Becky says things about … giving up booze for a month

Listener, you have before you a virtuous Becky. A wholesome Becky, a saintly Becky. A Becky so pure, so unsullied by evil, that I wouldn’t be surprised if you feel a trifle overwhelmed. I feel a little overwhelmed at myself.

Yes, most admiring Listener, I have given up booze for an entire month. I have been on the sobriety wagon for the whole of November. Not a drop of alcohol has touched my lips, tickled my nasal hairs, or been dribbled down my chin. I am, to quote my good friend Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way.

booze1

Why did you give up alcohol for a whole month, Becky?? I hear you cry. Fear not, inquisitive Listener. I shall tell you.

Aside from the rather alarming realisation that since alcohol became a regular feature in my social life at the age of 18/19, my body probably hasn’t gone more than about a week without saying hello and howdy to a drop of the sauce, I wanted what I was promised by other people who had given up booze for a month; namely, boundless energy, less tiredness, stunning youthful looks, dewy fresh skin, a reinvigorated zest for life, and a newly developed penchant for soft drinks.

booze2

Considering the above, I shall present you with a series of statements that should be pertinent to my month-long sobriety. I shall also present you with a truthful account of whether these statements are in fact truthful.

Observe.

Becky gained more energy, and wasn’t tired. Once.

I shall ask Stickman to demonstrate how I expected to feel during my month abstinence from energy-zapping alcohol.

booze3

And now I shall further ask Stickman to demonstrate how I actually felt during my four weeks without one single milligram of energy-zapping, fatigue-inducing, body-poisoning alcohol in my bloodstream.

booze4

Listener, this experience led to my discovery of one of the greatest lies of our time: Giving up alcohol gives you more energy and makes you feel less tired. This, Listener, to put it bluntly, is a giant, hairy, stinking, heinous lie. I have never been more tired in all my life. Waking up in the morning was like dredging a pond of scummy water. For most of the four weeks I have sat slumped over my desk in a lethargic funk, wailing pathetically to my keyboard that I SHOULD FEEL AMAZING!! WHY DO I NOT FEEL AMAZING???

booze5

I had a vague energy surge in the first week – no, surge is the wrong word – more a slight energy incline, like a small wheelchair ramp – the second week was appalling, I felt like my head had been stuffed with soggy teatowels and I was actually reduced to tears one Sunday whilst staring at my novel that I wasn’t writing and realising that I couldn’t even see it, never mind write the frikkin thing; the third week was becoming boringly energyless, and this fourth week – well. On Monday I stood at the bottom of a flight of stairs on a station platform during rush hour and contemplated asking a fellow commuter if they’d give me a piggy back.

booze13

Verdict: A revolting lie. A lie the likes of which has rarely been seen by humanity.

Becky looks years younger and her complexion is dewy and amazing.

Within about four days of my body not receiving alcohol, I noticed that I had alarmingly pronounced wrinkles under my eyes which, infuriatingly and devastatingly, were not there before. Excuse me, I said to the God of Sobriety, I thought giving up alcohol was supposed to reduce wrinkles and make me look healthy and youthful, not worn and decrepit. 

Well, replied the God of Sobriety, alcohol can cause puffiness of the face due to increased water retention. Perhaps – just perhaps, Becky – your face has been consistently slightly puffy during your years of regular alcohol consumption, and now that sobriety has lessened your water retention your face is less puffy and has resulted in uncovering the fact that you are actually quite old and haggard and have wrinkles which were previously stretched out due to your terrible puffiness. 

So, God of Sobriety, it’s a bit like sweeping a dusty floor and discovering a really shitty worn carpet underneath. 

Yes. That’s exactly what it’s like. 

booze6

I will admitListener, that I have noticed an improvement in my skin tone. It is less red, less blotchy, and less dehydrated-looking. And do you know what? I should f*cking well hope so. A month of nothing but water, soda water, drinks made with water, and water, should f*cking well improve my f*cking skin tone.

Verdict: Mostly a lie with a thinly veiled compensation.

Becky had a reinvigorated zest for life and enjoyed observing things she hadn’t previously noticed, like the gentle gleam of a drop of dew on a fallen leaf.

