Life Sans Alcohol
I’m not a pop drinker. I have never been a big consumer of juice either. I don’t drink coffee (although I sometimes appreciate the smell of it and have contemplated making a pot just to smell and then dump down the drain) and I find tea mostly revolting. I don’t smoke anything either. The only two things that I consume(d) in excess that were not so good for me are chocolate (okay… sugar of any kind) and alcohol. Before my pregnancy I was an alcohol loving fool (and that is putting it mildly).
Don’t get me wrong… I wasn’t an alcoholic (although that could be debated by professionals..) I was a young, fun loving, small town, country girl who grew up in a place where beer or whiskey went well with everything… and I by everything I don’t just mean foodstuffs… I mean everything.. sports, movies, hanging out, swimming, driving… you can think of something to do I can probably name you a time that I or someone I know has been drinking while participating in it. I was in my prime… I had to ‘pre-drink’ before I went out because my alcohol tolerance level was so high that I would come home completely broke from the bar if I didn’t get partially tipsy on drinks at home before heading out… and usually I still came home completely broke.
I am not bragging about my wild and outrageous lifestyle… I am merely stating a fact. I LOVED to drink and party and go out and be wild and crazy… I loved how it felt to loose control of myself and say things and do things that I didn’t have the courage to do when I was stone cold sober. I loved how everything felt… and how my emotions just ran off wherever they pleased despite my pleas to remain calm and rational. I loved the new friends that I made and the good memories the next day.
It wasn’t that I loved to get drunk (I did love that) but I just thought booze (more specifically beer (Pilsner), Whiskey, and Spiced Rum) tasted excellent and went with everything. Whether I was hot, or cold, or tired, or wired… if I had a drink.. I felt… nice… perfect… serene.. like life couldn’t get any easier!
Granted, life as a party girl wasn’t all roses all the time. There was the horrible marks in school, emotional emptiness after a big drunken fight with someone I loved very dearly, the ever empty wallet…. even now I can’t remember all the bad points but I know they were there. I guess it was partially to do with my age too… I mean, when I chose to go out and drink and do stupid things.. the next day I had nobody to answer to but myself. Sure I had friends and boyfriends… but at the end of the day… it was me and only me I had to be accountable to. If I failed a test or didn’t show up to class because I was hung over… nobody cared except me… and that was a nice feeling… sort of a sad one I guess… but it felt nice in a way.
So, as I mentioned in my first post… I had just finished school and was having a drunken party month because I could… I was now making some money!! HOORAY!!! The weekend was there and we were bonspielling in Abbey… and I mean bonspielling… like having shooters for breakfast… not sleeping all night… drinking twenty four hours a day, strapping a doll to my chest and walking around saying it was my baby… wearing a hula skirt and a hard hat into the bar and well…. I think you get the picture. Two days later I was pregnant… well, two days later is when I learned I was pregnant.
I know it’s awful to say… and I know whoever is out there who is reading this whom I don’t know… you may very well stop reading at this point… but the truth is the truth… and I can honestly say that in the first few hours of my learning of my pregnancy… the part that I was having the hardest time grasping was the fact that I had to be one hundred percent sober for the next nine months. Seriously?? Sober I could handle… I knew I could handle sober… but cold turkey… like not even a beer… not even a swig… Could I do that? Honestly… I wasn’t sure…. I really wasn’t.
It was extra hard… remember I was the ‘party girl’…. I was the girl who would never say no to a drink… never not come up with a reason to have a beer… or two… or seventeen… and now I had to have reasons not to… without letting people know I was pregnant… which was going to be impossible. My friend Delvis called it right away… I denied it obviously… but he called it. He bought me a beer and I wouldn’t drink it… we had been friends for nine years and I had never done that before… so he called it. I told him I was on medication… he called bullshit… but I stuck to my guns (p.s. if you ever read this I am sorry for lying)…
And it was awful… really, really, really awful. And I felt so selfish and alone and horrible. Here I was, carrying the life of my child inside me and all I could think about was how bad I needed a drink. But it was only nine months right??? WRONG… then they tell me that if I breastfeed I can’t drink then either… so it was now up to 21months… how would I ever go on??? Clearly I wouldn’t.
I asked Paul’s friend’s wife (who had three kids) if it was hard… the sober part…. and she looked at me like I was insane… she said ‘oh pretty soon you won’t even think about it’. But she was wrong… one hundred percent wrong… I always thought about it. I dreamt of it… I contemplated locking the liquor up in a cabinet far away but knew I would know where the key was and it would be no use. I had to rely on my self control… I had to do this… but I didn’t want to. GOD I WANTED A DRINK… just one… just one beer… and one spiced rum… and one whiskey… twenty one months??? twenty one months?? I had hardly even gone twenty four hours in my life without a drink and now I had to go twenty one months???
The worst part was.. everyone still drank around me… and I could taste it… my mouth would water and my heart would beat faster and my hands could feel the cold, cold sweat of the glass in them. And my throat longed for the cool refreshing taste of beer… oh god I wanted a beer. And it never went away… people say it does… but those people don’t know anything… every single day of those entire nine months I thought about having a drink AT LEAST once. Every single day.
And then I remembered Dr. Pepper. When I was a kid I drank a few of them…. and when I was in love with Spiced Rum and Coke… someone once told me they thought Spiced Rum and coke tasted like Dr. Pepper… so I drank one… and then I drank another… and I think I drank one almost every day (if not every other day) for the remainder of my pregnancy… because it tasted like Spiced Rum… and I could pretend… or at least satiate my cravings… And I survived.. barely… but I did it.
I knew that my life post baby would be way less alcohol filled than my previous life and I was okay with it. And just for the record.. although I had the odd sip of Paul’s beer on a hot day… and I did have one beer in the end when my best friends came to visit and I had to have a drink with them… other than that, I didn’t cheat… I pulled through my desires and didn’t drink because I couldn’t. But the funny thing was… whenever people asked me when Paul and I were going to get married… I would tell them… as soon as I am able to get drunk again… because I want to be able to have some drinks at my wedding!! Good criteria, eh??