My life looked good on the outside, but I felt the exact opposite on the inside.
We are led to believe that alcohol is something fun and playful - a way to let our hair down and a lubricant to a life that is sexy and sophisticated.
The reality is that it often takes us further away from these exact things. It can have us feeling lonely, stuck and settling for fleeting moments of joy. This was my experience as someone who was the first one at the bar and the last one to go home. Now, I am a mother-of-two who has celebrated three years of sobriety.
Writing these words still makes me laugh a little. I was never someone who aspired to live 'the sober life'. If you’d asked me a few years ago, I would have told you life without alcohol was lame and boring; a little too wholesome for me.
Watch: Your body after one year without alcohol. Post continues after video.
'Work hard, play hard' had always been my MO.
But when I look back, I can see that alcohol and I had had a pretty rocky relationship from the get-go. Growing up in Glasgow, notorious for its heavy drinking culture, I tried to live up to the Scottish reputation by sinking pints at the pub.
Drinking was at the basis of all social connections - with family, friends and colleagues. The wine-o lunch with the girls on a Saturday. The inevitable spiral into a 10 hour session.
Meeting my dad on a Friday after work. "Here, have another, Vari! Just leave the car and get a taxi home!"
Shamefully trying to piece together the hazy fragments of conversation with my boss at the work Christmas party.
It’s no big deal though, right? Adults drink. It’s normal. There’s nothing wrong with it. I can stop if I want to. (I had a couple of Dry Julys and FebFasts under my belt to prove this).