A week or so ago I passed the six month mark on my sober curious journey and the 45 000 word mark on my memoir, because honestly, would I be doing this and not writing about it? NEVAH! Since my bad behaviour on Mother’s Day when I decided I needed to put the brakes on my binge drinking, I have had exactly one glass of red wine and a half a glass of prosecco – both on the day of my son’s 21st. The half-a-glass of prosecco went straight to my head which I did not enjoy but then I drank a very delish glass of red wine with my meal which was sublime.
I did not have a hangover the next day, the only problem was that having that delicious glass of red wine just made me want to have more red wine. And as Ruby Warrington points out in her book Sober Curious if you want to get your alcohol consumption in order, you actually do need to give up drinking alcohol. So that was a slightly unfortunate discovery that made me think that alas, my sober curious journey may just turn out to be me quitting the grog for good. But time will tell…
I do still have a sip of my husband’s wine every now and again, and tragically I don’t think it tastes horrible, I think it tastes pretty delicious but then I follow the story to the end – talking nonsense/getting overly sentimental/headache the next day and I put the glass down.
My friends told me that I have definitely lost weight since becoming curiously sober, my scale disagrees, so for my six month anniversary I bought myself a(nother) pair of running shoes. I am going to try some walk/running that goes by the unfortunate name of wogging (walk/jogging) which sounds both racist and too close to dogging for my liking, so I decided to call my efforts wunning. I think the weight loss thing only happens if you’re sinking a couple of bottles of wine a day not a glass or two so that was a bit of a downer as I thought my summer body would fetch itself but it seems I will have to go and fetch it and I will have to wun to get there.
It has been an interesting couple of months for me because my work schedule is beyond insane and usually, I would reach for the bottle of red wine/glass of champers to calm my anxiety but now that’s off the menu, I have to find other ways to cope. Meditation, walks, journaling, a lot of sugar and triage have all helped. Triage = when you deal with whatever is most pressing and you try not think too far ahead, lest you run screaming down the road in your underwear – really just another form of mindfulness.
The thing about booze is that it might calm your anxiety but it also puts a dampener on your joy. That’s something I’ve defs noticed. Now, even more than ever, I can just get high on looking at jacaranda trees and sniffing jasmine and that’s something I’m enjoying, even if the owners of the houses in the neighbourhood don’t appreciate me flinging myself into their white jasmine whilst moaning, ‘It’s sooooo beautiful!’
I’m waiting to see how I cope during this coming festive season without any booze, I’ve already managed to get through Halloween on fake champers (I had five hundred kids coming past my house for sweeties so it was a good test.) I’m very much enjoying Allure – which tastes like methode champenoise and the Lautus Sparkling wine which is more like prosecco. I also like the Lautus Rose. I haven’t tried any gin substitutes but I’ll get around to that during the hols.
The one thing that did worry me about my body being an alcohol-free temple is that it would spoil book launches – after all how can one launch a book without a glass of red wine in one’s hand? I was deeply concerned that I wouldn’t be able to be silly without any alcohol in my system. I needn’t have been concerned.
Last week on my actual six month anniversary, I attended my first in-person launch of the year, the launch of Never Tell a Lie. Gail Schimmel was in convo with Sue Nyathi at the Parkview Golf Course, I had two diet cokes and managed to be as ridiculous as always. We were missing a member of the awesome foursome – Qarnita Loxton – so the husband made a cardboard cutout of her and I carried her everywhere with me and Amy Heydenrych kept giving her sips of water. It was a superb launch, I had so much fun and it made me feel like there actually could be life after alcohol.
That is the example I want to set for my kids, that in fact you do not have to get off your face to have a good time. Something that’s unlikely to resonate now whilst they’re in that end of school/varsity partying mode – but hopefully something they’ll think about when they’re a bit older. I have noticed a definite shift in my interactions with my children and I am a much more present mother now without the grog and that can only be a good thing.
Book recommendations: I read some excellent quit-lit – Glorious Rock Bottom by Bryony Gordon. Funny and heartbreaking and so raw and honest, I loved it. I also read a fabulous rom com called Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane, about two friends who are very much in love but keep missing the chance to get together. It’s beautifully written, hilarious and heartbreaking and filled with the most brilliant twists. I’m not sure if people realise how difficult it is to write a good romcom, it is FIENDISHLY HARD, that is why we all worship Marian Keyes because year after year she gets it right. Marian recommended this book and she was completely spot-on. I absolutely gobbled it up, superb.
Film/TV recommendations: on the subject of romcoms, I attempted to watch two Christmas movies on Netflix. They were both horrible. I managed about ten minutes of Love Hard, it was baaaaaaaad and then I tried Father Christmas is back, which I managed all of thirty seconds of. It was so on the nose, I felt like I was being hit over the head with the script whilst someone chanted this is a funny filum, we are being funny, see how funny we are. Reader, they were not funny. Not. At. All. The husband and I then watched Red Notice with Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot. Lovely, predictable silliness and Ryan has some brilliant lines.
Not that you need reminding, but it is five weeks to Christmas and signed books really do make the best gifts so be sure to start adding books to your Christmas Shopping List. Have a great week everyone and get out there and look at the jacarandas before they disappear. Happy reading! xxx