Losing It

My mad, crazy journey to health and beyond

How to survive your high school reunion. Sober.

Mafikeng

This past week I’ve been whooping it up in Mafikeng, the seat of my high schooling, puberty, teenage angst and so many other glorious moments I just adore reliving. When the idea of travelling 9 bajillion miles back to the North West province was put to me back in March, I had one proviso:

“Sure I’ll go, but on one condition. You let me get completely motherfucking hammered while I’m there.”

If I was going to go back to the place where I had a perm, a back brace and sleepless nights after being bullied by some of the bottom-feeding pond scum that went there, I was sure as shit not going to do it sober. I was going to be anaesthetized to the eyeballs with Cuervo, Castle and everything in between.

Fast forward a few months, and I was actually starting to look forward to it. Maybe the shitty people wouldn’t come. Maybe it wouldn’t be as bad I was fearing. Maybe I would summit as-yet-unknown heights of drunkenness in my attempts to discover just how much alcohol my awesome body could handle. So far, so fabulous.

And then this happened.

100 Days of Sobriety: The Sequel

100 Days of Sobriety: The Sequel

When I was trying to decide what to do after my first round of 100 days, there was only one thing holding me back from going ahead with a second round. The High School Reunion. Surely it’s not possible to go to a reunion sober? Surely you have to be drunk as shit to handle all the people with better lives than you, the people who look down on the decisions you’ve made, the people who made your life hell? Surely even the big guy upstairs would need a glass of something stiff to get through that?

And then I thought, fuck it. I’m 37 years old, I like who I am, I’m sure as shit not apologising for who I am, and as I’ve found out over the past 100 days and then some, I don’t need need alcohol to be awesome. I was born that way. So sober it would be, and that was that.

Of course, on the way up (a two-hour flight followed by a four-and-a-half-hour car drive) I began to second-guess my decision. WHYYYYYYY had I decided not to drink? Was I completely mad in the head? Surely just one little drink (or twelve) wouldn’t hurt? I was going to miss out on all the fun!! AARRGG!!!!!

Amidst the 99% of screaming and wailing and bargaining and yelling, there was 1% of me that was vaguely conscious that I had a goal I wanted to reach – hence the sobriety. And so that teeny tiny 1% of me decided to put some tactics in place to help me stay away from the booze and stay sane through all four days of high school high jinks. Tactics like:

  1. Taking a buttfuckload of selfies.

Selfie 1

Selfie 2

Selfie 3

Seriously, I went selfie befok. I reasoned that the more pics I had of me being fun and fabulous, the less I’d want to screw it all up with 19 shots of tequila. Love it as I do. Which is why I need to extend an apology to my Facebook friends for wallpapering their profiles with pics of my giant grinning mug. Sorry peeps, but you were taking one for the team there.

  1. Working out in my hotel room.

Seriously. I did that. I didn’t take any pics because I thought it was sad as fuck, me bear crawling up and down the length of my hotel room (and slipping all over the shiny carpet). But I did it, and it helped keep me on the straight and narrow.

  1. Hitting my macros.

Eating out when you’re away is always a minefield. Who knows what crap they’re cooking your food with, and who cares what you eat when you’re away anyway. Everyone knows that holiday calories don’t count right? I worked at the Spur in my final year of high school and I was so looking forward to going back, reliving old times, and smashing a double peppamelt burger with chips and onion rings INTO MAH FACE! Damn that shit is good. I was looking forward to it all the way to Mafikeng, all the way into the Spur, and then as soon as I sat down I heard the little voice: DOUBLE DIGITS!!! Fuck. My. Life. Which is why instead of gooey, cheesy, peppery, oily awesomeness, I had this instead:

Spur 2

And the rest of the reunion was pretty much on a par with that – because I figured the more I stuck to my eating plan, the less keen I’d be to ruin it with booze. How fun am I?

  1. Scaring myself into starvation.

One pic of my old hair was enough for me to lose my appetite for good.

Yes. Me, 13 years old, standing third from the right.

Yes. Me, 13 years old, standing third from the right.

Diabolical isn’t even the word. Enough said.

  1. Going to bed early.

No shit. Everyone else went out partying night after night, carrying out some sort of self-imposed challenge to drink Mafikeng dry – like so:

Drinks challenge

Those glasses aren’t empty by the way. They’re tequila shots. The universe has no mercy.

I however went back to my hotel room (of bear crawl yore) and went to bed. If I can’t drink, I can’t be around people who are for too long. One or two people, yes. A whole crowd on a mission to get as hammered as possible before sunrise? Computer says no.

And so I left all the revellers and went back to my usual nightcap of decaf and QI. So much of excitement. It’s amazing the party police didn’t come and arrest me on the spot.

  1. (And the most important one) Surrounding myself with fabulous people.

As much as high school was the worst of times, it was the best of times too. And luckily for me, many of the people who made it fabulous for me then were there to make the reunion fabulous as well. Which is why some of my best memories of the past week look like this:

Reunion 1

Sports Day

Group shot

Poolside

After four days of immersing myself in school life I was glad to be home on Sunday evening, but I was also so glad I went. I got to feel an immense connection with my alma mater, I got to catch up with people I haven’t seen in 20 years, I got to have an amazing time in a fabulous positive environment – but most of all I got to test my resolve to the limit, and come out swinging. Not drinking over my high school reunion was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life, and I bloody well went and fucking did it. If I can do that, I can do anything, that’s for damn sure.

Oh, and you know how in American movies, if you work hard and believe in yourself then dreams do come true? Check this shit out.

Last week:

20140916_065533

This morning:

20140930_065940

After a week of having fun, staying sane and working my ass off, I’m just 700g away from one of my major weight loss goals. So was staying sober through my high school reunion worth it?

Abso-fucking-lutely.

So long ISB and thanks for all the fish! See you for 35 years of awesomeness!

