Taking up White Collar DXB, for eight weeks meant no drinking for two months. Not a drop.
‘It’s not that hard’ you may think to yourself.
But for me, it would be. You see my job offers a lot of events, freebies, outings and press launches, some for fun, and some to scope out new trends in town, so forgoing alcohol while being at a concert or nightclub, sounded to me the equivalent of pulling teeth.
I’ve never gone two months without drinking. Not since I was 18 years old and discovered alcohol.
I did Ocsober once, but I caved about two-and-a-half weeks into it, and since living in the UAE…well, we know how that goes.
Brunches, ladies nights, press events – it’s all ‘part of the job’ I’d told myself; and part of living in the UAE.
So now, I’m on my eighth week of sobriety, and I’ll tell you what – I feel good.
I genuinely used to think I had an undetected health issue – I’d been tested to coeliac, hypothyroidism – an underactive thyroid, vitamin deficiencies, all kinds of things to no avail.
Turns out just making poor life choices can make you feel as though you’ve got a chronic illness.
That’s surely no shock – people have spoken about these supposed revelations plenty of times. There’s a reason though.
The first two weeks were challenging – I had cases of FOMO, (fear of missing out) quite often – friends out brunching and partying while I was at home catching my ZZZs.
But it only took two weekends of mass-productivity, and alcohol-free outings with friends for me to relinquish any interest in partying.
Just feeling better was enough to put me off going out. That’s aside from the cash spent for partying, the stink of cigarettes in my hair and clothes, the lack of sleep, and the concerned looks from friends when I’d gone over the edge.
Imagine getting up at 7am on a Friday with a clear mind, a fresh face, and a body full of energy.
I get to do that every Friday. The first weekend it happened was eerie – I was up at 7am, I’d had breakfast, cleaned the house, gone for a run, and done two loads of washing and it wasn’t even 10am. It sounds a bit dull maybe, but not for me.
One weekend, I took myself down to Ace Hardware and invested in some plants, and sandpaper – deciding to change the stain of my dining set.
After a crazy week of training from 5am, then work, then more training, and collapsing into bed at 9pm every night – I relished time at home, doing not a whole lot.
Now, I celebrate my mornings – I am, in fact a morning person I’ve discovered. I value outings during the day, and enjoy an early night wherever I can. And I love it.
I’ve had many people ask me about when I’m finished this show – and I can get back into the old life – what will happen?
But I’ve decided. This is me. Now. I am this person, this is not a phase – this is me, and my life.
And I think that’s all it takes; that decision from myself.
Sure, I’m going to enjoy the odd brunch or glass of wine. But it’s no longer a component to my personality. I’m not going to be a party animal, just someone that’s a whole lotta fun – whether there’s alcohol involved or not.
So stay tuned UAE – I’m going to hunt down all the fun things to do without alcohol on the weekends. And I’m going to share them with you – and if you want to join me, then get in touch!