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Ten things not to say to women who have stopped drinking.

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In light of reaching an extraordinary four months alcohol free, here is a list of ACTUAL things people have said to me about my journey. Please, I am begging you; do not say these things to people (especially women) who have made the incredible decision to stop drinking alcohol. This experience has been difficult enough at times without you adding to it with your insensitivity around a topic you clearly don’t understand.

It astonishes me that alcohol is so ingrained in our society that people assume there is a medical reason for not drinking. And yes, I know I’m verging on sanctimonious twat but some of these comments are so horrifically hurtful and the damage from them lasts long after an interaction. Think before you judge, you have no idea what battles someone is fighting and how close they are to falling over the edge. Be nice. You don’t have to understand, just don’t be a dick.

1. “Are you pregnant?”

This of course doesn’t just apply to women who have stopped drinking, this appl…

A New Academic Year (and 113 days).

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In education, the first week of September is the pinnacle of the educational year. I jest of course, none of us have any idea what we’re doing. A majority of staff have had most of the Summer off. They’ve all forgotten about that colleague who eats with their mouth open. Or they’ve just forgotten how to do their job. Or even what they do. Or where they are.

Let me explain how much this week has taken out of me by telling you about my Friday.

· Repeatedly woken up in the night by Hubs because I keep punching him in the face.

· 5.30am alarm to drive the Nobber to work.

· Forget to feed dog before walk.

· Throw the Wubba (aka favourite toy) behind me over my head and lose it in a hedge.

· Spend thirty minutes in said hedge trying to find the bastard thing while Smiley whines at me and paces up and down looking for it.


· Lose the treat bag further down the walk.

· Turn around to try and find the treat bag. Lose the dog.

· …

JBBF18 and simultaneous doggo and cat snuggles.

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I thought my first alcohol free weekend would be the most difficult challenge to overcome. What the living fuck do you do at the weekend without booze?! Then I was through it and thought GCSE week would be the most difficult challenge to overcome. How do you wind down after 12 hour stressssssful days without booze? But then I was through it and if anything, the whole week went better for me being on top form. I mean come on, I only cried once! Then I thought our first camping holiday would be the most difficult challenge to overcome. How do you break the rituals of packing the car so the boxes of wine (one red, one white) are the first thing to be unloaded when you arrive and the first thing to be set up, before even the tent, is the booze table? But I did and if anything, putting the tent up was much less snappy than previous years! Then I thought it would be Summer. Then I thought it would be the wedding.

And then publicity for JBBF18 arrived and I decided to organise the Drunk Poet…

101 days and a sober wedding.

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I have survived my first sober wedding. At 101 days. What a treat!

It wasn’t nearly as difficult as I expected it to be either. Pretty sweet. Even, when on arriving at the bar, I discovered the only alcohol-free options were all of the sugary soft drinks (coke, lemonade or fanta), tonic water or Becks Bleurgh. (Disappointing because I had contacted the venue months ago to find out what AF options were available and after being told I was not able to bring anything into the venue, was asked what I would prefer them to order in. So I kind of expected SOMETHING, you know?!)

I was considering finding a local supermarket to sneak in something more suitable when I realised that this was exactly what I used to do when the bar closed and we would trawl cities looking for somewhere open later or selling booze. I decided instead to get over myself and stay hydrated. Not a bad option when Hubs has a stinking cold and I’m going back to school tomorrow so will literally be riddled with germs withi…

You are more than a GCSE grade.

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It’s GCSE day and many of you will have been filled with anxiety waiting for your results. You’ve probably opened them now and know what you have achieved. Or what you haven’t achieved. You’ll be excited about enrolling at sixth form or college or your apprenticeship. Or you’ll be trying desperately to figure out what you are going to do next. It will feel like the biggest and best (or worst) moment of your life. But know this: those results do not define you.

Those results do not acknowledge you battling through education in the throes of puberty. They do not acknowledge your parent’s divorce this year. They do not acknowledge your eviction. They do not acknowledge the abuse you suffer every day. They do not acknowledge your family’s financial issues. They do not acknowledge the bullying you have experienced throughout school. They do not acknowledge your physical or mental health difficulties. They do not acknowledge your sexual assault. They do not acknowledge the death of someone …

THREE EFFING MONTHS MOTHERFLIPPER!

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Today I am celebrating 3 months sober. It’s ok, you can pick that jaw up off the floor. Trust me, nobody is as surprised as I am.

In recognition of this monumental event, I’ve put together a list of things I have learned in managing my addiction over the past three months. And not once do I talk about shitting yourself, masturbation or Feminism.

1. Quit on a Friday.

That first weekend will always be the hardest to get through. Most people start their journey on a Sunday or a Monday and have four or five days of withdrawal hell coupled with abominable work hell before the weekend arrives and you can convince yourself that you’ve earned a drink as a reward for doing so well. Before you know it, it’s Sunday morning and you’re waking up in a pile of your own vomit, naked on the bathroom floor. And it’s not your bathroom floor.

By starting your stopping on a Friday, you get the first weekend out of the way when you feel the most shit. It’s a double whammy of shit.

But then it’s done a…

80 days sober

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I am 80 days sober. 
On Friday, we had a refreshment pit stop half way through a long dog walk (DID YOU KNOW WE HAD A DOG?!) at a local pub and, as often occurs, somebody demanded to know what was in my glass with the comment, “Drinking again are we?” Erm, well yes, that’s what we do with liquids isn’t it? I’m not drinking alcohol, no. I am drinking Nanny State. Not that it has anything at all to do with you pal. 
I explained that I was at 78 days sober and was immediately asked, “When is it going to stop?” What? War in the Middle East? Donald Trumps? Famine? Child abuse? Oh no, something much more dramatic and world changing than all of those things. DRUMROLL PLEASE! When was I going to start succumbing to my addictions and fucking myself up again? Important questions.

I didn’t launch into my usual tirade. It’s fucking tiresome constantly having to explain that this isn’t a short term thing, it’s my fucking life. If I was in recovery from heroin addiction, nobody would ever ask me …