So long ISB and thanks for all the fish! See you for 35 years of awesomeness!

Advertisements
15 Comments »

We were on a break

Break

 

Nicolaaaaaaa! When are you going to write another blog poooooooost??!!

If I had R1 for every time someone asked me that, I’d have about R3.50 by now, easy. I love blogging, I love that people actually read what I write without having a .40 calibre pressed against their temple, and I love even more that others are finding inspiration from my journey for their own. However, right now an average day of mine looks like this:

 

5am: Wake up

Rest day – Work, shower, breakfast

Training day – Gym

7:30am: Drive to work

TRAFFICFUCKMYLIFE

8:30 – 5pm: Work

TRAFFICFUCKMYLIFE

6pm: Home, breathe

6:01pm: Cook all my meals for the next day

7:30pm: Eat, watch Friends

8:30 – 10pm: Work

10pm – Fall asleep while watching QI

 

Literally. Every. Single. Day. The only difference between a week day and a weekend day is that there’s no driving to work involved – I just stay in bed working, and occasionally throw in a parkrun or trail run to stop myself from going completely batshit crazy. These people who think that freelancers wake up at 10am, work for about half an hour, then swan around for the rest of the day going to markets, wine tasting, having four-hour long lunches, then sloping off to an equally long dinner, are, quite frankly, fucked in the head.

 

Don’t EVEN get me started.

Don’t EVEN get me started.

 

Oh, and did I mention that I’m also currently doing two courses at the same time as well? I use the term “doing” loosely, as if I have about 5 minutes per day to spend on either one of them, it’s a lot. Add to that the trail running schedule I’ve just drawn up for myself, the fact that I have friends who occasionally like to see me, another initiative I’m involved in that I’m not going to get into right now, and a pub quiz every fortnight, and you begin to understand this face:

 

Crazy face

 

BUTTTTT!!!!!!

Last weekend, for the first time in almost 60 days, I managed to find two, blissful uninterrupted days of peace. No work, no demands, no clients, no writing. Just two whole days to do what I wanted, when I wanted. So what did I do?

 

Saturday

Slept till 6:30am – longest I’ve slept in for over two months.

Did 100 burpees. #likeaboss

 

Before.

Before.

 

20140809_082131

After.

 

Got a pedi at Rouge Day Spa.

 

Before.

Before.

 

After.

After.

 

Lemonade, by Orly. I can’t drink it, so I may as well wear it.

Lemonade, by Orly. I can’t drink it, so I may as well wear it.

 

Annual Women’s Day lunch with some of my favourite people:

 

20140809_143059

 

20140809_143126

 

Fillet steak, spinach, mushrooms and mash. And yes, every bit was within my macros.

Fillet steak, spinach, mushrooms and mash. And yes, every bit was within my macros.

 

Then home to lazing on the couch and watching soppy girly dvds.

 

If you wear the Evo sweatshirt while you do it, you won’t be tempted to reach for the movie snacks. They can sense what you eat while you’re wearing that sucker. And they will not be amused.

If you wear the Evo sweatshirt while you do it, you won’t be tempted to reach for the movie snacks. They can sense what you eat while you’re wearing that sucker. And they will not be amused.

 

Sunday

Breakfast at my favourite place with one of my favourite people (shout-out to Wendy!). I didn’t take pictures because we were tired of having the paparazzi follow us. Also I forgot.

Then for an impromptu walk on the beach with dear, darling Tee.

 

20140810_121915

 

20140810_122225

 

And a delicious sushi lunch that was slightly out of my macros due to the impromptu-ness of it all, but who gives a fuck?

 

That was shared between the two of us, just to be clear.

That was shared between the two of us, just to be clear.

 

At least I compensated by sticking to the sparkling water.

 

20140810_131400

 

Then off to the movies for the first time in lord knows how long.

 

Superheroes and pelvic sorcery – what more could a girl want?

Superheroes and pelvic sorcery – what more could a girl want?

 

And home to the couch, homemade soup and more blank, glazed vegging.

It was a weekend well spent, and I’m still living off the awesomeness of it all. Judging by my work schedule, it’ll also be the last free weekend I get until sometime in 2015 (I shit you not – I am currently on holiday in Joburg and I’ve spent more time in my room working than I have with my family, who I hardly get to see as it is).

BUT. I am grateful for the work, as it keeps me in food, rent and petrol. I am grateful for the chance to see my family and friends, no matter how fleeting, as it makes me appreciate them all the more. I am grateful I’m so busy, as it keeps me away from the junk food, and the boredom that makes me eat the junk food, and the spare time that makes me drive to the place with the junk food. And I’m grateful that with so much to fill my life, I’ve barely had time to think about the one thing I’ve taken away.

 

Well, ok, I think about it sometimes.

Well, ok, I think about it sometimes.

 

Awesome catching up with you peeps – think about me sitting at home working right now while you’re out getting Friday-night-hammered. Have one (or twelve) for me, and I’ll see you soon.

 

Kiss 1

3 Comments »

The point of no return

Do you know what today is? Do you know what TODAY IS???

Today marks the halfway point in my 100 days of sobriety. 50 days down, zero drinks drunk, many lessons learned.

 

50 days down. Count ‘em.

50 days down. Count ‘em.

 

In trail running (she says, referring to herself as an expert after 2 walks), this is known as the point of no return – the moment at which there is an equal distance between the start and the finish. Until the point of no return, you can turn back as there won’t be that much ground to cover. But once you hit that point, you may as well carry on, because it’s going to take just as much effort to get back to the start as it will to the finish.

In the first two weeks (hell, the first two days) I considered going back. I weighed the pros and cons of saying fuck it, giving up my Friends box set and getting hammered. But the disappointment I would have felt in myself far outweighed the awesomeness of the glass of wine I then would have drunk. Because it wouldn’t have tasted of grapey fabulousness. It would have tasted of fear, failure and regret, and no way was I going to drink that in.

