Monday, 25 May 2015

Does a Tee-Total Life Mean No More Fun?

I’ve lost count of the times I’ve reinvented myself.  I’m like a brunette version of Madonna but with less muscle, droopier boobs and a non-existent toy boy.

Reinvention is not always a bad thing.  We may wish to alter our health and wellbeing following an illness.  Perhaps a change in career direction may become necessary due to redundancy, or we might want to grow into a more mature mentality after hitting a respectable age.

As I look back over my life and its many trials and tribulations I realise that instead of reinventing myself I should have been happy with who I was.  I had an insane belief that I needed to bend my character to fit other people.  Maybe I was a chameleon in another life?  Whatever the reason, I’ve spent the last ten years trying to find out who I truly am.

One of my more recent reinventions was to give up alcohol – for good!! Now, if you know me at all, you will understand the magnitude of this task.  I liked a drink – or two – or three.  I was a party girl who could knock back several bottles of plonk and keep a room entertained with my ‘loud’ silliness.  Of course, this frivolity did nothing for my mental health and for every ‘good night out’ I had, I suffered from many more dark thoughts.  So, on New Year’s Eve 2013 I had my last drink. 

I honestly thought this would be a hard challenge to stick to but as the year rolled by I found it easier and easier to be tee-total.  Parties, birthdays and weekends were suddenly pleasant affairs where I could remember every conversation I had and wake up at a reasonable hour the next day as a fully operational human being.
The only fleeting moment of doubt I have had over the last seventeen months came recently (Sunday 24th May to be exact).  The reason?  It was my birthday.  I wasn’t upset that I couldn’t have a glass of bubbles with breakfast, or a cocktail over dinner.  No, the reason I had a tee-total wobble, was when I surveyed the birthday cards on my mantelpiece.

Flowers, hearts, sequins, birds and an assortment of frilly borders stared back at me.  The beautiful messages from my loved ones remained the same.  I was filled with love and gratitude that I have such an amazing bunch of people in my life – BUT - have I turned into a boring old fart?!

The cards I used to receive years ago were all funny.  Hilarious cartoons and wine related quips!  Oh, how times have changed, but when I think about my Facebook timeline, I realise something.  I have stopped sharing all the funny cartoons, and the ‘I love cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food’ jokes.  They used to take up the majority of my posts and shares.  So, it would appear that my alcohol-free lifestyle HAS changed me in some way.  What a shock.

I am more than happy with who I am  now.  I'm proud to be a member of the tee-total brigade, and I won't be hitting the drink again any time soon.  The benefits of being alcohol free, for me, outweigh the pleasure of drinking.  But, for my next challenge, I vow to find the funny side of life once more.  If you follow me on Facebook be warned…I’m on a mission to reinvent myself!



  1. Looking forward to the reinvention Shelley! It's great fun finding out who we really are (sometimes). I think we just feel like a change too.....I get bored with myself now and then. I do love a glass of wine or two. But I can't drink half as much as I used to. And I'm glad I can't..... I enjoy my nights out so much more with just a couple of drinks instead of gallons of it! Sometimes I won't drink alcohol if I'm out and I get questioned about it. " there something you're not telling us?" (Pregnant) or "Oh are you on anti biotics?"
    There was a time when I wouldn't feel comfortable going out to drink water but I please myself now! A few months ago I was with some friends and I was drinking alcohol free beer. Well to hear them you'd think that I was on hunger strike! To be honest I was a bit insulted because I felt that the sober me wasn't as welcome as the tipsy me! As it happened I had a great night and drove everyone home! Funny thing just came to me. One night I was out sober and it got very late, 2am, and it was getting harder and harder to understand what some people were actually saying. I remember thinking to myself at the time, "If I was drunk I'd probably understand every single word he just said to me" ha ha! Really!

  2. Thanks for that Gloria, I'm glad I'm not the only one on the reinvention wheel! I'm afraid I was an all or nothing drinker - ALL the bottle or don't bother! For me, drinking became quite sinister and I didn't like the darkness that crept inside my brain. Of course now I'm lighter than air but I'm also the designated driver!! You made me chuckle about the tipsy talk - I totally understand that ha ha x

  3. I haven't given up alcohol altogether, but I have cut down considerably as I've got older. Most of the time this is an easy decision, but as Gloria suggests, sometimes it is hard to be the only sober one. It can also be tricky if you are out with a group as you can start to feel something of an outsider - not because friends are deliberately trying to freeze you out, but because, well, you are! Moderation is my watchword.

    1. Thanks Julia. I've always liked the quote: 'everything in moderation'.

  4. I guess at the end of the day the bottom line is what makes you happy isn't it Shelley. If you are a happier person not drinking then 'to thine own self be true!' And congratulations on doing it. With all the social pressures it's not easy. But if you don't want to drink and bow to peer pressure then that surely won't make you contented and happy in the long run. xx