You will never regret not having a hangover

anxiety hangovers stop drinking Aug 31, 2021
 

I had many concerns about changing my habit.  My habit of a life time I suppose.

Drinking had helped me through so much, being a teen, being a unsure and inwardly terrified of life twenty something, a single mum in my thirties and being a mum of three in a new town with her own business.  

I felt like it was what got them through.  What helped me through the days and made me a grown up.

I was in complete denial of what was actually happening and what I was losing from relying on the drink every night.  

If I am honest, other than my pregnancies I could not really tell you of a year where alcohol did not play a main role each week.  Since I was 14......that is some years of drinking, or mentally being reliant on something.   I am 41 now.  The math is scary when you think how long and how much that means I did actually consume.

Alcohol is a drug, its addictive and its dangerous but lets face it...because it is legal and because it is socially acceptable and of course a right of passage as we turn of age (or 14 if you were like many a teenager in the local park back in the 80s) its become part of our lives.  We use it for celebrating, commiserating and for numbing down feelings and extinguishing stress... quickly and easily and in a way that most people find completely normal.

 My denial on what was actually happen was strong.  I knew deep down that my drinking was the cause of my increased anxiety, the feelings of not being present in my life, but it was so easy to tell myself it was helping and that each evening when I reached or the bottle to relax it hit the spot and I forgot about my worries...until the early hours when I awoke and the next morning when I felt heavy headed and irritable and wanted more time to sleep.

"I never get hangovers" That was my blanket statement to anyone who asked how I managed with drinking every night.  I felt this was true despite most mornings....

  • I would have a terrible nights sleep and feel exhausted the next morning
  • I would not eat breakfast because I did not have any appetite 
  • I would not like too many loud noises and music was a no no because it effected  my concentration
  • I spent alot of time arguing with myself in my head about the night before
  • I never bothered to get ready and make myself feel nice unless I really need too
  • I had a dry mouth and some mornings dry heaved when brushing my teeth

The reason I did not admit to these being hangover symptoms was because I still functioned, I could still do everything I needed to do and with a smile on my face.  But inside I was not really feeling any of it, I was coasting...existing and I felt over anxious and icky all of the time.

But because I could function and because by dinner time I felt better and the wine could flow again...the ickiness and all the other hangover signs were forgotten.

Because I was so used to these feelings, I let the denial continue.  

And when I finally listened to my instinct, which was telling me for so long that time was running out not to change it I started to see what mornings without the hangovers were like.  

  • I could wake up after a sleep only disturbed by the children, without anger at myself and without a dry mouth and feelings of regret 
  • I could eat a healthy breakfast and not just grab a bar of chocolate or a cake mid morning
  • We could listen to music in the mornings and sing
  • I could brush my teeth and wash my face and have a shower without the need to heave or feel dizzy
  • I had zero inner battle in the mornings worrying about the night before or what I drank
  • I had a clear focused mind, my anxiety reduced 
  • I was more organised and started to get myself ready to make myself feel good
  • I had more presence in the moment with myself, with work and especially the children

I spent a lot of time worrying about what I would lose if I stopped drinking and did not use it to get through the trials and tribulations of life BUT I never really considered what I would gain.

The one thing I would tell anyone starting to think about making similar changes to their drinking habits is this.

You will never ever get bored of not being hungover.....even if you have, like me, convinced yourself you do not get them

Sam

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