Updated: Apr 27, 2021
I made the decision to have a booze free bank holiday earlier in the week - not because I have turned into a saint, but because I didn’t want to wake up like I did last weekend, full of regret with a hangover. I just can’t drink like I used to, or at least not without feeling dreadful. In fact, I find it quite unbelievable that I used to drink such an amount most days, in the past.
Despite what I know about alcohol now, I drank too much last weekend. It wasn’t ‘fun’, social drinking. It was drinking alone out of sheer utter loneliness, boredom and frustration and unlike in the ‘before times’ when I didn’t know why I was drinking, I knew exactly why I was doing it. As you know, we’ve been under some sort of ‘lockdown’ for over a year. Like lots of other people I know, sometimes I think that I’d be quite happy being locked up forever and at others, I feel like I’m going a little bit insane. Last weekend I felt like I was going that little bit insane so I had some wine. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t change anything and if anything, it made me feel worse.
It isn’t really difficult now to go any length of time without drinking, but I do still find it helpful being clear in advance as to whether I’m going to drink or not. I decided that I’d take this bank holiday weekend to try and use my time more productively than in years gone by and I’m really glad that I did for a number of reasons.
Firstly, I planted about 150 flower seeds. There is something about growing things that is just so good for the soul. This spring has been a very chilly one so my windowsill is now filled with recycled plastic pots labelled with different flowers. I’ve got violas and larkspur, cosmos and sunflowers, all of which I know I will enjoy in the summer. I’m not quite sure why it’s different growing plants from seeds rather than buying them from the shop but it just is. It is now much, much nicer to wake up to the excitement of newly germinated seeds than it is to wake up to empty wine bottles. I don’t think I would have been quite so enthused by this sort of thing a few decades ago but I appear to be changing over time. I seem to get more joy out of the simple things these days.
Secondly, I’d volunteered to babysit for a very good friend while she went to a medical appointment. Her son is two. My son is ten so it’s been a while since I’ve been responsible for someone so little and there was no way I was going to attempt this hung-over. This turned out to be a very wise move because I had quite forgotten just how fast two-year-olds can run and the herculean strength required to get the reins on them. It all came back to me quite quickly and I really enjoyed the old familiarity of having CBeebies in the background and having the capacity to notice every tiny detail.
On Easter Sunday we were blessed with lovely weather and I even managed to make it through that ‘first good weather day’ of the year feeling and not get the wine in. I had a lovely socially distanced BBQ with the neighbours and even made some of my own dishes. I did have one bottle of beer; this is however, a vast improvement on many of the bank holidays gone by where I’d achieve absolutely nothing apart from drinking about four bottles of wine and binge watching ten or so hours of ‘Friends’.
It has been, as always, a complete joy waking up without a hangover and it is so great knowing that you have the energy to accomplish something. I don’t know why coffee tastes better in a morning when you haven’t been drinking but it just does.
All in all, I can say I’ve had a very relaxing weekend that felt quite wholesome. I’ve already decided that I’m not going to drink any wine next bank holiday either and I am going to spend some more time this year reflecting on those occasions that I would automatically associate with alcohol.
A Happy and safe Easter to you all.