 

Also just look at those faces. How could anyone say no to those faces?

Also just look at those faces. How could anyone say no to those faces?

 

So instead I ploughed on. And today, here I am at 50 days! 50 days!!!! I never doubted that I would get here, but I did expect the journey to be waaaay harder than it has been. Instead, it’s been pretty smooth sailing. I have had a couple of bad days where I’ve wanted to drink until closing, I have had a couple of ladies’ nights where I’ve wanted to throw back a bottle of Cuervo, but other than that, I’ve actually been enjoying this time of introspection. I’ve been enjoying learning who I am without alcohol, finding new and different ways of spending my time, connecting with my current friends on a deeper level, opening myself up to making new friends, learning how to be alone without being lonely, and reaping the rewards of living a healthy, alcohol-free lifestyle.

However, while I’m celebrating being at the halfway point (which I should do because hell, that’s a freaking awesome achievement), I’m scared at the same time.

  • I’m scared that I won’t know what to do once the 100 days are up.
  • I’m scared that I’ll forget everything I learned and go back to being Little Miss Piss-Up five nights a week.
  • I’m scared that I’ll put back on all the weight I’ve lost and more.
  • I’m scared that I won’t be able to cultivate a healthy relationship with alcohol going forward.
  • I’m scared that my friends won’t take my commitment to my health as seriously once I’m done.
  • I’m scared that I won’t take my commitment to my health as seriously once I’m done.
  • I’m scared that I’ll make a deal with myself to not drink alcohol at a social occasion, and then go back on it within 15 seconds of pitching up.
  • And most of all I’m scared of having one glass of wine, and waking up 18 months later back in the land of 135kgs, depression and type 2 diabetes.

I’ve made it through the first 50 days because I had a plan, and that plan was to not hide away for 100 days, moaning and complaining about how I couldn’t drink, but instead to get out and about, live my life, party with my friends, be fabulous and learn about who I was without 19 000 drinks inside of me. And I’m proud to say that I’ve done that and then some.

I think my goal for the next 50 days will be to work through the AAARRRGGGG list of fears above, so that by the time I’m celebrating 100 days, I’ll know exactly who I am, where I’m going and how to get there with no fears whatsoever.

Well, I’ll still be scared of George Clooney actually going through with the whole wedding thing. But can you blame me?

 

So pretty…

So pretty…

 

Stay tuned for the next 50 days people – it’s gonna be a wild ride!

 

 

 

3 Comments »

Paging Nicola, come in Nicola

Ok, so as you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t put a blog post up for a while. This is not because I’ve been hiding at home feeling sorry for myself and shoving all manner of saturated fats into my piehole. Oh no! For once I have actually been a good girl (hard to believe, I know). The reason why I haven’t posted for a while is because:

 

1. I have been working like a muthafuuuuuuuucka!

Seriously. It’s like someone ran a nationwide ad campaign for my (writing) services without me noticing, and the whole country suddenly decided they HAD to get me to write for them. I don’t blame them, because I am pretty freaking fabulous. But it does mean I’ve barely had time to pee in the last 7 weeks, let alone blog.

In all seriousness, I am massively, hugely grateful for the work. As a freelancer, I depend on it to pay my rent and keep me in Lindt 85%, so I am in no way, shape or form complaining. What’s noteworthy about it is that the tsunami of work began as I started my 100 days of sobriety. I’m a huge believer in things like that, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that because I took control and started to take care of myself, the universe decided to start taking care of me too. So I’m gonna keep on riding that work wave as long as it hangs around. In the meantime, here’s a picture of me you can cut out and keep by you in case you miss me too much:

 

20140628_211333

 

2. I have been hitting the trails

Yes, I am now a trail runner. Ok, walker. But still, it counts! For the past two weekends I have been trudging up hill, down valley, over dale (whatever a dale is), across bridges, through rivers and having a grand old time.

 

Trail Run 2

Grand old time.

 

I initially signed up for the Spur Winter Trail Series just out of curiosity – I wasn’t expecting to like it because walking bores the fuck out of me, and hiking is just for crazy people who like walking uphill a lot. But to my gigantic surprise, I actually love it! Yes, I am now close personal intimate friends with the sweepers (the guys who walk right at the very back – or as I like to call them, my walking partners), yes I have come stone last both times, and yes, I fell on my ass in the mud FOUR times, but who cares – I have taken up trail running and I love it! I’m even going to go out and get me some proper trail shoes – that’s how much I’m into it (I know right?). My next run (walk) is scheduled for the end of the month in Franschhoek. Look out for me – I’ll be the one coming in dead last, with a big smile on my face!

 

Sort of like this.

Sort of like this.

 

(On a side note, Fit Girl Fab shirts work just as well on the trails as they do in the gym. I even got a shout-out from the MC for my awesome gear. Of course by then I was too exhausted to do more than nod a vague thank you in his direction before passing out from fatigue.)

 

3. I have been sticking to my sobriety like you wouldn’t believe

Check it out people – 47 days down and still going strong!

 

47 days

 

No cheats, no close calls, no real urge to drink, nothing. I wouldn’t say it’s been easy – there have been a few girls’ nights out where I’ve wanted nothing more than 1 or 12 glasses of wine, and a few times I’ve had to restrain myself from French kissing people just so I could suck the alcohol out of their mouths, but other than that it’s actually been ok. 53 days to go, and I still got this!

 

4. I have been getting hotter

I shit you not. Take a look.

 

Day 1

Day 1

 

This morning.

This morning

 

See what I mean? Way hotter. Please inform all your single male friends – I expect my inbox to be full by the time I get back from lunch.

 

5. I have been losing weight

The scale does not lie.

 

Two weeks ago.

