I’m nearly four months sober and I have never felt better. But whilst the stereotypical things like – better skin and the weight dropping off – haven’t actually happened to me, there are other surprising positives I’ve noticed, which have undoubtedly made my life so much better.
- I’m not killing my houseplants. Deep huh? Now back when I was a bit of a piss head I’d constantly be buying plants in Ikea, only to kill them about two months later. But now, somehow I’m managing to keep them all alive. It’s a bit like in ET when the flowers come back to life… as in, it’s very symbolic.
- I don’t sweat as much. Back when I was drinking I’d have the most terrible night sweats. I’d wake up with soaking wet titties and my jim jams would be absolutely dripping. But now, no night sweats at all, and my boobs at night are as dry as Gandhi’s flip flop. Which is nice.
- I don’t smell. Said night sweats made me smell very yeasty. My gusset area in particular was like standing downwind of a brewery on brew day. But now, my peggy always smells like a rose… ahem.
- I’m nicer. More thoughtful, less crabby, more patient. Less self-absorbed and selfish. Yup. Just about to sign myself up for a Nobel Prize.
- I love gardening and cleaning. I know, bizarre huh? I mean I have a cleaner, but now I like to give my house a little midweek spruce because it makes me feel all proud and clear headed. I have also recently planted a load of herbs and tomatoes in my garden and the joy that brought me was very strange and unexpected, yet not unwelcome.
- I see nature. I have a new love for nature. When I’m out and about I’m like a newborn baby seeing things anew. On the dog walk, I can often be found spinning around humming – ‘The Hills are Alive’ like an ecstatic, Julie Andrews type weirdo. Maybe it’s because I’m no longer hanging my head in shame?
- I can watch a film right through to the end (most nights) and I can actually remember what happened too! Oh the nights I’ve wasted watching films through one eye and waking up at the end not knowing who dunnit, who died or even – who the feck I was.
- My brain feels like it’s expanding. In a good way. When I read the book ‘The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober’ there was this crazy fact in there, about people who’ve been heavy drinkers, having increased cognitive activity after quitting alcohol. And I can honestly say that I can feel that. I don’t know if it’s because I’m reading more or what. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve stopped killing brain cells with toxins, but I do feel like I’m becoming cleverer. Move over Carol Vorders there’s a new brain in town.
- My anxiety and low mood have all but disappeared. To the point that – when I hear of people suffering with these sorts of mental health issues – who are drinking, I just want to hire a hummer, paint it in fluorescent yellow, and drive around the streets shouting – ‘DON’T DO IT!’ out of the sunroof.
- My whole life is much, much, MUCH better. I thought going booze free would be boring, quite the opposite. My evenings and weekends are fuller that ever. I thought it would be hard to go booze free. It isn’t. I thought I would miss it. I don’t.