Friday Night Thinking (Not Alcohol Drinking)…

 

Oh what a loaded night of the week this is. Friday nights come with all sorts of emotional baggage. Relief (for the week being done), anticipation (for the weekend ahead), and excitement (let’s cut loose!).

 

Cutting loose on Friday…

Cutting loose sure used to be my Friday night thinking. There was only one thing Friday nights were good for in my book and that was getting hammered … plastered … plonked. In my twenties this was made exceptionally easy because I worked in places where free drinks on a Friday night were part of the perks.

 

In fact for many years at one employer it was my job to order the wine in! I’d call the bottle store around lunch time and let them know what we needed. At 4pm the courier guy would arrive with his wheeled-trolley to deposit the boxes (yes, there were boxes – plural). At 5.30 pm I would lay out the glasses and pop the corks.

 

We’d stay drinking in the office until all the free booze was all gone, then we’d roll down the road to a bar or three. It was always a big, boozy Friday night.

 

 Writing off Saturday…

Of course that meant my Saturday mornings were always a write off. I’d wake up feeling exhausted, strung out and ill. What a way to kickstart a great, relaxing weekend – with a crashing hangover. Nice one.

 

After I had kids my Friday nights were spent at home, but I still carried this “let’s cut loose!” mentality with me. I’d get in more wine than was usual. Maybe something ‘special’ like a bottle of bubbles or some gin and tonic. Anything to elevate this night at home to something resembling the ‘old days’ of my boozy Friday nights after work. Anything to try to not make me feel isolated in suburban drudgery.

 

And anything to get me drunk.. because getting drunk is what I liked to do.

 

“Parties” at home…

It was kind of fun at first – having these Friday night ‘parties’ at home. But then my drinking started escalating and I was often ‘partying’ during the week which meant I had to go extra hard on Friday to elevate it to a ‘special’ status. What utter madness. And of course the hangovers were getting worse too. Nice way to start a weekend with the kids – feeling sick and guilty.

 

After I first got sober Friday nights were difficult, because they still came loaded with all that emotional baggage and I felt terribly like I was missing out. I would imagine all these other ‘cool’ and ‘interesting’ people having a great time boozing it up in bars and restaurants while poor boring, sober me was stuck at home.

 

But slowly as I adjusted to my sober reality, started really enjoying it and reaping the benefits, I stopped imagining all the supposed ‘fun’ other people were having and started realizing all of what was great about a sober Friday night.

 

 

 It still feels special

It’s still the end of the working week and that’s satisfying. It’s still the start of a two day break in the family routine and that’s always nice. It still feels ‘special’ somehow and often I’ll make a more ‘fun’ dinner (like pizza or nachos) or get some treaty (non-alcoholic) drinks in or snacks. Or I’ll buy myself a trashy magazine or some fresh flowers (I often seem to do this on a Friday!).

 

Furthermore – my thinking has changed so much now that instead of imagining all these other people having a great, fun time boozing while I’m stuck at home, I think of all those people who will drink too much, spend too much money, regret their actions and wake up feeling sick and guilty.

 

And I love picturing all the other sober heroes of the world having nice, cozy Friday nights like me. Grounded and connected to themselves and their families, safe in the knowledge that they’re going to wake up to a glorious hangover-free Saturday morning.

 

And hangover-free Saturday mornings never get old. They are one of my absolute favourite times of the week.. and I’ll never give them up for anything.

 

 

Sober Cocktails from The Sanford House Kitchen

 

 

 

Lotta Dann drank alcohol steadily and heavily from the age of 15 to the age of 39. She stopped drinking only when her habit had reduced her to a sloppy, miserable mess and it became awfully apparent she had no control over her intake. She wrote her way sober with the help of an anonymous blog called 'Mrs. D Is Going Without', which started out small but slowly turned into something incredibly large and powerful. Her memoir 'Mrs. D Is Going Without' was published 3 years after she stopped drinking. Now happily sober, Lotta spends her days parenting and running a busy household, promoting recovery through her blogs and social media accounts, and managing the Living Sober website. She lives in Wellington, New Zealand with her husband, three sons and a labrador puppy. Lotta's new book 'Mrs. D Is Going Within' is out in June 2017. It charts how she developed nourishing and powerful habits to rebuild herself as a calm, grounded and emotionally robust individual after a life-time of drinking.