Today I’m quitting drinking. And smoking.
I woke up twenty minutes ago full of remorse and regret and with the age old lie “I’m never drinking again” pounding around my stupid head like a basketball. Of course it’s not the first time this has happened. It happens pretty much every single time I go out and end up with a bastard headache.
Today, though, marks the beginning of something new. Not least because it’s half past eight and I’m already writing something, which hasn’t happened in a long while. I’m excited! I can’t wait to not smoke or drink, even though I’m already doing it. It’s a really weird feeling. Obviously it will be hard as hell – I work in two pubs and pretty much everybody I know smokes and looks incredibly cool doing it. Everyone has a good drunk story. This is what’s going to suck:
1. My family are big drinkers.
My folks drink pretty much every night of the week, even if it’s just a glass of wine with dinner. It sounds pretty innocuous, but put it into a different context – for example, going to a bar every day and having a glass of wine – it suddenly sounds a bit sad. My dad quit smoking about ten years ago, maybe more, and to his eternal credit he hasn’t had so much as a puff of a cigarette since. There was that one time on New Years’ Eve he got high (with a little help from my mum’s friends) and decided to eat everything in the house in sandwich form. I can forgive him that.
My mum quit smoking for a long time and now she smokes again. This is awful. She and my brother have constant bitch-fights over it. She drinks more than my dad too and gets drunk fairly easily. Cue more bitch-fights. What we’re learning here, kids, is that booze and fags are bones of contention.
2. Working in a pub.
Sweet lord. This is going to be so hard. The phrase “do you want a fag break” (because you don’t get a break unless you smoke in pubs, generally), the nice heated beer garden, the clusters of cool flannel-shirted Brighton girls with their fringes and dark lipstick all sucking away on liquorice roll-ups. Ironically, though, I never really drink while working in a pub. Alcohol is stupid expensive and it only takes one gang of drunk Jack Wills enthusiasts with twenty pound notes in their sweaty little fists shouting “SAGRES PLEASE. ACTUALLY MAKE IT EIGHT” to make you renounce beer forever.
3. I am really shit at drinking.
I’m a chronic puker. I mean it. If I don’t end up vomiting first thing the next morning I’ll be hopelessly paranoid until I’ve purged my guts manually. I’m squinty and shouty after two pints. A recent night out culminated in me sitting on the toilet eating pasta out of a tupperware trying not to cry. I’m a mess.
I dread waking up after a night out because I know I’ll spend the whole morning, sometimes the whole day, on edge with the taste of ash and fermentation clinging to my tongue and just waiting to puke.
I actually just went for a quick vom now. It was fizzy and tasted faintly of Orchard Pig.
4. Roller derby
Roller derby is bad for your health. After working our arses off and putting on a sweat you could drown a small child in, a bunch of us will go and have a cigarette afterwards. Why? Why do we do this? It’s the stupidest thing we could do. All that delicious exercise and clean air and cardio and we ruin it by huddling around outside like a gang of smoky penguins immediately after. Also don’t believe the myths: derby girls can’t drink. They vomit into their own hair, cry on the bus home and make out with inanimate objects. Big tough badasses.
So there’s that. And the afterparties. I’m not quitting roller derby, that would be pointless – but I am going to run a country mile if someone offers me a cigarette. You can hold me to that.
I’ve been watching my sugar intake recently (I have a lot of spare time) and have been trying to cut out all refined and processed sugar from my diet. I was knackered all the time, my skin wasn’t great and I was getting awful headaches – cutting down on sugar made a massive difference. I’ve done pretty well considering I started in Easter (impeccable timing) and am well on my way to being a totally sugar-free self-righteous prick.
Obviously, though, there’s a titload of sugar in most alcohol. I was very careful the other day, sipping demurely on gin, soda water and fresh lime, and then fucked it all up by sucking down three pints of Orchard Pig (my new nemesis. I don’t even like cider.) Hence a huge sugar crash today, which really isn’t helping my hangover.
I’ve just noticed that over the course of five headings I’ve gone from ‘things that will be difficult about quitting’ to ‘very good reasons to quit’. That’s a good sign, surely. Mainly I want to challenge myself and prove that I can do it. Also I’ve written a blog post about it so it will be really embarrassing if I relapse.
Things that will make it easier, I imagine, will be removing myself from situations where I’m tempted to do either of those things. Ultimately though it’s up to me and no-one else to stop saying “can I nick a cigarette” and replace it with “THAT’S MY PURSE I DON’T KNOW YOU.” As a trendy youngster in Brighton, smoking and drinking are culturally significant. I hate that. So it’s time to stop.
Wish me luck!