Earlier this week I realised when I checked the diary that I had a work colleague’s leaving party to attend at the weekend. I was excited for this however nervous being around alcohol in a situation where I have previously survived by getting drunk! I have been to social events with friends and family before where I had been sober, but this situation is slightly different as some of my colleagues I don’t work directly with and don’t know very well personally. Alcohol has always enabled me to have the confident to engage in conversation with anybody therefore helping me survive circumstances like this.
My previous relationship with alcohol
Before Liberty was created, I used to be out all the time and even get to the point where I actually thought that I might have a drinking problem! My drink of choice was Prosecco 🥂! It ran through in my veins like blood. Anyone who knows me will tell you about my prosecco addiction – I put the PRO in PROSECCO! Hahaha (Someone actually bought me a T-shirt with that on the front).
My average night drinking with my besties consisted of a substantial amount of prosecco followed by tequila, constant trips to pollute the air, mind sweeping tables for drinks, toilet Snapchat photo shoots and having no concept of time.
The night ended by walking home with shoes in hand at 3am, with my 20 chicken nugget sharer box (just for me #greedy), coming home to an angry husband due to my inability to tell the time and my poor battery life. I would use bribery by picking up a double cheeseburger during my visit to McDonalds which normally went down a treat and calm was restored. However, passing out naked on the bathroom floor after throwing up all over my face to add to list of fails I had already done by my lateness and going off the grid, gets me into serious trouble.
Alcohol has also been responsible for some of the worst life choices I have made, encouraged me to argue and fall out with some of my closest friends over ridiculous things and nearly getting fired from work.
Times have changed now and my glass of prosecco has been exchanged for a latte or lime and soda, I actually remember what has happened on a night out and feel as fresh as daisy the morning after. I have put together a few tips on how to survive a night out sober.
Surviving a night out sober
You have a reason why you are not drinking – The key thing to remember right from the start is that you have stopped drinking for the little person that you have inside of you. However, you don’t need a reason to do anything you want to do with anything in life. Liberty is constantly on my mind and want to do the best for her therefore I have started to change my behaviours and got a new way of thinking already.
Declaring you are not drinking at the start – One of the things that I do when I am out and don’t want to even have my allotted ‘2 units’ is that a declare that I am not drinking. Saying that you are doing to do something and then going back on your word is embarrassing. Personally, I don’t like people to think I can’t stick to a plan therefore more likely to not to want to drink because I don’t want to be seen as having no self-control.
Pre-pick your drink – it helps me that I plan what my non-alcoholic drink of choice will be before I go out. Knowing what you’re going to order takes the pressure off having to make a snap decision and ordering your ‘usual’ (prosecco with a raspberry in my case). It doesn’t have to be a boring choice either, try out some new combinations such as: fresh lime and soda; pure orange and lemonade or sample all of the mocktails on the menu.
Relax and Enjoy Yourself – Following on from the title of this post, just because I’m pregnant doesn’t make me a boring B*!#h! It is known that when people are aware that you are not drinking, they assume that you are going to be quiet and reserved. The key is just relax and enjoy yourself. You can be the responsible one who can look after all your friends. Seriously it is not a bad thing as you will have all the entertainment you need as you watch your friends slowly deteriorate and be on hand any emergencies which may arise should as fetching water, cockblocking and ensuring everyone gets home safely with everything they came out with.
Develop a Tolerance for Drunk People – This is something you’ll have to do if you want to survive a night out sober. You need to develop a tolerance for stupidity, selfishness , and many other undesirable behaviours that come with alcohol. If they’ve had a lot to drink they’re not thinking straight, they have no concept of personal space and unable to control their volume levels when speaking. If they say something stupid they probably don’t mean it (you would like to hope so). As the sober one you need to be understanding and forgiving for the stupid things drunk people do or say. For me, I just laugh it off unless it is out of line then I will rise another time as one lesson in life I have learnt the hard way is to NEVER ARGUE WITH A DRUNK PERSON! You will get nowhere.
You have an excuse to Leave Early if you want to – If you really can’t stand the situation anymore, it’s important to have an exit strategy in place. Luckily you have an excuse to leave regardless who you are with or what situation you are in. Pregnancy is tiring and you can be lucky sometimes to make it past 9pm! 😴
Alcohol while pregnant
According to the NHS, The Chief Medical Officers for the UK recommend that if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all to keep risks to your baby to a minimum. Drinking in pregnancy can lead to long-term harm to the baby, with the more you drink, the greater the risk. (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/alcohol-medicines-drugs-pregnant/)
If you do decide to drink alcohol, you should limit your intake to one or two units a week (My pregnancy 2018, Eighth edition published in 2017 by White Ladder Press). One UK unit is 10 millilitres (ml) – or eight grams – of pure alcohol. This is equal to:
- half a pint of beer, lager or cider at 3.5% alcohol by volume (ABV: you can find this on the label)
- a single measure (25ml) of spirit, such as whisky, gin, rum or vodka, at 40% ABV
- half a standard (175ml) glass of wine at 11.5% ABV
Choosing to drink or not is ultimately your decision. My choice is 1 to 2 glasses of 175ml of white wine with loads of ice when I am in a social situation however can easily go without as can argue with myself that I am harming Liberty. If you are a constant worrier and going to spend the whole pregnancy fretting about having the occasional glass of wine or Gin and Tonic, it’s probably best if you do give up alcohol, because worrying and having anxiety is not good for you or the baby.