Two weeks ago.

 

Last week.

Last week.

 

This week.

This week.

 

All in all, that’s a total weight loss of 11.6kg in the past 6 weeks. Oh yes people – I am a lean, mean, weight loss machine and I am showing no signs of slowing down. Be afraid, double digits – be very afraid!!!

 

6. I have been making time for things that don’t involve drinking

As busy as I’ve been, I know how important it is for me to do some fun stuff, or else my brain will explode. And we don’t want that. Which is why I’ve been:

Going out with the ladies

 

Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 1.42.29 PM

 

Going out for (soft) drinks

 

20140726_210158

 

Going for trail runs (see previous)

Painting

Booking trips away

Booking future road runs and trail runs

Booking for folk music awesomeness

 

20140731_082403

 

Taking bubble baths

Reading

Dancing around the house like a crazy person

Going to pub quiz (sorry, that should be WINNING pub quizzes)

Doing extra-curricular courses

Sitting on my ass watching chick flicks and eating chocolate

Getting my nails done at Rouge

 

Pretty no?

Pretty no?

 

prince charming

 

This is a colour called Prince Charming. Before you ask, no, I have not found him yet. But if you see a confused guy riding around in circles on a white horse, please point him in my direction.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the things you’re trying to achieve, that often you forget to take time out, have fun, be mad, crazy, silly, and just do the things you love doing, or even just do nothing at all.

(And on that note, if you feel like doing something fabulous for yourself, Rouge is running this awesome pampering special every Monday:)

 

manipedi mondays NEW

 

So ja, that’s what I’ve been up to for the past couple of weeks. Not binging and feeling bad, but getting up to all sorts of awesome stuff and feeling good!

 

Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 1.21.50 PM

 

Catch you on the flip side peeps – have an awesome weekend, and spare a thought for me as I continue to work my fabulous ass off.

Mwah xxx

 

20140714_133918-1

10 Comments »

Weigh-In Day 15.07.14

Let’s start with the good news shall we?

 

Oh yeah baby, that’s another 700g in the past week! 9.7kg down so far and CRUSHING IT!

Oh yeah baby, that’s another 700g in the past week! 9.7kg down so far and CRUSHING IT!

 

Now for the ba-…. oh wait, there is no bad news – that’s because I’m awesome!

Yup this past week was no problem for Nicola the Great. Because I am, as previously mentioned, AWESOME. Check it out.

 

Wednesday

No gym, feel like crap. Cough, splutter, sneeze. Work. Meh. Dinner with one of my favourite people!

 

This is Matthew, one of my favourite people. Matthew is super excited because he got to drink not one, but TWO glasses of wine, thanks to our Groupon deal and me not drinking. Cheers Matthew!

This is Matthew, one of my favourite people. Matthew is super excited because he got to drink not one, but TWO glasses of wine, thanks to our Groupon deal and me not drinking. Cheers Matthew!

 

(Side note: if you’re looking for a good Durban curry, check out Vandiar’s in Dunkley Square in town. Good stuff!)

 

Then onto Roxy’s next door, one of my all-time favourite Cape Town places. Retro as fuck, awesomely eclectic, and as yet, undiscovered by hipsters. Good food, good company, good conversation – what more could a girl want?

 

Told you. Retro as fuck.

Told you. Retro as fuck.

 

Difficulty rating: 3 out of 10.

 

Thursday

Still fluey. Blerg. Work up the wazoo. Home to a pork chop as big as my face, Lindt and The Wedding Date. I don’t know what was what more delicious – the chocolate or Dermot Mulroney. It’s a toss-up.

Difficulty rating: 2 out of 10.

Yum rating: 10 out of 10.

 

Friday

TGIF! Despite the fact that my weekend is going to be PACKED with work, still got that Friday fever baby! And what better way to blow it off than with the Sleek Girls and a yummy sushi dinner!

 

Sleek Girls (bunch of cray-cray bitches)

Sleek Girls (bunch of cray-cray bitches)

 

Yummy sushi dinner (shout-out to Hong for making the BEST sushi in Cape Town)

Yummy sushi dinner (shout-out to Hong for making the BEST sushi in Cape Town).

 

Difficulty rating: 3 out of 10.

 

Saturday

Up at 5am. Remind me why I chose to freelance again? Work work work. Off to parkrun at 7am.

 

You think we’re smiling but actually our faces are frozen because it is SO FREAKING COLD!

You think we’re smiling but actually our faces are frozen because it is SO FREAKING COLD!

 

Home, throw breakfast down my neck, dash off to meet a friend for coffee, race home, WORK WORK WORK (seriously, freelancing, wtf?) lunch, WORK WORK WORK, dinner, off to Home Bar for ladies night with my gorgeous friend Tee. Lots of conversation, lots of lime and soda, lots of giggles, lots of annoying drunk people to fend off later on. (Side note: amazing how awesome drunk people are when you’re drunk, but how retarded they are when you’re sober. Someone should do a study on this.)

Difficulty rating: 6 out of 10. I really felt for a glass of dry white to go with the girl talk. Although it wouldn’t have been one, it would have been seven, each with a tequila chaser. So probably best to have stuck with the lime and soda.

 

Sunday

FUUUUUUUUCKKKK! I have overslept like a mofo! Was supposed to be up at 6 to work, and it’s 7:30! Race to get stuff done, don’t get through nearly as much as I’m supposed to, race to Tasha’s at the V&A for a breakfast treat from the highly inspirational and all-round wonderful Felicity.

 

Felicity. Most probably one of the most kickass Sleek Girls of all time!

Felicity. Most probably one of the most kickass Sleek Girls of all time!

 

Race home to (you guessed it) WORK WORK WORK. No mom and dad, I can’t skype now, I’m trying to pay the rent! Race off to Hout Bay for a quick visit, watch Pretty Woman, recite most of it, annoy my friend (happy birthday Alex!), race home, BLARG I CANNOT WORK ANYMORE, make some delicious chicken and veg soup, veg out myself, BED.

