I have never really been a fit drinker. In fact, I have never really been much of a drinker. Sure, up until now I have had ‘spouts’ of constant socialising and I had my teenage rebellious moments. Once, my Mum found a half consumed bottle of bourbon my friend and I bought, hidden at the back my wardrobe which she obviously thought would make a lovely centrepiece as a vase! 😏19724091_10155399028393808_616667061_o

After graduating high school until 20 years young, I was studying at uni, working three jobs and throughout that period, in a long term relationship whereby circumstances made it necessary for me to not drink or get intoxicated. Years ago though, I use to be able to handle hangovers. In my early 20’s SOMEHOW my friends and I could drink on a Friday through to Sunday night and still function incredibly well for the working week. I’d spring up from a night out at the glorious hour of 11am, go to brunch then later that night get ready to go out again wearing the new outfit I’d bought for the night. That was for a couple of years in my early 20’s because when I was 23 my priorities changed which didn’t involve drinking until my stomach lining came up.

I didn’t drink for 10 years. Ouch….feels strange reminiscing about not touching alcohol besides 3 drinks ON MY BIRTHDAY each year! Did someone call the fun police and have me under house arrest for ten years? But you know what? Not drinking or partying for that long resulted in saving money, slowed down the ageing process AND I don’t have internal scars from during that time because of inappropriate behaviour which would have begged for answers to, ‘how do I undo the humiliation?’ Tequila is NOT my friend. It is the anti Christ; but sometimes sipping from the devil’s cup is tantalising and fun right?!

2016/ beginning of 2017 have been…..Well, interesting and tough. I thought I was just ‘having fun’ when in fact, I was NOT, especially the day after. It soon became rare for a weekend to go by WITHOUT drinking/ getting drunk. During this time, there were patches of the night where it was the opposite of fun. Something would trigger pains which would upset me. I started to feel like my whole body had been poisoned each time I drank and the hangovers were unbearable!! They would result in being bed ridden the whole day, craving Ben & Jerry’s, junk food or menu log and I would end up being sad for a few days. Then by the time Friday or Saturday rolled around, there was always somewhere to go, something to do or someone who wanted a drinking buddy and just like Donald Trump, I was under qualified for the job but still represented.
donald meme1 I have to admit, these nights became my not so desirable moments. I decided, enough is enough. I am not missing out if I stop and I feel really awful knowing an entire day is wasted. You never regret the nights you go home early and I’ve had my fair share of indulgence. I have a very strong mind when I make a decision and besides, alcohol disguises my real character and I honestly really like who I am sober.drunk meme2

I am writing this a day before one of my close friend’s birthday. He is the life of the party and notorious for kicking on by pouring fireball down our throats, so I am planning on having a few drinks Saturday night. Along with the sobriety contract I made with myself, minimal alcohol is important because I am on antibiotics after a dental procedure, so the next paragraph will be post birthday celebrations.
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Monday
So the weekend has rolled by and I’m proud to say, I had a few drinks and stayed rather sober. I thought I’d have a rubber arm or be a one pot screamer but I was sweet. Sorry Ron Burgundy…you were wrong! I was home before 1am and  NO HANGOVER!

Ironically, an article in this weekend’s ‘Gold Coast Bulletin,’ was a story about Australian Olympic legend, Grant Hackett’s battle with depression and anxiety and using alcohol to try to deal with them.

In February this year, Hackett was arrested when he lost control of his temper and his family expressed their concern and exhaustion trying to help him with his battle with alcohol.

After spending some time overseas taking part in a rehabilitation program and committing to sobriety, Grant and his family claims he is on the road to recovery. *

According to the Beyond Blue website:
Drugs and alcohol affect the chemical messaging processes in your brain, so it’s difficult to predict how you will respond to them.

Some people use drugs or alcohol because they think they will make them feel better, but they can actually leave you feeling worse – anxious and agitated, or flat, unmotivated and moody. Your sense of reality can be affected too.

There is a risk that while intoxicated you might act in ways that are out of character and that you later regret; you might act aggressively, take unnecessary risks or attempt to hurt yourself.(https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/drugs-alcohol-and-mental-health)

Moral of the story? I can’t drink wine and shall stick to vodka. Espresso martinis all round hahahaha

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The point is, the mind is a powerful thing. What one is going through can change the chemical reactions in the brain and once alcohol is added, it distorts reality and perception even more to a dangerous level. Do you like being controlled? Or are you like me and feel very uncomfortable with something other than yourself controlling your actions, thoughts and decisions; something having power of you? I understand wanting a bandaid or a magic substance ‘in the moment’ which you think makes you happy, fun and forget issues in your life but to drink for this reason, in my experience is a double edged sword and is only temporary. I completely understand wanting to feel like you need to find that space of happiness, especially if you don’t have that strong family or friend support but that can depend on who you choose as friends as a result of your self worth. Getting drunk overrides rationale and judgement. If you are in a healthy mind set, it can bring laughter and stories for years to come. Although, excessive or regular binge drinking is not just about you and your world, even though you may feel alone in your thoughts and pain. It affects those who love you. It can affect randoms as well but most destructively, it DOES affect you if you are not in a good mind set. For me, although I feel like I am in a good place, I’m enjoying being healthy, in control and not hung over. On the vanity side of it….by the time I hit 38, I don’t want to look 48! I KNOW I’m stronger and more resilient than I’ve ever been so I’m sticking with this lifestyle choice!

*Based on an article by Jack Harbour at The Gold Coast Bulletin

Marea Lambert-Barker on Instagram

 

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