starting ‘scraps’ with everyone
Taking advantage of someone
Spending all your savings 
Claiming you love everyone that walks past
Drunk texts

Hello Sunday Morning

This website was the main reason I did this sober challenge. It was created by a young man in his twenties who decided to put down the drink for a year. To really study to look into why people pick up the drink in the first place. He created a movement that started with a few people, and has now expanded to thousands across the world. HSM offers people a chance to keep a blog and set themselves a challenge of been sober for as long as they wish, weeks, months or years. It is a connection of people with different journeys. I doubt I would have got through without the kind strangers all over the world commenting and encouraging me to keep going, so thank you to you all.

The end

People often have to have a bad almost death experience to appreciate the life they have after abusing their bodies with drugs and alcohol. Now I didn’t complete this challenge to preach to people to not drink. I simply wanted to make a change in my life. Alcohol no longer tells my mind or body what to do. I tell myself what I want to do.

During this sober challenge HSM caused me to be put into sometimes awkward sober situations where I was tempted to drink. I am glad I persevered and ignored the pressure to “drink to not get drunk” or have “one shot” I had the best twelve weeks of my life;

  1. I welcomed Sunday mornings with open arms.
  2. I learnt self-control which was the biggest challenge for myself.
  3. I learnt how to be enthusiastic, confident, and no longer have to drink to find happiness.
  4. I was simply myself, instead of hiding behind my drunken blanket that once surrounded me.
  5. I learnt how to say no and stay home with a movie and junk food on a cold night, no regrets. 
  6. I realized how much time I wasted instead of spending time with my family.
  7. Having control made me take a step back and see how much we never I used to care about alcohol and now it’s like we can’t survive without it.
  8. I made good friends, sober. 
  9. I saved money!!
  10. I proved to myself and everyone else I could do it. 

If you really think about it when was the last time you went out and had fun sober? Ladies and gentleman stop saying you can’t do something or you wouldn’t be able to live without whatever it is you feel you can’t It’s just like breaking up with someone. You were fine before them, so you shall be fine afterwards. You lived once without alcohol, so you can live without it for awhile if you commit to it. I know you’re survivors you may not be dancing around in a jungle. but if you ever decide to give Hello Sunday Morning a try you may just change your life forever.

webcam-toy-photo49
I ordered this Hello Sunday Morning singlet to remind me of what I achieved
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