What Happened When I Quit: 60 Days Sober
To celebrate going 30 days without a drop of alcohol, I wrote an article coming out to the world as a sober person. I use the phrase “coming out” because, as a Queer woman, that’s what it felt like. I remember coming out as bisexual to my dad in my local Nando’s and telling my mother in passing that I had a crush on a girl “because I’m bi”, dropping it into conversations with classmates and relatives because I didn’t want to make a big deal. Oddly, announcing to the world that I have decided to permanently quit drinking felt like a much bigger deal than drip-feeding the fact of my Queerness to the people around me all those years ago. Publicly revealing the shameful stories of the times I have abused alcohol and ended up in horrifying and potentially fatal situations felt a lot more exposing than, when I worked in an estate agents office last year, pointedly drinking out of a mug that stated in rainbow lettering: LET’S GET ONE THING STRAIGHT, I’M NOT. But also, coming out as Queer doesn’t tend to make other people question their own behaviour. Coming out as sober absolutely does. So, to celebrate being 60 days sober, I want to share with you what happened when I stopped drinking, and why I chose to make the decision permanent.
The Morning After
I mentioned in my 30 days sober article that the night I decided to go sober, I drank an entire bottle of prosecco (Tesco’s finest, £6, because I’m classy). I’d been drinking most evenings for the past few months, and never just a glass, never just one. My last drink didn’t feel special, or momentous, or significant in any way. It felt ordinary, but even though I normally drink prosecco like it’s water, that night I savoured it. I went to sleep wrapped in that familiar fuzzy-edged cocoon, and when I woke up the next morning, I felt absolutely fine. I slept in, got some work done, and felt proud that I had made what at the time felt like quite a simple decision.
The First Four Days
I don’t think I realised how much I had been drinking until 24 hours after I stopped. The evening after my last drink, my temples began to ache, and a sharp pain lodged itself behind my eyes, that no amount of water or paracetamol could shift it…