Difficulty rating: 5 out of 10. There was a tense moment in the afternoon. Tense moments make me want to drink. And drink and drink and drink.

 

Monday

Up at 5am to try to get some more work done. Fail miserably due to extreme tiredness. Work work work. Home to Royal Pains, The Good Wife and some yummy lamb chops. Another week done and dusted.

 

30 days down bitches!

30 days down bitches!

 

So ja, that’s me, kicking it hard! I’m probably going to jinx the heck out of it, but apart from one day in Week 1 and one other day in Week 2, things have been pretty plain sailing sobriety-wise. I expected it to be FUCKMYLIFEHARD but to date it’s only been itotesgotthis. And amongst all the awesome stuff that I’ve been learning about myself and my motivation for doing things, a small lightbulb moment squeezed its way in. For the first time I can actually SEE myself at my goal weight, and completely believe that I’m going to get there. Before it was more of a pipe dream, a nice-to-have – now it’s a GONNA HAVE, and gonna get there with bells on!

Stay tuned for next week where we’ll be having a ladies night, more Home Bar high jinks, pub quiz and a (FML) winter trail run in Grabouw. Till then, stay as inspired as I am with a little help from the song that I’m currently obsessed with. SA music rocks!

Laters babies xx

 

10 Comments »

Recaps, weigh-ins and phlegm

I was supposed to put this up at the beginning of the week but since I have been struck down in my prime by the dreaded cold virus, I have been too busy coughing up a lung to post anything. And since there’s a little dude with a drum banging his face off inside my head, I’m going to make this one quick.

 

Monday

WORK WORK WORK home, watch Royal Pains, WORK WORK WORK.

Difficulty rating: 1 out of 10

 

Tuesday

Gym, WORK WORK WORK, SleekGeek dinner, fun with friends.

Difficulty rating: 2 out of 10

 

Wednesday

Gym, WORK WORK WORK, yummy healthy dinner with friends Sacha and Rehana.

 

Friend Sacha. Friend Rehana not pictured because, toddler.

Friend Sacha. Friend Rehana not pictured because, toddler.

 

Difficulty rating: 2 out of 10

 

Thursday

WORK WORK WORK, home, dinner, WORK WORK WORK

Difficulty rating: 2 out of 10

 

Friday

Gym, WORK WORK WORK, OMG WILL I GET HOME IN THIS HURRICANE? Finally home, steak, mash, Lindt 90% chocolate. CANNOT WORK ANYMORE!

Difficulty rating: 2 out of 10

 

Saturday

Up at 7am. WORK WORK WORK, dash out for groceries and a quick coffee with a friend, WORK WORK WORK. FML I have the worst cabin fever ever! Let’s go to Home Bar! 3 x limes and soda, 1 x bizarre conversation with a very drunk lady, 1 x hysterical conversation with a slightly drunk couple, 1 x successful evening out with no alcohol consumed. I rule!

 

Drunk lady.

Drunk lady.

 

Slightly drunk couple.

Slightly drunk couple.

 

Difficulty rating: 4 out of 10

 

Sunday

Up at 5am. WORK WORK WORK WORK WORK I FUCKING CANNOT ANYMORE! Visit friend for fabulous painting session.

 

What, nothing to see here!

What, nothing to see here!

 

Plenty to see here!

Plenty to see here!

 

Quick rough sketch with the time left over.

Quick rough sketch with the time left over.

 

Pop into birthday party. Have to repeat about 19 times that I’m not drinking. Rounds of high fives to my awesomeness. Totally worth it. Home. Dinner. Shit, I think I’m getting a cold.

Difficulty rating: 4 out of 10

 

Monday

Up at 5am. Ok I definitely have a cold. WORK WORK WORK WORK. Go to actual work. WORK WORK WORK. Home. Royal Pains. The Good Wife. Yum.

Difficulty rating: 1 out of 10.

 

Tuesday.

Up at 5am. Great, cold still there. Off to gym. Lift stuff. Weigh self.

 

20140708_070045

 

Holy fucking shit. Another 1.9kg down in the last week! That’s 9kg down in total over the past 3 weeks! I RULE ALL!

WORK WORK WORK. Pub quiz. Sniff sniff. Tissues. Third place. Win another bottle of wine. Why does the universe hate me? Decide to be good and go to bed early. Miss that whole Brazil/Germany thing. Eyeroll.

Difficulty rating: 4 out of 10

 

So in a nutshell:

Weight lost: 1.9kg

Phlegm coughed: 1000 tons

Alcohol consumed: 0

Fucks given: 0

 

Tune in next week for more fun, high-jinks and complete sentences.

 

So many crosses, all in a row!

So many crosses, all in a row!

3 Comments »

Say what?

Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 12.41.44 PM

 

Today marks Day 20 of my 100 Days of Sobriety, and while it’s been a been a journey that has prompted some interesting insights and reflections on my part, it’s prompted some interesting remarks from those around me too. Some have been welcome, some have been not so welcome, but all have made me think harder, dig deeper and get to the bottom of why I feel the burning desire to drink like a sailor on shore leave just because someone looked at me funny.

Here’s what some people have had to say so far:

 

The Good

“I think it’s so awesome what you’re doing!”

Thank you, I think it’s pretty awesome too. I had serious doubts when I started it, but now that I’m at Day 20, I finally believe that I can actually make it all the way to Day 100 like a champ. And high five to you for being along for the ride.

 

“Do you want to go for coffee/come round for dinner/paint/do stuff that doesn’t involve drinking?”

