I spent this weekend – Friday to today (Sunday) – at the Sydney Writers Festival. It was awesome – challenging, inspiring and often moving. Knowing I had seminars to attend with starts between 9.30am and 11.30am each day meant that I had to make a conscious decision not to make any night time plans that might involve drinking and the temptation to do drugs. I also had the goal of getting my final uni assignment out of the way so I could have this week study free before it all begins again on Monday the 30th of May.
Well, I’m pleased to report that I was was able to stay sober. All weekend. I worked on my assignment on Friday night and had a date night with Jared on Saturday. During dinner, I had two glasses of wine of which Jared had a few gulps. He’s on antibiotics and isn’t meant to be drinking but couldn’t resist a few sips of my very tasty red. We contemplated going to see a friend at a nearby bar but decided against it in the end. We were both tired and a night on the couch sounded like heaven. We got home, got snuggled in, started watching Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and crashed out within 30mins (no fault of John Oliver’s).
As boring as that sounds, it was actually perfect. We were able to walk down to one of our favourite local cafes for breakfast on Saturday and Sunday. Usually there’s a bit of a wait but because it was so early – before 8am – we were able to get seated straight away. We didn’t need to eat hangover food, although to be honest, when I’m truly hungover, I don’t leave the house so a cafe breakfast is never on the cards. We were able to have a conversation and drink tea and juice and eat good quality food (rather than takeaway/home delivery) before starting our respective days – me going to the writers festival and him going to work.
I won’t lie. There were moments when I was tempted to go out. A friend called me on Friday night to see if I wanted to join him in getting hammered. No beating around the bush with him, he was simply out to get loose. Usually I would be there with him yet I managed to turn him down after the tiniest of hesitations. When Jared and me decided against going to a bar on Saturday night, I was momentarily disappointed. My old fear of not maximising my weekend time tried to voice its disapproval but the fact of the matter remained that I didn’t really feel like socialising and drinking. I wanted a quiet weekend so I could fully appreciate all the events I’d booked myself into at the writers fest. And I’m so glad I did.
And so, I start the week fresh and full of energy and positivity. I have another session with my therapist tomorrow and I’m so excited to tell her that I haven’t been drunk or high since I saw her last Monday. I’m proud of myself and this achievement. I don’t know if I will be able to go another week – I’m out next weekend at a party at the Sydney Opera House – but I sincerely hope I can because we have plans to go to the Biennale (a contemporary arts festival that’s mostly hosted on this tiny island in the middle of Sydney Harbour) and I don’t want to be hungover for that.
Jared and me were talking this morning at breakfast and he said, when we’re tempted, we should remember how good “this” feels, this un-hungover feeling. And it does feel great but I also know how good being high feels. I’m not going to say I’m never getting high or drunk again because that’s totally unrealistic (and also not what I want to commit to). What I do hope is that it can become less of a regular occurrence and thus less of a disruption to my life and mental health.