Why are you telling me that????

About 2 billion people world wide consume alcohol. I wonder how many of them question whether they drink too much or feel they have a bad relationship with alcohol? I wonder how many of them wish they could quit drinking but because everyone else around them does it, they just carry on? That is what I did for six years.

When I tell people I don’t drink anymore, whether I have known them for years or just met them 5 minutes ago, they always (with no exceptions) tell me how much they drink.

WHY?????

Oh you don’t drink” they say “well I only drink at the weekends, and I only have one or two”

I wonder if I said I don’t drink tea, they would divulge how often and how much tea they drink. I don’t think they would!!!

So why, when I tell people I don’t drink alcohol do they feel the need to tell me their drinking habits.

I believe it is because they know alcohol is bad for them and that they probably drink too much, but because everyone else around them is doing it, they just bury their heads in the sand and continue. Then when someone tells them they don’t drink, they feel guilty and feel they have to justify their drinking habits.

The fact is, I don’t care if you drink alcohol or not!!! I have chosen to quit drinking for me and only me!!

As it turns out, it is one of the best things I have ever done!!! I feel so full of life and I will never again have to spend another second feeling guilty for having one two many drinks the night before or wondering if I’ve made a fool of myself or upset someone.

I am FREE and I love it!!!!!!

I bumped into a friend in a coffee shop today and we were chatting about our journey to sobriety. She, like me was not what people would class as an ‘alcoholic’, but she knew for 10 years her relationship with alcohol was not good, but because everyone around her was drinking, it took her 10 years to do anything about it.

In 2013, after waking up in my husbands bad books because i’d been an obnoxious, inconsolable bitch the night before, I figured I should address my drinking and went for hypnotherapy. My hypnotherapist took note of the amount I was drinking and told me I didn’t actually drink that much and therefore didn’t need to stop drinking completely, I just needed to cut down.

From that day until October 2018, I knew deep down my relationship with alcohol was affecting my life and not for the better, but because everyone around me was drinking and I’d had confirmation from someone I considered to be in the medical profession that I wasn’t drinking to much, I just carried on.

If you wake up feeling guilty because you drank more than you intended to the night before, or like me and my friend, you know deep down you don’t have a good relationship with alcohol Don’t waste years of your life like we did, not doing anything about it. We both feel amazing now for kicking the drink and you could too!!!

I need my sleep

The biggest change I have noticed since cutting out the booze, is my new ability to sleep all night long. Previously, I would wake up several times during the night because I was too hot, too cold, I needed the toilet or I needed a drink. Sometimes I just couldn’t sleep. I never had a problem getting off to the sleep, the problem would come at about one in the morning. Then I would have to suffer the inner battle of “if I drop off to sleep now, I can still get five hours sleep before my alarm goes off”. Then its four hours, then its three hours, then its two. Before I knew it, my alarm would be going off and i’d drag my tired backside out of bed and into the shower, ready for a new day.

The reason I named my blog ‘Sitting Sober on Cloud Nine’ is because that’s exactly how I feel each and every morning since kicking the drink!! There is no more rolling out of bed and dragging myself into the shower, dreading what the day has in store for me. I get out of bed with a spring in my step, totally energised and looking forward to my day, feeling blissfully happy as if I am sat on cloud nine. I put it all down to the fact I now get a good nights sleep.

Sleep has so many health benefits, one of the main ones being, it helps reduce stress and improves your mental well-being. I am a Mum of two and a wife, I have 2 dogs and a career. Juggling all of these elements in my life is of course going to be stressful at times, especially when you have an important meeting at work and it is absolutely imperative you are not late. You walk into the living room two minutes before you need to leave, only to find your kids still sat in their PJ’s, despite the fact you sent them upstairs to get dressed 20 minutes ago. Just as you are about to blow a gasket, you hear the bin lorry making its approach and remember your husband is away this week, so you need to put the bin out!! Finally five minutes later than intended you and the kids are leaving the house, just as you start to think 5 minutes late is not so bad, one of the kids stands in the pile of dog sh!* your adorable puppy has left in the porch.

ARRRRRRHHHHH!!!!

As well as stress, poor sleep is also linked to weight gain. The whole reason I quit drinking in the first place was because I wanted to lose weight. According to healthline.com, good sleepers tend to eat less calories. Their studies showed that sleep deprived individuals have a bigger appetite, this is because they have higher levels of ghrelin (the hormones that stimulates appetite) and reduced levels of leptin (the hormone that suppresses appetite). You also can’t continue raiding the fridge if you are in bed asleep.

As well as improving your mental well-being and helping you to shed a few pounds, the NHS states a good nights sleep will also boost your immunity, prevent diabetes and heart disease. It can also increase your sex drive and fertility.

So many benefits from something as simple as getting a good nights sleep!!!

