Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Life Binges

I've been reading a review of a book entitled 'Binge'.

I can't bring myself to buy the actual book, because it's written by a YouTuber called Tyler Oakley and I am, quite simply, too old to buy books penned by YouTubers.

However, I am really intrigued by Oakley's philosophy.

Oakley's book, apparently, chronicles the series of binges in his life to date, not in a 'woe is me' fashion, but in a celebratory way. He encourages his followers to embrace excess, own desires and indulge them.

The intro reads Go ahead, binge....Even if I spend every waking moment attempting to keep my life in balance I'm going to f*** up. Having already f***** up quite a few times in my life, and having lived to tell the tale, I don't regret any of it. I've binged plenty of times in my life, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. Regardless, I indulged.

Oakley implores us to cling onto those things that make us feel alive.

Now, DO NOT take this as an instruction to crack open the vino. We've been through this already, haven't we? That time is gone.

However, I find Oakley's thinking really interesting in terms of not regretting past binges, or pining over what might have been.

One of the things that made me sad when I quit drinking is the idea that I messed it all up. And the thought that maybe, if I'd only been able to be a bit more sensible, more moderate, I'd have been able to carry on drinking happily into my twilight years.

Oakley reminds me that that just isn't me! I would never have been happy having one cigarette a day, and one glass of wine. What would have been the point?

Because I am a life binger.

When I smoked, I smoked like a chimney. When I drank, I drank like a fish. When I started working in advertising, I lived and breathed that crazy world.

When I tried to combine work and motherhood, and ended up feeling like I couldn't do either whole heartedly, or properly, I quit work in order to totally binge on motherhood.

I, like Oakley, just cannot do moderation. And that's OKAY. It just means that instead of spreading everything out evenly through life, you do it all in a series of binges.

So, the big question is: what next?

I've done the nicotine binge. The alcohol binge. The motherhood binge.

How about inappropriate relationships with younger men? Online Bingo? Cage fighting?

Mmmm. Maybe my next life binge should be writing. Creating. Or exercise. Less dangerous.

So, don't feel bad about where you are, what got you here, or where you're going. Just think been there, done that. What next?

Love SM x


  1. Is there also an element of forgiving yourself for having done things in the past, understanding who you are and your tendency to throw yourself in whole heartedly and finding outlets that channel that energy more positively? Interesting idea though

  2. I was expecting a thousand comments from young men offering you the inappropriate relationship option ;-)

    Hmmm... A thought for a post of my own in the future perhaps since I'm not sure I've ever got the balance right. Being so acutely aware of my ability to go into a binge then I'm wary of taking a first step. Or is that me making an excuse and procrastinating and the only binge I'm now on is sloth! To ponder on... thanks

    1. 'Sloth' binge....struck a chime. Perfectly describes my year so far.....with long, lazy wakeup times spent on a comfy sofa, coffee and reading in hand. Been hard to even feel guilty about it (unusual for me, but yet another great plus of not drinkng). This morning, i even tried to talk myself out of it a bit....but was overruled. The opposition argued: you are plenty busy when you HAVE to be, you do the 'shoulds' when they are there to be done.what's wrong with giving yourself the present of this lazy little winter vacation??

      So here i am, sofa-nestled, dog at my feet and coffee in hand.

      And I loved your line, SM....one glass - what would be the point? Hits the nail for most of us, I bet.

  3. I swear to god SM, every time I come to log onto your page I'm thinking - now how has very articulatly put into words exactly how I'm feeling. And you did it!! AGAIN! I've made big extravegent changes in my life, all full on and full steam ahead, as usual. I've also been spending time thinking what could I have done if I hadn't drank my 20's and 30's away. But now is not the time for regret or sadness. Now indeed is the time for cage fighting or base jumping or parkour. Let us follow the light my friend, follow the light before us. xxxxx

  4. Inspiring; food for thought! And I vote for writer, however, you can still be creative and excercise at the same time!

  5. Yes! As I am now "Single Plus Baggage" I think inappropriate relationships with younger men would be the perfect next binge! Did you have anyone in mind…? Love SPB xxx

  6. I have been lurking on your blog for a couple of weeks and I am astounded at how spot on your posts are - every time I read I have an "aha" moment.
    The biggest one was with your last post. Today is it - I have tried to moderate for years and years but with no success. I am a first time older (much older) Mum & had convinced myself that once I had gone 9 months without alcohol I would never look back. Wrong - as the post mentioned, this is an internal problem not an external one. I had no problem not touching a drop when pregnant but I can honestly say that I have had 3 x binge drinking sessions in the past 4 days. A bottle a night consumed over a 2-3 hour period.Sad. My baby is the light of my life but ultimately I need to make myself better for me.....I need my self respect back because that is what I think I have lost. I want it back. I will have it back. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences & you have motivated me to try again. This time I will be armed with an arsenal of insights, thanks to you. Bless xx
    I have to work out how to sign in so I can log in under a name - I think MerlotMummy would be most suitable

  7. SM, you must be my doppelgänger except I'm a bit (fair bit) older. Smoked like a trooper for years and if it was one, it was the packet - gave it up 20 odd years ago now. I can't even eat a grape without finishing the bunch or the supposedly healthy snacking tray without wolfing down the lot. So I never stood a chance with a decent bottle of Shiraz. My obsessive nature is more restrained without the booze but did your young author allude to trigger mechanisms as a root cause of binging? All that wasted energy channelled into something so negative, me, I mean. Makes you want to weep.

    Still, War and Peace cheered me up eventually - no spoiler alert!!


  8. Hi SM. For me it's trying to find that balance in my life. Now that I am almost 11 months sober I find it challenging to establish new behaviors that will be healthy and productive. Not drinking allows my creativity to blossom. However with this new clarity comes with it a lot of anxiety.

  9. Your binges were mine, I only smoked with a drink which drove my all day smoking friends nuts, but I would have a pack in one sitting (with my bottle or more of wine). Workaholic? Check. I think you can binge on high functioning depression too. I had my excuses to binge and wallow, my career which I love is very stressful, my 2 kids whom I adore have autism and anxiety disorder respectively, and I'm alone - see? So I deserved to self medicate, to drink an insane amount of wine, to do the pass out/insomnia dance every night, to hide bottles from my cleaning lady. The realization that nothing is made better by wine, that I'm cheating myself out of really living finally hit and you've helped me SO much. This is day 12 for me and I've never been so inspired, in this short span of time I already feel like a better and more present parent and that alone means the world. Thank you SM !

  10. That is why I am just trying to live day by day. I too have a tendency to overdo things and at times feel quite frantic looking for the next thing to attach myself to. 9 months af tomorrow for me and so far manic reading about af lifestyles and diet coke doing it for me. ... And I have no regrets about the past as I really feel so glad to have stopped when I did before it got too bad. I look back with fondness on my younger crazy self, i am trying to just enjoy the moment and i am looking forward to the future xxx