It’s been thirteen weeks of lockdown here in Scotland. What a curious time. Some folks are free again, others further behind, but the whole world feels a little smaller right now in sharing this common enemy. There is some comfort in that, to me anyway.
True to the stereotypical image of the Scot, one of the things I started doing in the first few weeks of lockdown was drinking way more alcohol than usual. Most nights my husband and I would have a few drinks, then I would have a few more (damn faulty off switch) and end up zoning out/drunk on zoom calls/mute listening to music/posting shit on Facebook. I was some level of beer buzz to drunk every single night.
Part of it was to try and block out the stress of these scary, unprecedented times and part of it was trying to treat the lockdown a bit like a two week all inclusive holiday. But then it went on, and on, and on. As did the drinking.
A month in and we were holding it all together, pretty well actually. Home schooling for a 4 & 6 year old is super challenging! Add in a daily hangover and it feels like carrying a rucksack of rocks on a rainy day.
How long before the kids would start to notice that by day my mood was becoming pretty low and I was just tired and unenthusiastic? I was snappy. Until 5pm.
Performing as my crazy drunk alter ego every night was exhausting physically and mentally. And there is no scope to wallow alone here right now when the music stops.
Not to mention the impact that trying to unpick the hazy memories has on the old mental health. I call it the “dooms.” If you don’t know what I’m talking about you are lucky.
One day I woke up fully dressed in bed, feeling terrible. The night before, I had probably drunk a bottle of red wine, a few G&Ts and some Prosecco myself. I vomited. I had to stay in bed until 3pm. I couldn’t sleep but my mind was consumed with negative self-talk. It is very rare these days that I’m quite this bad, but it was the final straw.
That was 50 or so days ago and I haven’t had an alcoholic drink since. I’ve not told many people and so may come as a surprise to those who have seen me “drinking” on zoom recently (faux secco!)
Coming out as “sober curious” feels scary after basically 25 years of being a weekend binge drinker. I actually have “friends” that may never have seen me sober. Now that is scary. You couldn’t get two more polar personalities as the drunk vs sober me.
Anyway, the last few weeks has been a massive learning curve as I have sought to counsel and educate myself about the where, why, when, what and who of binge drinking occurs. Whilst I’m far from considering myself to be an “alcoholic” in terms of the old school perception, I have always struggled/failed to abstain when an opportunity arises and think A LOT about my love of weekend drinking. In that respect, I am dependent on alcohol, probably for a variety of complex reasons, as it turns out.
I will talk more about this and my progress in future posts. I’m hoping that journaling about it will be of interest to you either just for interest sake, or for anyone who is also sober curious at this time. I’m not sure how I feel about a public forum but hopefully I won’t regret sharing this. It is something I am ashamed of admitting.
Can you relate to anything in this post? How has lockdown changed you, for better or worse.