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I’m going to ask you a question and I want you to be really honest with me. Really honest, not white lie: "Things are okay. I’m not really in emotional turmoil, honest." I mean take a good hard look at yourself and then answer. Okay.
You’re ready? Here we go.
When was the last time you were really stone cold sober? Not like a weekend off or taking a "well-deserved" break from Monday or Friday (surprise—you don’t have to drink every night. I didn’t know this either!). I mean sober. For weeks on end. And with months in front of you to go. Well, hello, baby. Since I found out I was pregnant I’ve been sober (I know, round of applause, please?), and now it’s been two months since I found out (not two months since I got pregnant but let’s not go there—Google scares you enough about the champagne you drank before you knew you were preggo!) and let me tell you, I am the most sober I’ve ever bloody been since I was 18 (that’s probably 16).
And you know what? The world around you when you really get all that stuff out of your system: cigarettes, drugs (nothing major—but sorry, Mum, anyway), ALL alcohol, and for good measure when you’re pregnant the most addictive and decadent and heroin-like substance known to man—soft cheese—my god do you start seeing the world for what it really is. And boy is it terrifying. Really terrifying. More terrifying than you could even imagine. So, if you have the chance to not be sober, take it. No, no calm down. I’ll explain myself first.
Example… So, I’ve realized as a pregnant sober lady I can do any social event there is until midnight. The clock strikes midnight and it’s all over. The world is a scary place. And don’t even get me started on other humans. So, this is how it goes. When you’re not sober, any time after midnight is very exciting. It’s the time you order two drinks instead of one because it’s an economic way to drink and save time; it’s the time you sit down beside your new friend Dylan and tell him about your childhood. It’s when you tell said new friend about the school friend you knew who died of leukemia at 8-years-old and what’s that done to your take on life. It’s when you tell Stacy how beautiful she is despite her eczema and that she really should stop taking John back as he seems like a bit of an asshole. But this, my friend, is all when you’ve been drinking. And you actually think it’s normal to stand really, REALLY close to someone (within spitting distance) and tell them this story while your drink tips all over them.
And the worst part about all of this, the very worst part is knowing that I was in the past the WORST PERSON ever at doing this. God damn my talkative nature. I mean, I am the original drunk annoying talkative woman still going at 6 AM. I’m the one telling everyone who I think really wants to listen about my childhood. I think everyone wants to know my own personal opinion on marriage and children and dogs and religion.
And suddenly, in the blink of eye, I’m sober and those days of me being the crazy drunk woman are over and I’m here thinking, "My god, everyone needs to calm down and stop talking so much. I mean please, please stop talking. No one cares that you rode a horse when you were 4-years-old, and I’m sorry your mum made you take ballet lessons when you were more of a ‘soccer girl’ but people are dying in the world so please get over it." Being sober means the bullshit factor is gone, and all the stuff people are talking about stuff post-midnight, guess what? We don’t care.
Now that I’m sober, it’s like being in a zoo. But everyone is an animal and I’m running the show. Being sober allows you to observe everything around you and it’s crazy. People are annoying,; drunk people are even worse. And I must have been at the top of the annoying table. I’ve never felt the need to apologize to so many people around the world before in my life (which is saying something, considering the stuff I’ve done!) from the bottom of my heart. We are all insane. Every single person, just trying to get by, and to get by at night means drinking to get by and that’s when the animals really start racking their chains.
Another thing about being sober is you’re suddenly always "ON." You know when you have a big night out? The next day is usually a bit of a happy write-off too. So you know, you wake up late, go for brunch and then feel slightly sick for the rest of the day so you just chill in your pajamas / underpants / nothing and binge watch Netflix. It’s usually not until a whole 24 hours later—AKA the next whole day—before you start feeling like a human being again. And this is actually a good thing. I used to enjoy being hungover because it was a nice chance to really shut my brain off, to disconnect from our now hyper sensitive / digital world and just relax. Alas, once you’re pregnant you don’t have this time anymore. You’re not waking up at 2 PM on a Sunday, viciously hungover and looking forward to nothing but McDonalds. Oh no, quite the opposite. You’re awake and rearing to go at 8 AM—looking around for signs of life and realizing everyone else is in bed asleep. You, on the other hand, are awake, and sober, and ready to go. But there’s no one else around. No chill time, disconnect. You’re just wandering the planet awake and alive and seeing everything through clear sober eyes.
This, my friends, is what being truly sober feels like. And it’s a wake-up call. Considering it’s only March and I’m due in September, I’m kind of bracing myself for what is coming next! I’m still trying to work out if I should continue to even go to these events or just give them up entirely and retire to my little corner of the world and eat chips and wonder who the hell I am on a Sunday morning. Alas, I’m not sure that’ so good for my mental health either. I’ll keep you posted! And for people in a similar position to me—I know what you’re going through and I commend you for every single night out you’ve had to endure past midnight.