26/04/2019

My Sobriety Journey: Part 2


I’ve been going back and forth, started and restarted and yes you can say that I really struggled to write this blog post on Part 2 of My Sobriety Journey. Read Part 1 here. I just didn’t have anything really to say or rather that was worth writing about. Until now. On the 23rd of March 2019, I celebrated my one year anniversary of being sober, therefore I think now is the right time to continue this 2 part series. 

But first, let’s go into how it affected me being in social gatherings. When I decided to stop drinking there was no special treatment for me at all. People didn’t tip-toed around me at all, they’d sit next to me and open their icy cold beverages and guzzle it away right in front of me. 

God, it was hard, and I felt everything in slow-motion. The clicks and clangs of beer bottles when opened, the way the bubbles would surge to the opening and I could always imagine tasting that first few sips. They are always the best.

I could feel the crisp, tangy taste of Savanna Dry on my tongue and truth be told I’ve always had a weak spot for Savanna, even during my pregnancy. Which is why I’m so happy that they have a new non-alcoholic cider by the name of "Lemon" out in stores, something that I still have to try. On the subject of non-alcoholic, (referring to beers) I’ve tried them all when I was pregnant, all the Becks and Bavarias and nothing really made an impression. However, a recent few tasted like the real thing. I liked the new Castle Free a lot and tried some in the early stages of my journey. 

It was only later on that I saw that it contained 0.03 % of alcohol. Which is nothing I guess as it will never make me drunk or anything, but I should mention that after 2 of those (one after the other) I did have a nasty headache. I tried the new Heineken Non-Alcoholic beer by the end of last month and oh boy, it was like drinking a real beer I’m telling you. It's also a 0.03% beverage, this you'll only read in the fine print at the back of the bottle just like in Castle Free's case, something that I find a little misleading. Well at this point any non-alcoholic beer must taste like the real thing, I mean I have been sober for such a long time now. That’s the conclusion I came to, which I think is rather on point.

I did realize that I don't really like the taste of beer anymore. I think that it's great that there are such a great variety of non-alcoholic options available, it sure helped me to cope in the beginning stages of being sober. But I don't feel the need for them anymore, these days I'll rather have a big glass of fresh pineapple juice.

It would also be great if brands could look into creating more grownup tasting cool-drinks. Ginger, grapefruit, rosemary and even cinnamon are good options to infuse regular and sometimes too sweet drinks with. Just a thought. 

But, like previously mentioned no one treated me any differently when I stopped drinking. (Although there was this one incident where someone cruelly referred to my bottle of The Duchess as rosemary water.) And, just like before, there would be alcohol in the fridge or cupboard but you know what? I handled it. And as time went by people seemed a little surprised that I was still sober but they never made an issue out of it and that’s something I really appreciate. 

I would sit with friends and family and inhale strong rum and coke infusions but, because I also felt the need to socialize and catch up I would roll with it. Later on, I started to find the whole from sober to drunk pattern really amusing. You know the way people would lose their inhibitions and dance or talk in silly ways, that was fun to observe.

I would laugh at the way some would suddenly “trek vals” or how others would “tjoulag” like only Namaqualanders can. Well, I obviously had to amuse myself with little things like this otherwise the night would be very boring.

Now, let me tell you about the juicy bits or rather the real benefits and changes that occurred when I stopped drinking. 

1. Weight Loss Baby 

I sometimes forget that this must be the real reason behind my slimmer body since I’ve also been eating healthier and having smaller portions. See, that’s why I took so long to write this post. I only started to see real weight loss after 7 or 8 months because in the beginning, I was munching away on cakes, chocolates and big bags of chips like there was no tomorrow. 

It really was such a slow process and I badly wanted to be able to tuck my shirts into my jeans because that means you have an actual waist. In my opinion, you just look way sexier when you can wear your clothing in this tucked in way. 

2. Smoother Skin 

One of the things I was looking forward to was getting better skin. Look, it’s not bad and I don’t have issues like breakouts or pigmentation but I did struggle with slightly enlarged pores. In the past my skin was also sagging, my face looked bloated and my nose appeared puffy too. After a full year without alcohol, I can see that my cheekbones are chiseled and popping out beautifully. My pores are definitely smaller and the overall appearance of my facial skin is smooth and even toned. 

3. Stronger Mental State 

You know that the real reason that I stopped drinking was because of my late sister’s tragic death. Read about it here, or not because it was a suicide and while I don’t go too deep into the subject it is a sad post to read. Anyway, what I wanted to say is that I don’t cry as much, I’m not as heartbroken and damaged as I was before and I can honestly say that I’m better now. 

Well, it has been a long 4 years since all of this happened, so let’s not disregard the fact that time does heal. Just, I feel that I have a melancholic personality that gets worse with alcohol. During my drunken days, I would get “dronkverdriet” like a lot. Now I’m free from all that emotional bullshit. And I now know that whatever happens in my life, I will be ok, I do have the resilience to push forward come what may. 

4. More Conscious Decisions 

Aware, alert, mindful, that’s the words that come up when I think about my new outlook on life. I’m starting to think about things that really matter long-term. I want to start a garden patch, live an eco-friendlier life and save more money. 

Even my husband (he stopped drinking just 3 months after I did) are constantly sharing his fresh ideas on starting a business, furthering his education and so forth. As a couple being sober together this is something that I’m equally ecstatic and grateful about. Because I know that if he didn’t join me on this journey we would’ve drifted apart, as it so often happens with couples that are not on the same path. 

And that’s it, we’ve come to the end of this 2 part series on my Sobriety Journey. I sometimes ponder about going back to the other side, to have a glass of premium brandy and coke on a cold winter’s night again. I know that it will taste good but it won’t make me happier, I know that it won’t help me to handle stress better. So I guess I’m better off without it. 

What’s the one thing that I left out to tell you in this post? Well, it’s the fact that I’ve made a pact with God. I promised him that I’ll give up alcohol for good if he promises to never, ever allow suicide in my generation ever again. I want my family to be spared from ever going through such a terrible, horrible thing.


Image - My Own 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hi Victoria. Ek is so trots op jou. Ek het alkohol opgee sedert 01 Jan 2018 en ek is so bly. Beste ding is, my dogtertjie is so trots op my. Nou wag en bid ons nog dat Pappa ook sal ophou. En snaaks, ek mis dit glad nie !

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