In the first couple of weeks, O inquisitive Listener, I did, despite the fug of fatigue, feel a strange lightness of being. That is to say, I was less irritable. I was able to maintain conversations that I would otherwise have found bothersome, and I was able to tolerate people to whom I would otherwise have taken umbrage.

booze7

I also achieved more. Due to the fact that I wasn’t monstrously wasting away my life spending evenings sipping cool, relaxing, soporific wine and indulging in vibrant and witty conversation with my closest friends whilst sitting in the cosy, amiable atmosphere of a warm local pub………….sigh……….. I actually spent a lot more time writing. I worked on my novel. I wrote blogs. This is my fourth blog post this month. YOU, most fortunate Listener, have benefited from my month-long abstinence. It’s okay. You can thank me later. (An incredibly large bottle of gin will suffice.)

And guess what – I enjoyed sitting at home and being industrious. I felt creative, I felt productive. True, some evenings I was too RUDDY TIRED to do anything particularly creative, and on those evenings I angrily watched documentaries on YouTube (Most Extreme Airports and The Truth About Killer Dinosaurs were particular highlights), but most of the time I was being productive. And that made me feel quite good.

booze8

Verdict: Almost true. A welcome motivational boost, occasionally punctuated by useless facts about stegosauruses.

Becky developed a keen penchant for soft drinks and realised that alcoholic beverages are really not that great.

I want to make this clear, Listener: my evenings at home drinking cups of tea and hot milk were fine. I didn’t miss alcohol. At all. I didn’t even think about it. But sobriety did not turn me into a hermit. I did venture out into public houses. (Come on, there’s only so much creativity a girl can take in a month.)

To learn of my experiences of abstinence whilst in a public house setting, observe the following accounts of a typical evening:

6.07pm: Approach bar. Stare yearningly at alcohol. Order pint of lime and soda.

6.09pm: Guzzle lime and soda. Relish, for about 49 seconds, in its pleasingly refreshing qualities.

6.19pm: Refuse offer of glass of wine from friend. Order second pint of lime and soda.

6.33pm: Go for a wee.

6.35pm: Return. Guzzle lime and soda. Get caught staring at friend’s bottle of lager with ‘manic look’ in my eyes.

booze9

6.40pm: Go for a wee.

6.44pm: Return. Eye spilt droplet of beer on the bar, and quickly tell myself that licking public surfaces would do me no favours whatsoever.

6.46pm: Go for a wee.

6.50pm: Finish second lime and soda. Get asked if I want a drink. Stare hopelessly at range of soft beverages in front of me, all of which will pump me full of sugar or caffeine and rob me of precious sleep. Fear third pint of lime and soda will cause irreparable bladder malfunction. Order tomato juice. Cry a bit inside.

6.56pm: Go for wee.

7.00pm: Return. Fail to laugh at a joke that I would’ve laughed at had I had a glass of wine.

7.10pm: Descend into a sober-induced paralysis in which I watch people around me getting merrily crapulous, sip wincingly at my tomato juice, every quaff of which is like a mouthful of chilled snake venom, and contemplate asking if anyone has heroin.

booze10

7.20pm: Go for wee. Tomato juice has quashed bladderly urges slightly, thus reducing frequency of toilet trips.

7.31pm: Have someone say ‘Becky, do you want a large wine? OH NO SORRY YOU’RE OFF IT HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.’ Plot violent and monstrous revenge whilst becoming fixated on the dregs of white wine in a nearby glass.

7.45pm: Push empty tomato-smeared glass away. Mutter a weary farewell to the merry folks around me, go home and cry into a mug of warm milk.

Verdict: If I ever see a tomato juice or a lime and soda again I will personally remove the foreskin of every man within walking distance. Alcohol is great.

booze11

VERDICT

The best thing about giving up alcohol for a month?

THE MONEY.

Buying alcohol is expensive. I bought no alcohol. For the mathematicians amongst you, the relevant formula is something along the lines of:

sobriety x the square root of my purse / 30 days in November +  a couple of  boxes of teabags = BECKY SAVED A LOT OF MONEY.

This, my friends, was the best thing about giving up alcohol. I enjoyed not spending my hard-earned cash to fund the slow decline of my liver, and I enjoyed spending it on other things, like a new pair of shoes, a new dress, and a haircut (no I wasn’t previously some bearded hair-covered wino, I just had a few split-ends, okay?).

Second best thing, the increased productivity. The extra pages I’ve added to my novel. The extra time I’ve spent with you beautiful people.

The rest? Lies.

booze12

But don’t take my word for it. Try it yourself. See if you feel invigorated, full of energy, rid of fatigue, dewy complexioned, and fly through life being positive and fresh and clean and ALIVE.

Alternatively, do take my word for it, and pour yourself another massive glass of wine.

