wellbeing posts

How To Not Cry When You’re Sober On Bank Holiday Weekend

April 20, 2019

Today I’m 25 days sober. Today I tackled the Great British Beer Garden without drinking alcohol, on a Bank Holiday, for the first time in my adult life. Not going to lie: it was fucking shite. But I did it. And, given I’m usually nursing a surgically-attached straw of gin & tonic down my throat at this hour of a Bank Holiday Saturday; not writing blog posts, I suppose that’s pretty good going.

If you too are afflicted with the ‘alcohol basically ruins my life’ disorder, this post is written in both solidarity and the hopes of helping inspire others to take the sober route, if they think it’s something they ought to do.

But how, you ask? How in the sweet mother of Christ does one avoid the sweet nectar of beer when the sun is shining out of its proverbial arse and I swear to god the birds are tweeting “go ‘ed mate, get that vino down you”?

I don’t have all the answers – believe me, I’ve just sat with a face like a slapped arse in aforementioned beer terrace (see above) and had a slightly teary meltdown upon returning home – but these are the things that have helped me stay on the straight and narrow. And they’ll hopefully be of some help to you too.

Avoid Places Where People Are Solely Drinking

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Putting this one in here mainly as a reminder to myself… Most of the time since going sober, I’ve managed to avoid pubs, bars and clubs like the plague but, when the sun comes out, so must the guns and the inevitable beer garden visits.

If you have to go to somewhere where a) the bulk of the clientele will be drinking b) people you’re going with will be drinking, my best advice is to make sure they do some guise of non-alcoholic cocktail, beer or spritzer, to stop you feeling like a complete alien.

Luckily, the lovely people at YES in Manchester do bespoke virgin cocktails, so I had the pictured lemon, lime and grapefruit concoction whilst my partner had a normal one (he usually doesn’t drink around me – major kudos – but I’m not a complete dragon).

Remember WHY You’re Doing This

After having a little moment of feeling sorry for myself on the sofa when we got home, I started reflecting on why I enlisted myself on this wholesome (pain in the arse) journey in the first place. It’s nearly 8pm now – I’d wager that Past Ebony would be just about to fall into the ‘oh god, it’s hometime bitch’ category of drunk at this point – inevitably becoming a nightmare and/or blacking out/causing a huge argument/wasting all her money/causing general havoc.

Past Ebony was sad, a lot. Today I feel pretty sad – I’m not going to lie – it does feel like I’m mourning a part of myself. Because the initially drunk stages of Ebony are fun; I like her. But I don’t know how to just be her and then kick the cup, so to speak.

Think Outside The Box

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This has been my favourite element of going sober, by far. My life used to be coloured pretty much exclusively by alcohol – sitting in bars, sitting on the sofa, throwing terrible shapes in clubs – just booze, booze and let’s be honest: boring booze.

Since going sober, I’ve tried: golfing at a driving range (big fan, v good for a mardy mood), joining a book club (with girls who drink at the meet-ups, but I have mocktails), a poetry workshop at HOMEmcr, an afternoon at the fair then dicking about the park with a frisbee, and some incredibly amateur modelling. Tomorrow, we’re going outdoor swimming, Monday we’re going for a walk with alpacas.

What I’m saying is – don’t focus on what you can’t do – make your life so interesting that you only focus on what you can do. And hey, you’ll have way better anecdotes than hazy recollections of being a wasteman (I’ve already got a lifetime of these).

Work Out How Much You’re Saving

If you’re anything like me, you spent a hefty wedge when you were drinking. Not just the purchase of alcohol itself, but the whole ritual of it: the drinks, the cigarettes, the taxis, the hangover takeaways – that shit adds up. The last time I had a Big Night of Drinking, I spent around £70 – which is basically a very nice dress and this upsets me quite a lot.

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Happy Bank Holiday, guys – here’s to waking up each day not feeling like we’ve been hit by a train, or wondering what the bejeezus we did the night before…

If you’re also sober, or looking to cut out the bevs, feel free to follow my journey and drop me a line on Twitter @Ebzo.

OUTFIT
Dress – H&M
Belt – ASOS
Bag – Kiomi (ordered from Zalando)
Sunglasses – Sue Ryder
Necklace – Barnardos

Learning to Cope with a Borderline Personality Diagnosis

January 10, 2018

I’m not going to pretend to be an expert by any means, nor am I going to pretend that I have my shit together. But, since getting my shock diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder back in September – and the benefit/downfall of  having a severe lack of filter – I thought it might be helpful to those who are struggling, or to those who know somebody who is struggling, to have one person’s insight on how they’re learning to cope with their diagnosis.

As I mentioned in my previous post about BPD, I never thought that it was a mental disorder that I could attribute to me. Yes, I’ve been diagnosed with depression and generalised anxiety in the past, but I never caught any links of anything further than that. However, following my diagnosis, I see so many explanations for behaviours that I’ve had in the past – and to this day – that formerly, I had no reason behind.

Let’s not beat around the bush: BPD is a fucking hellhole of a disorder. Sparring with Schizophrenia for the highest stigmatisation rate amongst modern mental illnesses; it isn’t anyone’s favourite mental mishap. Factor in the fact that it’s a disorder with a very low recovery rate, which people only learn merely how to moderate, yeah, it’s really not the greatest. Let’s not even get into the 10%+ suicide rate in sufferers.

However, BPD is not the curse I thought it was initially. There are times where I feel like I am nothing more than this illness; I’ll give you that, but there are other times where I know that having BPD can be dealt with, and it offers its own bizzare multitude of ‘benefits’.

For example, if you’re friends with someone with BPD – and I mean – if they consistently trust you enough to really let you into their life – you’ve got one motherflipping loyal friend on your hands. When I connect with someone truly, I’ll go to the ends of the Earth – oftentimes to my own detriment – to ensure that they’re okay. Granted, that means that we do often gravitate towards those who may not always deserve our care, but it’s still there.

Since my diagnosis, I’ve lost a number of people in my life – for various reasons – but I’m starting to wonder whether those people were actually meant to be there, or whether they were riding on my inability to leave someone be when they’re in a crisis. I can’t say that getting diagnosed has been a walk in the park by any means, but it’s been so fucking enlightening to understand why I do the things I do – especially in moments of crisis.

The sad fact is, regardless of anyone’s self-awareness of their disorder, a therapy called DBT is pretty much a must when it comes to proper treatment of those with BPD, which – unfortunately – is something that I can’t access through the NHS (for 12-18 months) without forking out £320 a month for private therapy, so it definitely has its downfalls.

All I’m trying to do with these posts is open up about Borderline and hopefully give others suffering the strength to do the same. And for those who aren’t, I’m writing to show people that a ‘normal, functioning person’ has that very same disorder.


Ebony. 25. Manchester.
Marketing Manager who likes to mouth off on here about stuff she cares about. Expect mental health, Borderline Personality Disorder, and reviews - from restaurants, to books, to fashion. Talks to cats more than people, but seemingly has a lot to say.
ebonylaurenn@gmail.com