Obviously a better nights sleep is also going to make you more productive. My family are my world and I cannot believe how much time I wasted in the past because I was too tired. I didn’t even realise how much time I was wasting. I thought the fact I cuddled up to my kids on the sofa, watching movies, eating pizza and popcorn was quality family time. Maybe every now and again it is, but not every weekend. Especially when I’m only doing it because I can drop off for an hour (You can’t spend quality time with your children if you are asleep!!).

I am pleased to say I now spend loads of good quality time with my kids. We regularly go swimming and play sharks and fishes and my kids try to teach me how to do tricks under water. Every Sunday, my husband and I take them to Great Run Local, I partner up with Bradley and he partners up with Elliott and we have a race to the finish line. Its brilliant fun!!!! As well as exercise, I have more time and energy to cook family meals that we can all enjoy. Sitting down together and talking about our days. Bradley was laughing at my husbands comments so much the other day, he fell off his chair, his gorgeous little laugh was so infectious we were all in stitches. I will remember that moment forever I think.

I want my kids to see me as a fun Mum, always ready to play and have fun with them, not a tired Mum whose always sat on the coach with a glass of wine in hand and shouting at them.

A good nights sleep can improve your health, your mood and your entire life. If alcohol is the only thing stopping you from getting that restful slumber you need, then surely its time for you to quit the drink. It could turn out to be the best thing you ever do!!!

Am I addicted to alcohol?

If you drink alcohol regularly, as in every weekend, even if you only have the one, then you probably are addicted to alcohol in some way shape or form. It doesn’t make you a bad person. It’s an addictive substance. It happens to the best if us!

I believe there are many types of alcohol addiction. Functional addiction, emotional addiction, social addiction. Whatever your reason for drinking. If you believe you NEED it, whether to relax, to have fun, or to build confidence then you are probably addicted to alcohol. Nobody NEEDS alcohol. It offers us no health benefits what so ever. FACT!!

Some people believe they NEED alcohol to function, they physically cannot get through their day without it. Others believe they NEED it to build confidence, having a quick drink before they deliver an important presentation. I drank at the weekends to help me relax and unwind after a busy week of being Mum, Wife, Career woman, dog owner and house keeper. I was the perfect example of someone who is emotionally addicted to alcohol.

I One Hundred percent believed I NEEDED wine to relax. I didn’t think I was addicted to alcohol though. I thought I was in complete control of my drinking. I mean, I rarely drank more than a bottle of wine. Surely the fact I decided what was an acceptable amount to drink and stuck to it showed control, right???

The truth is, although I rarely drank more than a bottle. I rarely drank less than a bottle!! In fact, I’d be miffed if I had to share that bottle, like when my husband says he doesn’t want any, but then changes his mind after I’ve only bought one bottle from the shop or when I’m sharing a bottle of wine with a friend over lunch and they pour more into their glass than mine….what’s that all about??

The key moment for me, when I finally realised I was addicted to alcohol and that It was controlling my behaviour, was in Oct 18 (days before I quit once and for all) My husband was attending a kendo competition in London, so we decided it would be a good opportunity to take the boys to see the sights. Martin would be away during the day, but he’d be back in the evenings.

On Saturday morning, I decided to take the boys to the Tower of London (my kids love that kind of thing). Martin left early in the morning, so I took the boys for an early breakfast then we caught the tube over to the Tower of London. we were having an amazing day, but as lunch time approached, the boys were starting to get restless and hungry. I’d promised to treat myself to a glass of wine with my lunch for being so brave taking the kids out in London on my own. I was looking forward to sipping that cold glass of Chardonnay.

We came out of the Tower of London and the boys immediately spotted subway. “Mum I’m really hungry”, “mum I need the toilet”, “Mum we want subway” ,“mum it’s over there”. At that very moment, I could have walked 50 yards, bought my kids a subway and ended the moaning right there and then. But there’s one huge draw back with subway. They don’t serve wine and if they did it would be in a plastic cup. I do not drink wine out of a plastic cup. (Another reason I thought I was in control of my drinking)

I don’t know how well you know London, but I made my children (aged 6 and 9) walk over a mile, over the Tower Bridge, up and down steep steps, along the waterfront in hunt of a child friendly restaurant that served wine. The whole journey being accompanied by children’s whining “ mum my feet hurt”, “mum how far is it now”, “mum I’m hungry” “mum mum mum mum”. AAAAARRRRRRHHHHHH!!!!!!!

I caused that stress myself, I could of ended it 20 minutes ago, but because I needed a glass of wine I was willing to put myself through it. It would all be worth it in the end I told myself….but was it???

We eventually got to a pizza restaurant, I got my wine, my kids ran wild and continued moaning about how hungry they were while they waited 30 more minutes for their pizza to be made from scratch. The other people in the restaurant were continually tutting at me, wondering why, If I couldn’t control my kids, I’d brought them to such a restaurant. Well I’ll tell you why…………..

Because I need a bloody glass of wine if I’m going to have a chance at making it through the rest of this day!!!

I genuinely believed that!!!! I genuinely believed I NEEDED that glass of wine to get through my day. I didn’t of course, no body ever NEEDS alcohol, it serves no purpose what so ever.