50before50: #12 no more drinking alcohol (month 5)

Travelling was always going to be one of the more challenging aspects of giving up drinking. Free booze (and lots of it) abounds in the qantas club lounge, on planes and in the club lounges of the hotels we stayed in.

the woman in the photo was manning the pina colada station at the hyatt regency in da nang. not shown – the fridges full of beer and wine.

There were a couple of occasions where waitstaff didn’t really get that I wasn’t interested in a glass of wine with dinner and did the “just one glass”, “are you sure?”, “I can’t tempt you?” pushy thing. I’m not yet at the evangelical/miltant stage (or maybe just a little), so always declined graciously – but that sort of stuff does get frustrating.

And of course the loss of my phone and half of my Cambodia photos was definitely enough to drive me to drink … but it didn’t. Even after all these months, my default coping mechanism for stress or aggravation *still* involves wanting a glass of wine (or 6 glasses of wine, basically All The Wine). It’s occasionally quite a challenge to sit with the discomfort** – particularly when there is loads of free alcohol surrounding me.

It turned out that the really excellent thing about travelling in South East Asia was the amazing booze-free drink options in restaurants – I drank tons of fabulous and festive juices, mocktails, shakes and smoothies, a completely amazing homemade ginger beer and drank my bodyweight in lime sodas in Vietnam. It was brilliant! In Australia you’re pretty much stuck with fizzy water or the usual big-brand sugary soft drinks – I really wish that would change.

And so another month gone (almost – it will tick over while I’m on a plane)! And the most challenging things covered off – birthday, SML Xmas party and various drinks things, boozy work lunches, Xmas and New Year, travel! I really do hope the desire for wine when I’m stressed leaves at some point, but I guess the fact that I haven’t succumbed so far is pretty good! I think my mood without drinking is much more even and I definitely feel healthier (though much fatter after all of those lovely holiday drinks).


** Now is one of those times – I was all set to buy a replacement phone at the apple reseller at the airport because it’s about AU$100 cheaper than buying one at home, but the store had neither of my preferred options in stock (only the iphone 7 which is crazy stupid expensive even at AU$100 less). Now I’m sitting in the club lounge quite annoyed (mostly with myself) completely surrounded by oceans of wine and very tempted.

Wow, reading that back makes me realise how absolutely bratty I sound – maybe journalling is the solution to giving me both a reality check and helping me work through annoyances and stress. I could delete, but I’m going to leave my petulance here as a lesson to myself.

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