I believe that everything that happens in life is a lesson. A lesson that we can either choose to repeat again or use it as a marker to change our life for the better.
If you’d told me at the age of 18 whilst being sick over the side of my boat party that I’d be completely teetotal by the age of 20 I would have laughed in your face.
No, thank you.
I was the life and soul of the party.
I had enough dresses from Jane Norman to open up my own shop and was more likely to get mortal on a Wednesday night on WKDS before sixth form than actually do some coursework. I was wild. You couldn’t stop me.
I loved it. I was this independent party girl I’d always wanted to be. I was fun.
But as the years rolled on. The cracks started to show, my health plummeted and every morning after was spent hating myself. Hating who I became, hating what alcohol did to me.
I had no purpose whatsoever. I lived for going out, getting drunk and repeating. I had nothing to fulfil my days and I thought that was OK. Those vodka fuelled nights out that boosted my ego, self worth for a few hours of fun.
Self gratification from your bottle of £5 Asda is only a temporary affliction. Once it wears off you’re back to square one of judging yourself and trying to handle social situations with no alcohol.
From kidney infections, bad life decisions and pancreatitis x 2, I had no choice but to give up drinking for good. It was alcohol or my life. I never really had a decision not to.
But I never looked back.
I believe that 5 years ago I was given that second chance. A wake up call. A chance to start again.
A life. My health. My dignity. My Sunday’s. My toilet bowl too.
I don’t wake up on a Sunday morning with ‘the fear’, the fear of not being able to remember a single thing.
I’m like a scrumpled piece of paper. I can keep smoothing it out, but no matter how hard I try and will always try, it will never be as it once was.
Alcohol has ruined me. But each and every day I am thankful. Thankful I made the right decision that I did 5 years ago.
That scrumpled piece of paper, however hard to accept will never be perfect again acts as a constant reminder.
A reminder of what I once was, but what I have become now.
I wake up everyday with a purpose. A purpose to continually better my life and get myself out of bed.
5 years is a hugeeee amount of time. Prosecco with the gals wasn’t a thing then, neither was doing your brows.
Whilst these silly insignificant things have come along which we’ve welcomed with open arms over the years, how my life has changed for the better has been the greatest thing of all since I gave up drinking from the bottle.
I managed to shift my post uni pounds of pure dominos and vodka lemonade with a dash of jager.
I graduated with a first class honours degree. Turns out that when you don’t drink in your last year you actually CAN get out of bed before 9am and not spend 3 days a week in a hungover haze.
I’ve excelled back in the pool, being able to train regularly, even on Sunday mornings – I actually have Sundays to live to the full now. Less of getting out of bed at 5pm and nibbling on a rich tea biscuit when you think of the waves of sickness have left your malnourished body. FACT, they never have.
My career is well and truly in full swing. I even attend staff nights out and get to revel in the gossip more than ever before. Partly knowing that it doesn’t involve me.
Being able to work to my absolute best each and every day without being side jostled by vodka fumes saw me purchase my first home at the age of 24. A HUGE milestone for me, with proof that you should always chase your dreams.
But the biggest thing? Despite losing friends along the way who missed the ‘fun’, loud mouthed, bubbly party girl who was spewing behind closed doors, I gained confidence.
Alcohol gave me that power to be that person I never was behind closed doors. I could talk to anyone I wanted, I felt confident in my instant tan from Rimmel, drooping false eyelashes and barely there outfit. But when it was taken away from me, I didn’t know who I was.
And along with the confidence that I gained, so did self worth. I know who I am now and know where I want to be in life.
There is nothing that overshadows how I feel or perform in my daily life now.
I do miss alcohol sometimes from a social perspective. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t. But just because I don’t drink, that doesn’t mean my life denies me of anything else.
My life is an open book now. Here’s to the next 5 years of health, happiness and chasing those dreams.
No prosecco hangovers for this gal.
Jacket – Zara
Chica That’s Amore Slogan Tee* – Joanie Clothing
Midaxi Skirt – ASOS
Hi Top Converse – via ASOS
Bag – River Island