Yes I absolutely do. And thank you so much for thinking of things to do together that don’t involve drinking. So much of the time I use alcohol as an ice-breaker, a distraction, a mask because I don’t trust the strength of my friendships. I find it difficult to believe that my friends would appreciate my company 100% raw, untouched and unblurred, or that they would want to hang out with me without alcohol to sweeten the deal. That’s obviously my own issue – lack of self-confidence, not believing that people would find me interesting enough to hang out with soberly. But clearly it’s total bullshit because the invites have been streaming in, so much so that July is pretty much booked up already and we’re only 4 days in. So yes, I would love to do stuff with you, and bless you for asking.

 

“You so got this!”

Yes, yes I do. You rock.

 

“You inspire me!”

Aw shucks. And hugs. Lots of hugs.

 

“You’ve helped us so much, now it’s time for us to help you.”

What a welcome thing to hear. So often I never ask for help because I see admitting that you need help as being a weakness. But I’m only just starting to learn that more vulnerable you make yourself, the deeper and more meaningful your friendships become. Last year I burnt myself out by offering help to anyone and everyone, and had no mental energy left for myself, let alone my health journey. Now I’m making sure to ask for help as often as I give help to others, and this equal give and take has turned what was an exhausting task into a mutually valuable one. So thanks for your help, and feel free to ask anytime you need some yourself. That’s what friends are for.

 

“I won’t drink in front of you!”

That’s incredibly sweet, but completely unnecessary. Please, go ahead and enjoy your glass of wine/jug of Jagermeister. Just because I have no off switch when it comes to pounding drinks doesn’t mean you have to suck on sparkling water all night too. But I very much appreciate the gesture. Kisses!

 

“Going out for drinks isn’t that much fun anyway.”

Coming from people that I used to go out for many drinks with, this is very much appreciated. It’s bullshit, but it’s very much appreciated.

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 12.40.52 PM

 

“I really like you this way.”

You know what, I like me this way too. My relationships are becoming stronger, I’m trusting my friendship bonds more, and I’m socialising more than I ever did when I was drinking – doing different stuff and more of it. So high five for sober awesomeness!

 

“I won’t serve you alcohol for the next <however many> days.”

Thank you Charlie from Home Bar, thank you. When you go to your local pub to drink lime and soda, and everyone congratulates you for doing so, you know that whether your drink is soft or hard, you’re drinking in the right place. Mazel tov.

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 12.38.56 PM

 

The Bad

“Oh god the next 100 days are going to be so boring.”

Yeah for you maybe. Fucknuckle.

 

“Call me when your 100 days are up.”

So what, we can’t go out now? We HAVE to drink each and every time we meet up? There is literally nothing else the two of us can do together to have fun and enjoy each other’s company? How sad for you. And don’t hold your breath about that phone call.

 

“Are you sure you can’t just have one drink? I won’t tell anyone – no-one will know!”

Um, I’ll know. And shot for the support by the way. First of all, as I’ve said many times, I can’t just have ONE drink. Twelve yes, one no. Plus, way to just be thinking about yourself there, and not about what I’m trying to achieve. I’ll call a different friend next time I want to do something, thanks very much.

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 12.41.20 PM

 

The Ugly

“Ugh man you’re so boring when you don’t drink.”

Well if that isn’t just the biggest ‘fuck you’ I’ve ever heard. Do you actually believe that I wake up in the morning, and am boring from that point on, all through the day until I sit down in front of you in the pub with a beer in my hand, and magically transform into someone worth talking to? I have news for you – people have told me for years that I’m funny, interesting and smart, drinks or no drinks (and thankfully I’m actually starting to believe it). So maybe if you need me to drink to make the evening interesting, perhaps I’m not the boring one. Oh, and fuck you too.

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 12.33.38 PM

 

And finally…

 

The Big Question

“What are you going to do when the 100 days are up?”

You know what, I have absolutely NO IDEA. I have tried so many different ways of reducing my emotional dependency on alcohol, and none of them have worked as yet. I’ve tried going for a few weeks at a time without drinking, then having a splurge. That didn’t work. I’ve tried only drinking once a month. That didn’t work. And I’ve tried only drinking one drink at a time. Hahahaha – I think we can all agree that was never going to work.

Here’s the thing though. At Day 20, I’m still very much in the early stages of what I wanted this journey to be. Every day I’m learning new things about myself, uncovering more and understanding a little better why I do what I do with Jose Cuervo and all his friends. This is where the good, juicy work is happening, and I don’t want to rush through that and pre-empt anything by thinking too far ahead. For now, I’m going along, taking life as it comes and dealing with its ups and downs in healthy ways. And that’s all I’m concentrating on.

My hope is that when I get to Days 80-something onwards, the answer will start revealing itself to me, and I’ll know what the best way forward is. Till then, I’ve got plenty of days to get through, plenty of work to do, and plenty of friends to hear good, supportive, wonderful things from. And that’s saying something.

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 12.37.39 PM

28 Comments »

100 Days of Sobriety – The Week 2 Recap

Can you believe it’s been two weeks already? Well, 15 days to be precise. In some ways it’s flown by; in others it’s been a soul-destroying hold-onto-my-sanity-by-the-skin-of-my-teeth kind of time.

Have a look and see what I mean:

 

Sunday

Went to movies. Was reminded of how fabulous James McAvoy is. Then remembered he was married. Boo. Drove home mid-afternoon on a gorgeous sunny Cape Town winter’s day, past an open Banana Jam full of revelers, cocktails and fabulousness. Steeled myself not to call anyone up for some Sunday drinking (my favourite thing) and instead went home and watched a bunch of Friends episodes back to back, all the while reminding myself, “I love this show, I love this show”. Ended off by watching Wanted, because James McAvoy.

Difficulty rating: 7 out of 10

 

Monday

I don’t remember much about Monday, which means that it probably wasn’t too stressful a day. I remember that I ended the day with pork chops, mashed potato, Royal Pains and The Good Wife. I counted The Good Wife as dessert as I’ve wanted to climb Josh Charles like a tree, ever since I saw Dead Poets Society. Oh Captain, my Captain indeed.

