It’s 2 in the morning here in the UK and I’m awake writing this because I can’t sleep. I can’t sleep because I’m a bloated whale washed up on the shore of my own excess; eat, drink,shit,drink ,eat. I feel sick.
It’s officially, according to my own rules, my last full day of drinking before what I’m hoping will be a lifetime of sobriety and I’m beginning to have doubts. What if I fail? What if all this is some elaborate joke I’ve played on myself just so I can have a month of unrestrained excess?
I wanted to have a month of allowing myself to drink whatever I wanted before giving up and part of the thinking was to see what it would be like if I took the brakes off, not apply the normal limited restraint I put on my drinking and eating. No alcohol free days necessary this month Jim, just go for it, enjoy it! In Supersize Me, Morgan Spurlock consumes only McDonalds everyday for a month to see how that would affect him physically and psychologically. The results were fairly predictable. My month has been similar in allowing myself to drink and eat without any of my normal constraints.
The results of this unrestrained food and booze fest:
- terrible sleep
- 10lbs weight gain
- constant feeling of being bloated
- night sweats
- lack of motivation (with the exceptions of doing this blog and music)
- bouts of nausea
- self loathing
- reduced level of physical activity and exercise
Basically I feel and look like shit!
The month of excess is thankfully coming to an end. Without normal internal constraints I become a creature of excess. I consume, I stuff myself,I devour, cramming it all in hoping for what? Happiness? Contentment? Sensual gratification? Relaxation? Satiation? Maybe that was the intention but after a month I feel the opposite. I feel worn down, miserable, sick, tired, out of touch with my body. I feel like I’m dying, slowly.
This month has not really been an experiment, it’s been me saying, hopefully, goodbye to a way of life. For years I have had to apply discipline and self scrutiny in order to stop the impulse to over- consume. At times it worked and other times it didn’t. But, take that discipline away and my default position is this mad desire to consume and cram in as much as I can and it’s not just the drink. When I drink more, I eat more. Trying to satisy something maybe, appease it, whatever “it” is, but I know there’s never enough food and drink to satisfy this intangible hunger. Instead of feeding this hunger I need to look at it, listen to it, understand it,confront it.
I guess all this means I should be looking forward to Sunday, giving up the booze and doing some work on myself. I am. I want to get well. But I’m also scared. Strip away the intellectualisation of this project; all the reasoning, arguments and plans and underneath is a frightened mess. If this doesn’t work, what then? Eat and drink myself into an explosive fartball of excess?
I’ll try and get some sleep now. I’ll go to a nice restaurant tonight and despite what I have said I’ll try and enjoy a good meal. I’ll be with my partner so no embarrassing excess. Then it’s home and tomorrow the real hard work begins. Everyone who embarks on this journey has their own reasons and demons and their own strategies and motivations. But there are many areas of commonality. Reading about how others have tackled this huge step into sobriety will hopefully help me reach that state. Strap in Jim, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!