Yes, the title is accurate; as of 1st December 2014 I am giving up alcohol for the festive season.
As I walk tentatively into the season of Christmas cheer and boozing, I'll be honest with you, I have found myself wondering what on earth is wrong with me. Christmas is the time for meeting friends in pubs to drink mulled wine and listen to awful tribute bands sing The Pogues. I love Christmas, one of my favorite parts being Christmas Eve spent in my local, with my two oldest friends chatting, laughing, and wearing questionable glitter-themed items. So why have I decided not to drink over Christmas?
The answer to this is about ten thousand - fold, but I'll condense it for you:
Dementia scares me, and is currently the biggest killer of women in the UK. Listed as ways to avoid it is the avoidance of alcohol; worth a try.
I am sick of waking up after a night out with about seventy five receipts of places I don't care for, decorating the insides of my purse. That horrific gulp of 'If I still have thirty quid in cash, how much did I spend on my bloody card?' has happened far too many mornings than I care to remember.
I quite like my head; I don't really feel the need to get out of it these days. When I was younger, I used to drink to give me confidence to talk to boys, and to come across as more funny and outgoing than I actually am. Then as I got a bit older, I used to go to the pub to avoid thinking about work, or whatever problematic boyfriend I had at the time. I've gotten a lot more crabby these days, and I quite honestly couldn't give two hoots what others think of me; I'm not going to drink to try and make somebody pompous and uninterested like me.
I like wine, right, but I did notice that as it became my drink of choice (as I matured out of vodka and Fanta Fruit Twist as a sixteen year old), I was quite talented at growing my own personal muffin top. And, as a woman's worth is directly associated with how thin she is, I'm doing it to impress men (JOKING, I'm doing it so I still fit into my jeans).
At certain points, I found myself in the pub with sub-standard people, in situation that I couldn't get out of (for work, or boyfriend's friends), and the only short term solution I could see that wouldn't involve me being rude was to get drunk. People are a lot more interesting when ones mind has cross-eyes.
We all buy into this drinking culture in the hope that, as my friend put it, 'it will press the pause button on a life of monotony and obligation'. Now, because drinking hasn't actually solved any of my life problems as yet, what I would rather do is make my life something that I enjoy, so that I don't feel the need to 'press pause' on it; not drinking will give me the time and money to do so.
Fed up is an understatement when it comes to how I feel in dealing with hangovers; I can't function. And that's even after two drinks. I used to feel like the good time I had made it worth it, but alas, no longer.
I just want to see if I can; I want to hang around with people in pubs, and go to parties, and see if I can manage it all and have a good time doing these things, all the while being sober as a judge.
Now, I'm writing this on the 5th December 2014; STAY TUNED. What the next installment is going to tell you, is how people are reacting to me; am I going to get a hard time from my friends and family? Will I get bored enough that I give in? Are drunk people noticeably more annoying when one is sober? On New Years Eve, on the stroke of midnight, I'm going to take into account all that I know and feel about drinking, and I am going to decide if I would like to continue abstaining, or if I want a drink.
Keep reading; all will be revealed.