Have now got lips pretty well trained to say “appletizer with ice please” when approached by waiters – after many years of automatically saying “large sauvignon blanc with ice please” this is no mean achievement. Have also discovered a whole new world of “non-alcoholic cocktails” out there. I always thought that a “non-alcoholic cocktail” was an oxymoron – surely the point of a cocktail was to get hammered a bit more quickly? Now I can be found sipping non-alcohoic daiquiris at La Vie and virgin mojitoes at HQ bar – that is how I roll these days. I do have a vague worry that I am swallowing sugar at an alarming rate but cannot win on all fronts.
It seems fears of being abandoned by all friends and leading solitary existence with only fizzy water and chihuauhua June for company were unfounded. Had been steering clear of Friday night in the park for obvious reasons – admission criteria one dog and two bottles of wine. Happily was invited back in spite of boring non-drinking status. Turned up clutching chihuahua and large bottle of (strong) ginger beer. To my relief I discovered another member of the group had also gone dry – coincidentally on almost same day as me. Obviously we are now firm sober-buddies and must keep each other on straight and narrow. He has a month in Italy coming up and I have two months in France. Flying sober will be a novelty for me as the party usually starts with the flight over and carries on from there.
Still immersing myself in books to keep motivation strong. Watched a movie called “Royal Hangover” – horrible. Read an extract in UK Guardian from a forthcoming book by Sarah Helpola called “Blackout”. Have suffered from this syndrome now and then over the years. One switches to “automatic pilot” and loses memory – correction – the physiological changes in the brain means that the memories are never actually made in the first place – spooky. I would get a blackout once every couple of months – inevitably followed by resolution to “cut down”. Like Sarah I somehow always managed to hang on to my belongings during the evening and was always faintly surprised to find jacket and handbag safely in the flat the next morning. Sometimes I had even hung up my clothes and read some of my book! Just before I gave up I had two blackouts in one week – thats when I knew something had to change.
Am trying to replace “the buzz” from Wine Witch with caffeine so now indulge in at least 3 cappucinos and pot of strong tea each morning. Going to the coffee shop is now my equivalent of “going to the pub”. Have to swallow all this caffeine before midday or cannot sleep.
Am writing this on AF Day 24 and still feeling strong. Last time I stopped drinking for more than a week was 34 years ago when I was pregnant!