Difficulty rating: 2 out of 10

 

Tuesday

Pub quiz. My stay-off-the-sauce nemesis. Luckily my pub quiz team is very supportive of my efforts not to drink.

 

As you can see.

As you can see.

 

Instead of launching myself at the wine list I challenged myself to see how much sparkling water I could consume in 2.5 hours. Answer: a lot.

 

PIctured: a lot.

Pictured: a lot.

 

At least we placed in the quiz, which was something (3rd place with no bonus round as we came 1st the last time. High five for awesomeness!). And because fate is not without a sense of irony, I won a bottle of wine. Gigantic internal eyeroll.

Difficulty rating: 5 out of 10.

 

Wednesday

Again, I don’t really remember much about the day, other than the fact that early morning bear crawls almost sucked the will to live right out of me. After hobbling around like a little old lady all day, I went home to a bowl of spaghetti and homemade chicken meatballs, and a feature presentation of Bring It On. I needed a bit of a cheer section.

 

These meatballs were so awesome they deserved a cheer section of their own.

These meatballs were so awesome they deserved a cheer section of their own.

 

Thursday

FUUUUUCCKKKMYYYYYYLIIIIIIIFFFEEEEEE!!!!!!! So far it appears that at least one day a week I have a complete mental breakdown, and Thursday was that day. The stress factor was turned up to 11, and only the intervention of the Sleek Girls got me through a thoroughly shitty day from start to finish. How I managed to get home without making a 6-hour pit stop at Home Bar, I’ll never know. Divine intervention and the collective goodwill of 2000 fabulous ladies may have had something to do with it.

Difficulty rating: 10 out of 10

 

Friday

Started off by lifting some very heavy shit (4 x 5 deadlifts @ 70kg), worked like a Trojan (warrior, not condom), then dragged my sorry ass home to collapse on the couch in front of Once Upon A Time. Once upon a time I used to party on Friday nights. Now I sit in front of my TV with all the enthusiasm of a slab of meat. If this is what getting older is, I’d like my money back please.

Difficulty rating: 3 out of 10

 

Saturday

Green Point parkrun, woohoo! Breakfast with the Sleeks, woohoo! Running a bunch of errands, including getting my blood pressure taken and finding out it was 120/85 without having taken my pill yet, WOOHOO! Work all afternoon, meh. Go for dinner with one of my best friends, woohoo! Then go for drinks afterwards, woohoo! Then go for even more drinks after that, woohoo! And get home at 1am after having painted the town red without a drop of alcohol in me. WOOOOHOOOO!

 

See I told you – no alcohol!

See I told you – no alcohol!

 

Difficulty rating: 4 out of 10

 

Sunday

Up early for a course. Back home mid-afternoon. Felt wistful about the fact that I couldn’t do any Sunday afternoon drinking on such a gorgeous day. Watched Friends all afternoon. Reminded myself that I love the show. Very much. And that it’s not worth losing over an afternoon/evening of craft beers and tequila. I guess. FML

Difficulty rating: 5 out of 10

 

So yeah, that was my week – some ups, some downs, but with the help of real friends and TV Friends, I got through it unscathed.

 

15 days down, 85 to go! 

15 days down, 85 to go!

 

Here’s to getting through Week 3, kicking more ass and taking more name! (Especially more single guys’ names – if you know of any, feel free to use the comments section as your personal address book.)

 

12 Comments »

Driving Miss Crazy

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 12.25.11 PM

 

This non-drinking thing. Not as easy as it looks. Keeping myself away from the sauce is a constant mental battle that involves screaming, shouting, pleading, crying, begging, and most often a very loud voice that plays “NOOOO NICOLAAAAAAA YOU WILL NOT GOOOO TOOOO THE PUUUUB!!!!!” on a constant loop, 24/7. (The voice sounds a lot like Gandalf’s, interestingly enough.)

Even the simplest things become fraught with peril as I try to go against what has unfortunately become my natural instinct (getting hammered, in case you were wondering). Take the drive home from work for example:

 

5pm. Cape Town Foreshore.

Good Nicola (GN): Blarg, here we are again, tramping our way back to the car underneath the elevated freeway like some sort of modern-day troll.

Bad Nicola (BN): You know what’s really close to the elevated freeway? Pepenero in Mouille Point. I’m sure that if we called Alex, she’d meet us there for drinks!

Voice: NOOOOOOOO

BN: Sulk.

Thirty minutes later. Heavy rush hour traffic. Impending aneurysm.

GN: It seriously cannot take this long to travel 15km. I am DYING HERE.

BN: Ooh, look, there’s the exit to Obs. I’m sure if we called Matthew, he’d meet us at Desperado’s for drinks!

Voice: NOOOOOOOO

BN: Sulk.

Twenty minutes later. Heavy rush hour traffic. Imminent stroke.

GN: Fuck. My. Life.

BN: Ooh, look, there’s Rascal’s. I’m sure if we called Chanti, she’d meet us there for drinks!

Voice: NOOOOOOOO

BN: Sulk.

Five minutes later. Heavy rush hour traffic. Near-death state.

GN: Fngggharrhag&*!

BN: Ooh, look, if you turn right here you can be at Banana Jam in two minutes flat. I’m sure if we called Tee, she’d meet us there for drinks!

Voice: NOOOOOOOO

BN: Ok so not Banana Jam. But if you drive on past, you can be at Home Bar in five minutes. You know so many people there, you won’t even need to call anyone to join you!

Voice: NOOOOOOOO

GN and BN: SULK!!!

Five minutes later. Home at last, home at last, thank God almighty, we are home at last!

GN: Yay, we’re finally home. You know what we get to do now?