Advertisements

52 Comments

Filed under Health and Exercise, Life eh?, Rants, The Beauty of Life, Thoughts and Musings

52 responses to “Becky says things about … giving up booze for a month

  1. Ahhh Becky, if only you had shared the idea before doing it…I could have told you all about my month of no booze that I undertook ‘just to check that I can’ (yes, slightly alarming but I managed it so panic over) and the numerous alcohol free beers I drank outside in the sun while my friends got plastered. Alcohol free alcoholic beverages…why? I’m so pleased for you that it is over and you can go back to being wrinkle free. High five for wine!

    • MASSIVE HIGH FIVE!!! I suppose it wasn’t all that bad. And yes, one of my reasons was to ‘just check that I can’ …. and apparently I can… so I won’t be on the phone to AA just yet.
      And alcohol free beers – had a few last Saturday – whilst preferable to drinking tomato juice, which I never want to see again in my life, they were still pretty revolting.

  2. J.R.Barker

    I feel like you feel when sober on one pint of cider. Can NOT do booze.

  3. Mum's friend's sister

    Hi Becky. I am your mum’s friend’s sister, which is how I discovered your brilliant blogs. I’m so pleased you’ve had a month off the booze so that you’ve written more blogs, as they are a little treat whenever they pop into my inbox. It’s hard to imagine how you’ll feel when you get to my age (mid 60s) but I can assure you, without any shadow of a doubt, that you will be very pleased if you don’t have a pickled liver as life it still worth living to the full. It seems so far off now that you think you don’t need to give it a moment’s thought – but you won’t feel the same when you get there (here!). Enjoy your wine (I do) but moderation in all things – at least 2 alcohol free days a week!

    • Wow, hello! So glad you’re enjoying the blog! And you’re absolutely right – one of the reasons I gave up drinking was to moderate my drinking habits and approach alcohol with a more sensible attitude. And now I know I CAN sit in a pub and drink soft drinks, and I CAN go days and days without a social drink, then hopefully my body will thank me for it!
      Thank you so much for commenting, and hope I continue to entertain you! 🙂

  4. So I guess the slogan “Guinness is good for you” really is true.

    Today is Thanksgiving here in the former colonies. I’m brining my turkey in gin as we speak. Cheers.

  5. I think you were lied to. o.O If your indulgence is only moderate, I’m sure giving it up will have some mild benefits (skin less blotchy, like you said, etc.) but it’s not gonna be a miracle cure. If it was, I’d drink just so I could quit! lol

  6. amb

    Loving Stickman’s gorgeous shiny green bottle of gin. Of course he drinks Tanqueray! Also, you are hysterical and I heart you.

    • Stickman drinks anything he can get his hands on. You have no idea how much pressure I’ve been under from him. Whenever I turn on my computer, he’s like ‘Go on Becks, have a tequila’ and I’m like ‘NO Stickman, you disgusting drunken Microsoft Paint doodle,’ and he’s like ‘But it’sh ssshhhhoo good’ and then he falls over and vomits all over Excel. It’s a really horrifying sight.
      I heart you too Amb 🙂

  7. OMG Becky, this is soo enlightening! I know someone who says he NEVER gets drunk and could stop drinking whenever he chose ( which coincidently only happens when his wallet doesnt agree with the beverages’ price tags). When he does he totally acts just like you did! I never knew what the heck had gotten into him ( he hates to admit he’s any different when totally sober) now I’ll be hystarically laughing inside!
    Hats off to you for pulling it off anyway and all my love to Stickman!

    • Hahaha! Well if there’s one thing I’ve learnt from this experience it’s that sobriety can have as weird an effect on people as alcohol!
      Just given your love to Stickman and he blushed profusely, and went and hid in a corner quietly humming to himself. It was a bit weird to be honest. I think he’s just shy.
      Thanks for reading! 🙂

  8. Well, thank God you didn’t decide on a sober December. There are too many holiday festivities for that kind of commitment. Not to mention December 31st.

    I thought your increased blog productivity was because I admonished you. (See how I made it about me. That’s my talent.)

    In some ways, soft drinks are more harmful than alcohol. See a documentary called Supersize Me.

    As for the expense, can’t you get cute boys to buy your alcohol for you? I used to see quite a lot of that.

