I didn’t really get a chance to write last week because it was absolutely manic at work and I’ve started a new course etc that’s been taking up a lot of brain time and effort! (I’ll keep y’all updated on this as the weeks go by!)
Between juggling a social life, family time, practicing the ukulele, the course, work, the gym, reading, writing, and trying to catch up on American Horror Story, life has been hectic and I’m only just finding some time to write down my thoughts.
However, the main thing I want to talk to you about is the fact that, after humming and hawing for weeks about whether I’ll be able to follow through or not, I have decided to do Sober for October. For anyone who hasn’t heard of it, during Sober for October, people try and raise money for charity in exchange for them laying off the booze for the whole month of October.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to be asking everyone for money. I’m doing it purely for myself, and not to raise money for charity. Why? Well,
1. I truly don’t know if I’m going to be able to follow through with it for the whole month, and, if I were to take money from people and not succeed, I’d feel bloody awful.
2. I came to the conclusion that it would be a good thing to do, not through charitable reasons, but for the sake of my own physical and mental health.
Over the last few months, alcohol has been both a friend and an enemy of mine. Yes, my nights out have been on point – fun and full of dancing and laughter like they always are – and to be honest, coming home after a long day at work knowing there is a large glass of wine waiting for you is a great feeling.
However, as a result of alcohol, there have been weekends where I have wasted full Saturdays, sitting in my bed in a cloud of hangover-induced anxiety that I haven’t been able to shake for days; my skin breaks out in spots as soon as I even get a sniff of wine; my bank account hates me for spending so much of my hard-earned money one something that doesn’t particularly benefit myself or my life; and to be honest, for some reason I get really angry when I’m drunk- to the point where Mr. OneBigStressball and I high-fived each other the morning after a night out because we made it through the night without fighting. Yep. We celebrated not having a screaming match.
For me, it’s like I don’t know my limit, as if I haven’t been drinking for almost 10 years. What starts off as one drink keeps going until my memory of the night is obliterated and all I have to remember where I actually went is a wristband for the club we ended up in. Cue sore head, fucked up stomach, and a whole day in bed because my body can’t physically move without me wanting to curl up and cry. And even then, crying is nigh on impossible because it means my body actually has to do something.
Over the last few months I have learned the difficult way who and what is important to me, and what I need to focus on in my life, and I think I have come to a point where these things need to take priority.
The following are just some of the reasons that Sober for October. I won’t go into too much detail with each reason, just give you the general what’s what and how I’ve come to put it on my list.
- My skin will benefit from it. Too many times I’ve woken up in the morning to find a fresh new spot on my chin, and, apart from my oily skin playing a part, the only other thing I can really think of having an impact on my skin constantly erupting in painful acne is the fact that there is a gazillion grams of sugar in wine, and it is affecting my skin in a negative way. Less wine = less spots = a happy Stressball.
- I will save money. Hey, wine isn’t cheap if you have it almost every night. The costs of meals out also rises significantly if alcohol is consumed, so it will be interesting to see if I save loads of money throughout this month if I exclusively drink soft drinks and water. As Mr. OneBigStressball and I are currently saving for a mortgage, I’ll be putting any money I would normally spend on wine into our savings account and see how much more I’m able to put away in comparison to our normal monthly savings. My bank account will probably become overcome with joy at the prospect of actually having money at the end of the month.
- No more hangover anxiety. Otherwise known as the fear, I’m hoping to not spend any Saturdays this month missing out on Autumn sunshine, lying in bed, feeling sorry for myself and overthinking everything I’ve said or done while drunk.
- My fitness and training will improve. Most obviously, one cannot train when hungover, but also, not having alcohol might actually help me lose fat. While Mr OneBigStressball and I follow a pretty clean diet – minimal unhealthy snacks and balanced meals – the calories I consume through drinking alcohol cannot be doing me any good. The stubborn stomach fat that never seems to shift might actually leave me alone and I might actually see a decrease in size of my lil’ muffin top!
- No more fighting with Mr OneBigStressball. Alcohol makes me angry. Well, too much of it makes me angry, and too much is what we normally have if we go on a night out or have people round at ours for drinks and games. Will we get through a whole month of not fighting?!
- Mum won’t moan at me. This is a slightly sillier reason. Seriously though, every time I see my mum I am guaranteed to be at the receiving end of a lecture about how I am destroying my liver and giving myself wrinkles because of the rate I consume alcohol. It would be nice not to hear the same nagging, even if it’s just for a month!
- My gut will appreciate it. Alcohol is technically a poison that we are constantly hammering our bodies with. That’s why we end up vomiting like we do when we are hungover – it’s our bodies trying to expel the toxins we’ve bombarded it with over the course of a night out. By cutting out alcohol for a while, my gut will appreciate not suffering inflammation,
- I won’t feel so low. Alcohol is a depressive agent. Putting it quite simply, if I cut down on the amount of alcohol I drink, I might find that there is a correlation between that and the number of depressive episodes I have. This can be different for everyone though, so I will simply have to see if there is a link there for me.
So, there you have it. I, lil Miss OneBigStressball, have made the decision to seriously give up the drink for a month. The only exception I will accept is if Mr OneBigStressball’s family and I go out for dinner – we are yet to celebrate Mr OneBigStressball’s dad’s 60th birthday, and the dinner was supposed to be in September.
Like many people out there in this big ol’ world, I have vowed to stop drinking many a time, after nights out gone too far and I’ve ended up hugging the toilet for hours on end, but maybe this time I’ll actually succeed in doing it for a month!
I’ll keep you all updated – is anyone else doing Sober for October?