Happy to be a Non-Drinker

When I first decided to stop drinking alcohol, the idea that I would spend the rest of my life feeling miserable as a consequence and as though I was missing out on something was never an issue I paid much credence to.

Living by a self-imposed regime of teetotalism when my heart was still firmly attached to the bottle and yet consistently denied its effects was a prospect too miserable to contemplate.  My attitude towards becoming a non-drinker was bloody-minded, and I have remained determined to always continue to seek out the numerous positives to be found in living free from the alcohol trap.

With this mind-set which has now become an inherent part of who I am, I am forever mindful of so many seemingly insignificant events and occurrences that happen each day which I am fully aware would never happen should I choose to drink again.

Yesterday as I pushed the pram up an almighty hill, hot and tired and feeling the strain in my calves, I suddenly remembered the horrific physical state of being hungover – queasy, sweaty, with stinging eyes and clammy skin, dehydrated, and exhausted in a way that never hits me as a non-drinker despite being up and dressed by 6am most days. And no matter how difficult that hill was to climb, I just kept on thinking about how awful I used to feel on an almost daily basis – even when simply sitting in front of the TV, never mind pushing a toddler up a steep hill in the sweltering heat.

thCAWWIG85Last night I poked my head out of our Velux bedroom window shortly before I climbed into bed, and stared for a while at a beautiful yellow moon hanging low in the sky. How many moons I wondered, had I missed as a drinker when night after night I would either fall asleep on the settee not even making it upstairs to bed, or was so drunk that I couldn’t remember what I’d seen the following morning?

Waking each day and acknowledging the marvel of a fully-functioning memory, feeling no regret or anxiety and with nobody to apologise to for my stupid drunken behaviour of the previous evening, is something I don’t think I will ever take for granted. I feel so lucky to be present and to notice all the important things around me, and to be completely in charge of my life and who I am.

For me, maintaining a commitment to sobriety is much less about steely willpower, and more about bathing in the beauty of a life lived untainted by alcohol. I wouldn’t give that up for the world.

13 thoughts on “Happy to be a Non-Drinker

  1. Great Blog Lucy thank you! I know exactly what you mean, by giving up the booze is like awakening from a nightmare. All my senses have come too and I’m so much more aware of how beautiful the world and life is … and it’s quite amazing!!

    • Takes you by surprise a little sometimes I think when you finally get rid of the booze blinkers and see everything properly. I do try not to be too evangelical but sometimes you want to shout it from the rooftops, don’t you think?! Thanks a lot for reading, and for your lovely comment x

  2. I wish I could be where you are Lucy – having caved in yesterday again. I’m not sure that I’ll ever be a non-drinker forever – I’m not sure if I belong here because I’m not completely sober. I am working on changing my habits – to ensure balance in all things. I completely agree about not missing out on life for alcohol, however, my indulgence yesterday was not to a point of feeling as you describe either. I am at work and looking to make it an AF day today.

    • Hi, I think we all have to make the journey in our own time. I think I knew that something terrible would happen to me if I continued to drink and I knew I couldn’t moderate so was left with little choice but to quit. And I am so glad I did, knowing what I know now about how much my life has improved since I became alcohol free. I hope you find the answer you are looking for in relation to alcohol – thanks for commenting and good luck on your journey xx

  3. Definitely needed to read this today! I’m on day 109 of not drinking but recently have been feeling a bit sorry for myself about it. Just thinking about those awful hangovers is enough to make me realise I can’t to back to what I was doing.

    • Thanks for your comment – 109 days is brilliant, and don’t feel sorry for yourself! Life only gets better once the booze has been put in its place (i.e. the bin :-). Thanks again, Lucy x

  4. Lucy, I gave up alcohol twenty two years ago. I didn’t have a problem with drinking, but gave up on a whim for a short while, and a number of incidents made that whim last until now. The killer punch is that after all this time one drink would put me in a coma. Three times I have accidentally I drunk a mouthful – a barman misheard an order, the crepe was doused in liqueur. And that one taste almost knocked me out cold. It made me realise that when we drink regularly, just socially, we are constantly topping up a level in our system. My life without alcohol has been easy, clear and own-eyed. Amongst my friends I am just the one who drives! Good luck with your efforts, and well done on the blog. X

  5. Jacki says:

    Good to read first thing in the morning to set me up for another sober day. I love being sober as I can now function as a human being and feel happy on the inside. I nearly died twice last year due to the damage alcohol had done to my body. This was my turning point when I realised I didn’t want to die so it was bye bye booze rather than me

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