Toxic turds and other reasons I’m glad I no longer drink alcohol

It’s gross, I know, but I do not miss the bathroom after a hard night. No one likes to mention — or acknowledge — the horrors of the morning after bowel movement. Because it’s unholy. There’s no escaping the toxicity. The fact that that Pinot Noir, Tanqueray and whatever else found its way down your gullet is poison. Expensive poison. Lethal in the right dosage. Expensive not just because it costs £25 a bottle, but because it costs you hours of the next day, a certain amount of dignity, the quality of your family life, tangible impairment to your brain and your ability to do maths (or is that just me?).

I don’t miss the laying on the sofa, sleeping through two movies when you should have been present with the kids. The Herculean effort it takes to put dinner on the table, the feeling like you’re going to vom in the supermarket. The to-do list items piled onto the week ahead. All this shit adds up. A simple cost-benefit analysis would reveal that that long island iced tea simply wasn’t worth it (if you have more than one that is… for me 1+1= ∞ … and another layer of damage on the internal organs, another shit night’s sleep).

I don’t miss waking up and not remembering going to bed. Being unsure of what happened and unsure of oneself. Feeling sheepish, gaging other people’s expressions — did you do something bad? Not knowing what happened and too afraid to ask. When did my brain shut off? Wish my mouth had shut off. That level of self-betrayal… When you just can’t trust yourself because you just don’t know — anything could have happened. That gut-wrenching. That leads to your actual gut wrenching, retching in the toilet before dinner. FFS not again.

It wasn’t always that bad though. There’s been plenty of times where I escaped with a thick head and a thin cloak of nausea. I didn’t always get smashed and I didn’t always get hangovers. The craic was worth it and even the after-effects used to be fun — off kilter giddiness spicing up the workday, jovial staggers to the following evening’s establishment. But as Stevie Nicks would say, time passes and children get older… I’m getting older too…

So yeah, I do get a pang when it’s Friday night and everyone’s getting giddy in anticipation to guzzle their Aperol Spritz. The Mummy Needs a Vodka memes infiltrating my subconscious. But I make my own mint and lime sour and the ethanol urge passes. I go do something interesting and then something else. I get shit done. Fulfilling shit. And I go to bed at 10 with a warm fuzzy feeling of contentment in my belly. So glad I don’t have a gut that’s gradually getting leaky from excessive exposure to prosecco, unable to absorb nutrients because it’s been pickled over years of weekend binges.

Published by Free Spirits Recovery

FREE SPIRITS is a coaching and counselling service for people seeking accessible help with grey area problem drinking, compulsive behaviours and mental health issues.

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