BN: Ooh, no, what?

GN: Cook all our meals for tomorrow.

BN: Get fucked.

 

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is my drive home. Every. Single. Day. Three cheers to Cape Town traffic and unrelenting mental trauma. 12 days down, 88 to go.

 

Because beerquila.

Because beerquila.

 

2 Comments »

100 Days of Sobriety – The Week 1 Recap

So as of writing this today, I have been stone cold sober for 8 whole days. Is there like an AA pin or something I can get for that?

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 11.23.49 AM

 

In some ways it’s been easier than I thought, and in some ways it’s been a lot tougher than I thought. But I’m one week down, and apparently the first week is the hardest, so go me.

How hard was it? See for yourself…

 

Sunday

OMG I am so tired I want to die. I wouldn’t even have a drink right now if you paid me. Bring on the processed carbs! <collapses onto couch for the better part of 20 hours>

Difficulty rating: 2 out of 10

 

Monday

Public holiday, whoop whoop! Let’s go fill the fridge with healthy food – we so got this! Ready to crush my training session tomorrow. Drinking – what’s that?

Difficulty rating: 2 out of 10

 

Tuesday

OMG I want to die. Remind me never to fall off the training wagon again. All I’ve done is warm up and I’m sweating like a farm animal. Oh and look, the scale is telling me that I’ve gained about a zillion kgs. FABULOUS! Blarg but it’s ok, doing this will make me lose the weight, it’s ok. Don’t think about drinks, don’t think about drinks…

Difficulty rating: 3 out of 10

 

Wednesday

FUUUUUUCK MYYYYYYY LIIIIIIIIIIFE! I know it’s only 8am, but I feel like ramming 6 chocolate bars in my mouth, killing time until 12pm and then heading for the nearest watering hole. Call someone, call someone!! Ok, call many people! Stop thinking about drinks, the day will get better.

<later>

Oh look, the day decided instead of getting better, to take a huge, giant steaming dump on my head. If this was a movie, I would actually be laughing – there is no way one person could be expected to deal with this much stress. Work, life, family, it’s actually getting ridiculous. Don’t cry, don’t think about drinks, let’s call some more people!

<even later>

You love Friends, you love Friends, remember how much you love Friends!

<and later after that>

Do not go to the pub after work, do not go to the pub after work. Let’s go home, we can get some sushi, chillax and watch some tv. Oh, and let’s call some more people.

<and even later after that>

My life sucks, but sushi rocks. Thank heavens for small mercies.

 

Sushi

 

Difficulty rating: Fucking 12 out of 10

 

Thursday

Ok, yesterday’s drama is over and done with – today is going to be a fabulous day, simply because I’ve decided it’s going to be a fabulous day. Bring it on!

Verdict: Fabulous day

Difficulty rating: 2 out of 10

 

Friday

Pub quiz tonight. My favourite part about pub quiz, apart from kicking trivia ass, is marinating in wine while I rattle off answers to questions like, ‘what’s the capital of Azerbaijan’ (Baku, in case you’re interested). It’s just not going to be the same.

<later>

<incoherent sound of longing> Everyone’s drinking wine. Sad face 😦

Ok, I’m pushing through this. Maybe it’s not so bad. Two bottles of sparkling water, a cup of coffee and no worries about driving home. Team Nicola has got this one in the bag.

 

Visual proof of my liquid intake. Oh and look at that, we won the pub quiz too. Vive Les Gauls!

Visual proof of my liquid intake. Oh and look at that, we won the pub quiz too. Vive Les Gauls!

 

Difficulty rating: 5 out of 10

 

Saturday

Good thing I didn’t drink last night otherwise shooting my SleekGeek nomination video would have been a bitch and a half.

<later>

Ditto for walking around Cavendish shopping all afternoon.

<much later>

Feels a little weird to be going out for dinner and not ordering wine, but I actually have zero desire to drink tonight. Which feels a little weirder.

 

Move along, no alcohol to see here!

Move along, no alcohol to see here!

 

<much much later>

Nightcap time and still no alcohol.

 

Just coffee, see!

Just coffee, see!

 

In all honesty I’d like an Irish coffee for the road, but I’ll settle for plain decaf. The staff at Banana Jam are slightly shellshocked. The waitress asked if I was absolutely sure I just wanted coffee, and the manager threatened to ban me if I came in and ordered coffee again. Note to self: if the wait staff are genuinely shocked by you ordering a non-alcoholic beverage, 100 days of sobriety are probably long overdue. Home Jeeves, and don’t spare the horses!

Difficulty rating: 4 out of 10.

 

So now that week 1 is done and dusted, what have I learned?

  • I can do this!
  • Friends are absolutely invaluable as a support system
  • Friends who are happy to not drink are also invaluable as a support system

 

See what I mean?

See what I mean?

 

  • It is possible to do pub quiz without getting drunk
  • It is possible to go out to dinner without getting drunk
  • It is possible to endure a day of OHMYFUCKSTRESS without getting drunk
  • And it is possible to see dramatic physical changes in just 7 short days of not drinking:

 

Day 2 (Last Monday)

Day 2 (last Monday)

 

Day 9 (this morning)

Day 9 (this morning)

 

If nothing else, seeing the difference between those photos is what’s keeping me on the straight and narrow. That and almost constant Friends binge-watching (9 days in and I’m almost at the end of season 2).

Many thanks to Tee, Felicity, Lisa, Matthew, Chanti, Sue and everyone else who helped keep me on the straight and narrow last week. Gird your loins because week 2 is here. But no matter what it has to bring, I’m ready for it! Do your worst week 2 – I am going to kick your ass!

 

7 (well, 8 actually) days down, 93 (well 92 actually) to go!

7 (well, 8 actually) days down, 93 (well 92 actually) to go!

 

 

16 Comments »