Mum of two and Healthy Mummy food editor Lee Price made the decision two years ago to give up alcohol for good. Whilst initially motivated to never have to experience the pain of a bad hangover again, she has found there to be many other benefits of giving up alcohol completely and joins a growing movement of women who are putting down their wine glasses permanently. Here Lee recaps her journey and shares her experiences of a booze free life.
This mum has found the answer to avoiding hangovers
“Two years ago I would have clicked with a hopeful heart on a headline like this. I was desperate to learn how to drink ‘the right way’ so that I could avoid the terrible hangovers that plagued me after one-too-many. The type of hangovers that feel one hundred per cent worse when you have kids that need your attention.
I had tried eating before drinking, alternating with water, limiting myself to ‘just three drinks’ or the ever-popular drinking only on weekends. I even tried downing charcoal tablets (Google it, it’s a thing). Nothing worked for me.
As mums, we are led to believe that a glass of wine at the end of the day is our reward for surviving another day of parenting. But while it may take the edge off, the next day the edges feel sharper than ever.
“Why not try to create a life that you don’t want to escape from?”
It was on a longed-for girls’ weekend away that I finally had my last hangover. And boy, was it a doozy. After getting over-excited about two nights away with my friends, I drank way too much on the Friday night.
I then spent the rest of the weekend feeling absolutely wretched, ashamed of myself and finally ready to make a change. At last (after 20+ years of hangovers) I listened to the voice in my fuzzy head that said,
“I don’t want to be that girl anymore.”
I decided to take 3 months off drinking. I enjoyed the freedom that this gave me and extended my ‘break’ to 6 months, then 12 months, and now here I am over two years alcohol free and loving it.
One of the obvious benefits of giving up drinking is the weight loss that occurs when you’re not drinking around 1000 extra calories on the weekend. But it certainly isn’t the only benefit.
Every part of my life is better after making that decision, and I honestly don’t think I will ever go back to drinking now.
I read many books (such as Allen Carr’s ‘Easy Way To Control Alcohol’, and Annie Grace’s ‘This Naked Mind’) as well as a lot of blogs (such as Hip Sobriety). These helped me to undo the years of unconscious conditioning that told me that alcohol was an essential part of life.
And now, two years later, I can confidently say that giving up alcohol was one of the best things that I have done.
- I can drive everywhere: no more wasted money on taxis; no more concerns about getting the kids home safely from a BBQ; plus it’s an easy way out of an event when I decide I’ve had enough.
- I can make plans for the morning: an early swim or a coffee at 8am on a Sunday? I’ll be there! I used to have to cancel so many plans.
- I make real connections: I remember every conversation that I have with people; I’m not talking to them while secretly eyeballing the bottle of wine on the table to see if there’s enough for me to pour another glass. I feel more authentic without the cloak of booze giving me false confidence.
- My kids can share my drinks with me: I don’t know why but it makes me immensely happy that my children can come and sit on my lap at a party, at a friend’s house, or just on the sofa and take a sip of whatever I’m drinking.
- I feel FREE: no more worrying about whether I said something I shouldn’t have, or concern over how I’ll feel tomorrow, or trying to moderate my drinking (and failing, every time). I don’t ever have to experience a hangover again. And knowing that feels amazing. It feels like freedom.
There is radio silence in my head about alcohol now, it’s just not on my radar anymore. The booze is gone, but so what? I feel as though there is room for so much more in my life now that alcohol is out of the picture.
I don’t need it to be happy hour to feel happy, I can access that feeling anytime. It took me a while but I finally see that happiness can’t be found at the bottom of a wine glass.
You don’t have to wait until you hit rock bottom, or give yourself a label before you can decide to consider your relationship with alcohol. If you’re like me, living in the grey area where your drinking is not ‘that bad’ but there are elements of it that you don’t like – that’s enough of a reason to think about taking a break.
When you take alcohol out of your life, it frees up a lot of brain space for other things. Like implementing healthy eating habits, enjoying some joyful exercise, or just spending more time with the people that you love.
There’s a whole big sparkly world out there and, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to miss a second of it.”
Does this article bring up some questions for you about the role that alcohol plays in your life? There are many resources online that provide help and support if you’re wanting to change your drinking habits.
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