    • Sober December? A ridiculous concept. I may as well do ‘Health December’ as well. Just as unlikely.
      Increased blog activity was down to sobriety, AND my ticking off from you, so actually, it is all about you.
      Thank God for you for pointing out the evils of copious soft drinks. Whilst I am yet to vomit out of my car window after downing a bucket of Coke, I could easily see myself dribbling bile down myself after too much tomato juice. I am reaching for the vodka as we speak.
      As for buying alcohol – I tend to drink in a local pub, where ’rounds’ are purchased. So if a cute boy buys me a drink…. I buy him one straight back! HOW RIDICULOUS IS THAT???
      Thanks for reading 🙂

      • ‘Rounds’ when drinking with girls?!? What the hell is that?! When did that start!!? Whey didn’t they have ROUNDS when I was dating? Come to think of it…why didn’t they have ‘friends with benefits’ when I was dating either? I’ll bet a guy invented friends with benefits. When I wanted to sleep with someone, it required an expensive meal, drinks (ON ME) and then incessant begging until I wore her down. I didn’t realize that begging wasn’t considered a legitimate aspect of foreplay until I was 22.

  9. think I’ll just (hic) take your word (hic) for it – cheers ! 😆

  10. I’m with duncanr! I’m currently deciding if I should have a fourth can of lager, or switch to rum… glad to see that only the money is a real factor. Since I don’t spend money on haircuts or buy clothes or…what was the other one…? *slurrrpppp*

  11. Liz

    wow–I am mpressed! It’s like you submitted yourself as a specimen (speciwomen?) for a science/psychology experiment from which we all benefit. And I thank you for that, Becky. Now I know what it would be like were I to give up alcohol for a month. Definitely took one for the team, didn’t you?

    Wonder if not drinking until I was in my 30s might mean that I’ve had at least 15 spirit-free years and can enjoy alcohol guilt-free from here on out? I think so, yes.

    Glad for your extra productivity (yay!) and the increased cash flow (cash stay?). Reasons enough to be glad you went on that wagon.

    Nothing about food here, but I think that’s ok. Your post was clearly about alcohol and no need to muss it up with edibles. Will raise a glass of lemon-lime soda to you. Mine will probably have bourbon in it 😉 Your can go either way–would still like to toast you 😀

  12. I’m amazed that you did not give in…especially after drinking tomato juice. I’ve done the give-up-drinking-for-Lent thingy and the one thing I took away from it is that TV isn’t as nearly as interesting. That filled me with sadness.

  13. You lasted approximately an entire month longer without alcohol than I would have. Good for you for having done so. Now drink up.

  14. I have often confused sobriety with being sick which is why I choose to drink every day.

  15. Dave

    Came here for the writing and humor, stayed for the insightful mathematics. Another great post, Becky!

  16. Thanks for taking one for the team on this front, because there was no way I was going to make it through a month of sobriety to figure out the necessary results.

    I raise my wine glass, and chug its contents, in your honor!

  17. Oh my goodness, I just giggled my way through this whole thing. You had me at the beginning with “unsullied” which makes me (geekishly) think of Game of Thrones– without which I can only cope with vats and vats of vino.
    I was kind of hoping I would find out that YES there is lots of energy and dewy skin waiting for me if I give up alcohol but if I’m honest… I’m incredibly relieved to find out these were myths. The money thing? I’ll just continue NOT paying for practical things in life like an ironing board or professional haircuts and keep spending that money on booze.

    • Ironing board? Listen, if you have a hard surface in your house, who needs an ironing board?? And cut your hair yourself. Job done. But champagne costs MONEY.
      Sorry to disappoint on the energy / dewy skin front. But hey, we’re all different – maybe if you did it for a month you’d become the most irritatingly energetic and dewy-skinned woman in the world and then we’d all hate you. Swings and roundabouts, really.
      Thanks for reading 🙂

  18. OK, here’s me scratching off “Detox for six weeks” as a new year’s resolution. Thanks bud.

  19. So…I should reach out for that glass of wine, right? Right? Riiiight?

  20. Becky, congratulations on your restraint and on saving money. Now, back to drinking! It’s fun to drink a beer with friends. I don’t do it nearly enough. It’s true alcohol is expensive, especially going out for it. It’s easier to spend it when you’re having so much fun. I’m sure you have a dewy complexion no matter, lovely one! Good for you to add pages to your novel, too. Wonderful!

  21. Ha–the stick figures totally make this. 🙂

  22. Pingback: Sweet Heart Series: Day 7 | Battered Wife Seeking Better Life

  23. I’ve been doing “Febfast” and I agree – no noticeable benefits, if anything I’ve felt slightly more tired and my skin looks slightly worse. It was a bit of a surprise though, to discover that I could go without alcohol & not miss it too much, even when at the pub with a friend who was drinking wine. But I am very over drinking sparkling mineral water & looking forward to midnight on Friday night……!

YOU say things!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s