I used to have the motto, “I’m here for a good time, not a long time”, and my golly I have had a good time.
But did it make me eternally happy? NO! I used to drink and party a lot. But I was doing it for all the wrong reasons.
I drank to build my confidence, and alcohol was a release. I didn’t have confidence in my own abilities so I thought I needed a lift to make my personality shine.
And for that moment in time it did lift me, but the days after took me on a huge emotional rollercoaster ride which made me depressed. Despite how I appeared, I was not in a good place.
For me, many of my issues started from drinking and that very first sip of alcohol. I was an extremist. I was either drunk or sober – I didn’t have an off switch. I drank to get drunk.
Every Sunday morning for years, I would wake up, extremely hungover, wanting a better life for myself, but I just didn’t know how to get there. This wasn’t the life I envisioned. This was not who I wanted to be.
I drank to build my confidence, and alcohol was a release.
I was sick of saying “I want to do this” and “I want to do that” and never acting on it because I was too hungover. I wanted more from life. And I knew I needed to slow down.
But come Thursday, I started all over again. I loved drinking because I loved being social. But to be completely honest, I actually don’t like the taste of alcohol. I get a hangover from two glasses of wine and lose my memory. So why drink?!
When I became pregnant with Axel (now almost three), I truly believed this was the blessing I had been asking for.
I had a vision to live an authentic, happy life and this was the perfect time to make the leap.
Although for years previously I did start to settle down, I knew I needed to make a major lifestyle change, and becoming pregnant (and stopping drinking) was just the motivation I needed.
Since having Axel I haven’t had much to drink, only on a few nights out.
One of those nights was when Axel was about 18 months old. I guess I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing out on life. So Jesse (my fiancée/baby daddy) and I had one of our first real date nights. We had the best night. But like Cinderella, when the clock hit midnight I got into my chariot to go home…. and oh dear.
The car starting spinning. I was so sick. Later I woke up fully clothed, with make-up smeared down my face. With a THUMPING heartache and STARVING! I would have done just about anything to get that alcohol out of my system. I ate two breakfasts at a local cafe. Two hours later, KFC. Two hours after that, Maccas and about 5kg of chocolate. My hangover lasted five days. I was a wreck!
How could I possibly be a good mum, look after my baby and run a business like this?! This was by far all the motivation I needed to completely leave my past life behind and stop drinking altogether, and that one night cemented to me that I wasn’t missing out. I was on the right path.
I have been completely sober for almost two years now and I have finally found myself.
This post was originally published as ‘I Quit Alcohol’ on JacinthaAkkerman.com.