Keep calm – and drink a Mocktail…

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.

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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!

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16 thoughts on “Keep calm – and drink a Mocktail…

  1. vickyunwin

    Bravo…Kim, Binks and I are most impressed! we raised a glass to you last night!

    1. janetgourand

      thanks Vicky – wish I had been there with you xx

  2. Victoria

    Just wanted to write and tell you that I’m reading your blog and I’m enjoying it. Well done! I imagine sometimes when you write a blog you feel that you are writing to yourself and it must be a surprise to realise people are interested and looking forward to the next one. I should think about going down the same road as you. I’m wondering whether to try and start before my June 30 5-day break or whether it’s better to wait until after!

    1. janetgourand

      Hi Victoria
      Yes blogging can feel like writing to yourself sometimes but even if nobody reads it I still find it helpful – like keeping a journal which can be cathartic. It is still lovely when someone like you reads it and makes a comment – starting the journey is a bit like dieting – easy to put off until the following Monday. I got to the stage where I felt so ill I knew I just had to stop that very day – and I did – and now feel do much better. Good luck and keep me posted!

  3. Dave Walmisley

    Hi Victoria.
    I’m totally impressed and wish I was in there same boat. I’m absolutely hopeless right now and have everything to lose if I continue. All power to you and godless.

    1. janetgourand

      Thanks Dave – don’t feel hopeless – take a look at Justin
      Vale’s book “kick the drink”
      and just do it! Good luck
      and keep in touch. Janet (not
      victoria 😉)

      1. Dave Walmisley

        Yeah …. I wish it were that easy Janet!

  4. Dave Walmisley

    I meant Godbless!

  5. Zaida

    You’re doing brilliantly! With the extra quiet time you’re having now, sans V, you could so easily have sneaked just a last little tipple. Crickey, you even managed to survive a rather energetic kids party without calling up the vino reinforcements (thank you for support at party). Just shy of a month… Great going! 😘

  6. janetgourand

    Thanks Zaida! 😘😘

  7. Mandy

    Janet your blog continues to inspire me and I am now day 4 after my birthday weekend 🙂 I am very happy to be your Sobasista and look forward to our AF night on the 26th. I must say the first three days saw me angry and depressed but today I woke up feeling ‘happier’ and even had the energy to get out of bed and do Kria at 5h30. Viva Mocktails! xxx

    1. janetgourand

      Hey beautiful Mands. So glad you are feeling better and thanks so much for accompanying me in this scary journey 😳. Looking forward to our SNI on 26th 😘😘😘

  8. BCT

    Hi Janet. I am following you from Soberistas as I lived in Melbos twice when I had my two oldest kids. My ex was a Capey so we closed the house in London and rented a house in Melkbos for my mat leave. Cheaper than living in London and I did not have to sit watching my old exciting career driven life zooming past me while I washed bottles. I am glad to see that you are still going strong and look forward to tales from Cape Town. I miss the wild albatrosses nesting on Melkbos beach. Stupid English, I thought they were rather large seagulls to start with…BCT

    1. janetgourand

      Hi BCT
      lovely to hear from someone who knows Capetown – getting chilly now (well 15 degrees) so will be switching to Europe for couple of months. Thanks for following blog – take care janet x

  9. Jan

    Hi Janet. I am also a Capetonian and really enjoy your blog. I was a big wine lover and drank heavily for many years – until I was diagnosed with a health condition which also showed some bad liver damage. I was sober for almost 2 years but started drinking wine again in 2 months ago – big mistake! I thought I could moderate it and drink normally – which was not the case, it was as if I had never stopped.

    I am now trying to motivate myself to start over which is really difficult

    1. janetgourand

      Hi Jan
      Lovely to hear from a Capetownian – as you saw from my blog I am off to Europe for 2 months on Monday but when iI get back we must meet up. I live in Sea Point. My professional background is in HR and training and when I return to Capetown I am planning to start a “how to quit or moderate your drinking” one day workshop. Am also a qualified coach so am happy to coach you if you are interested. You have done it once so am sure you can do it again. Why not just pick a date and go for it. Keep in touch by mail and let me know how you are doing –

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