When I went to bed on Thursday night I felt OK. It had been a busy day at work, I had been to a spinning class with my friend cast my vote in the EU referendum. I was confident the remain vote would prevail. I hadn’t met anyone who was going to vote leave.
I went to bed just after the polls had closed. At that point, although there was no exit poll the expectation was that the vote would be to remain. That would be that. Time to get back to normal.
When I woke at just after 4.00am everything had changed. The BBC were reporting that the leave campaign had secured 52% of votes, with the remain campaign securing 48%. We were leaving the EU.
I didn’t go back to sleep. I couldn’t take in what had happened and as I watched the results coming in, I hoped that what had been predicted wouldn’t come true and the remain vote would surge expectedly. It didn’t.
Friday was a surreal day. I had a lot to do at work but every so often I would come to with a jolt and remember what had happened. It all seemed like a bizarre dream. When I occasionally have drinking dreams it is a huge relief to wake up and find my sobriety remains intact and my sleeping mind has been playing tricks on me. This time it was the other way around. I was dreaming that everything was OK only to come round to find it wasn’t.
By the evening I was really tired. I know that if I had been drinking it would have been an evening of guzzling wine until I achieved oblivion. This morning I would have woken with a hangover and a sense of overwhelming shame and guilt. T and the referendum result would have been unchanged. So a lose, lose situation all round.
I could only influence the outcome of the referendum to a very small extent. I did as much as I could by engaging in the process and casting my vote. With drinking, I am in full control. By exercising my choice not to drink I can determine the outcome 100%.
Removing alcohol from the equation has made the last few days easier. There is an indefinite period of uncertainty to come. I need to keep a clear head and stay strong. I need to stay sober.