…and I’m not talking about the weather 😉 AMIRITE!
So it’s been 7 whole days since I had any alcohol. Partially fueled by the massive hangover after an entire weekend of drinking left me with as well as the deathly flu-ish after-effects that followed, and partially due to the fact that a lot of my friends have been out of town, and the social pressures felt just a tad less this week. Finally – a time to detox in peace!
So here I am. I have managed to get over my extended hangover from the previous weekend and I’ve managed to fight off the dreaded lurgy and have had no temptation to drink. The work week flew by and in no time it was Fri-yay! Woop? *Cue social anxiety about going out and being around humans with no alcohol*. Yikes.
After batting these fears away I amped myself up, got in my car (weird, I usually take an Uber) and set off out to my local hood Melville for a Mexican birthday dinner and drinks.
I was off to a good start – chatty, sipping on my sparkling water, feeling good and as bubbly as the H2O, but after the first round of margaritas and tequilas, that old familiar feeling started rising up. A yearning, craving, for the taste of a sweet and delicious cocktails and the sharp injection of energy from a tequila. It hits me hard in my chest, I have been triggered and start to withdraw. How much longer do I need to stay out? Can we order our food now? When is the food coming? I wonder if I could leave now? I can’t wait to get home in bed and watch a movie!
The thoughts are coming quick and fast, and as soon as we get our food (after ages) I decided to exit stage left and head home. It was a pleasant evening, and above all I enjoyed some of the chats I had, the food was good and overall it wasn’t a bad night. On the drive home I flashback to the previous Friday in Mellville chugging tequilas in Johanna’s Melt bar dancing to Jo Jo’s “Get Out” (yes I was that drunk), singing at the top of my lungs. Two.Very.Different.Nights.
But the thought of heading to bed, watching a movie and waking up hangover-free feels like a freedom I haven’t felt in a while. A freedom from something that usually feels inevitable…avoidable. Nights fueled with too much alcohol, smashing fast food in my face and passing out, only to awaken with a headache, LC, vague memory of the night before, unidentified injuries and the terror of getting out of bed for scary weekend activities…like going for brunch.
Instead, I feel free and enjoy my chilled Friday night, sleeping in and waking up feeling fresh and ready for the day. My Saturday starts off with a run (cough jog/ walk/crawl?) to the Sandton Field and Study Market where I meet my folks for lunch. The sun is shining, blood is pumping through my bones and I am feeling good. It isn’t long though until I face my next challenge of a birthday braai I have committed to. Thoughts of this start to make me feel anxious again, knowing full well a braai is not “complete” without a dozen beers or a bottle of wine. Nevertheless I scoop myself up and head off.
I sit and observe a lot of the time, and enjoy chatting with friends on various topics.
One topic that seems to come up a lot is alcohol – weirdly enough. Or maybe I am just more aware of this now.
Talking points include:
- I am so hungover from the night before and vomited in the morning
- We had way too much alcohol last night
- I was too drunk and nearly got in a fight
- I wonder if I should drink now or not – I’m working tomorrow
- I wonder if this drink will help my hangover
- I go through periods where I don’t drink at all and then when I drink I drink hard
- I am quite an asshole to people when I drink
- He drinks ten beers a day, every day – so he is an alcoholic? Yes he is. Hectic I didn’t know
- Slur slur slur (drunk person at braai)
It definitely seems to be a big talking point, and is used to reference a lot of things. I kind of wish I had a tape recorder to be able to track the conversation, but instead I listened quietly.
Again thoughts of my bed and the comforts of home take hold of me and I say my good-byes (before the food is even ready). It just feels too much for now and I want to go home. So I do.
At this stage I am reminded of the time I stopped drinking for three months last year and how much more introverted I actually was without booz. I have always thought I was the loud-mouth in the group – the jokester, the crazy one, and it’s true – give me a few shots and glasses of wine and enjoy the show. But in actual fact I am not always this way when sober, I
can be quite introspective and quiet. I forgot this about myself – and this weekend has reminded me a bit of that.
But probably the biggest reason why I felt I needed to rush home, is so that I could start this blog. This was all I could think about while I was there – that I need to do this, and there is a lot I needed to put down on paper.
So here I am, enjoying a quiet weekend of writing, reading, conversing, running, hula-hooping, drawing, brunching, shopping and feeling inspired. All-in-all a little social anxiety in and among all of this doesn’t feel so bad after all.