Four months ago, I decided to give up alcohol, it was something I’d wanted to do for some time, years in fact. But there was always another event coming up where I felt I needed to drink. My 40th birthday being a perfect example or our summer holiday. I couldn’t possibly go on holiday and not
have a drink, I mean what sort of holiday would that be.
My reason for wanting to give up the booze wasn’t because “I have a problem” as many people assume, when I say I’ve quit drinking. I didn’t live on a diet of vodka, vodka and more vodka. I didn’t need to have a drink each morning to function, in fact I didn’t need to drink every day at all. I would drink 2 or 3 glasses of wine on a Friday and Saturday night (Yes, they were large glasses, but I’d worked hard all week, I deserved a drink). I’d also have a glass or two during the week if I’d had a particularly stressful day at work or with the kids, but as I said it wasn’t every day.
I didn’t in any way shape or form consider myself to be addicted to alcohol, but of course I was. I drank alcohol on a regular basis, at least once if not twice a week and alcohol is an addictive substance, FACT!!! Anyone who drinks regularly, no matter how little they drink is addicted on some level to alcohol, unless of course they are Superman or Superwoman and are in possession of super powers.
The main reason I wanted to give up the booze was because I blamed it for the fact that I couldn’t lose weight. It didn’t seem to matter what diet plan I followed and believe me I have followed them all (slimming world, hypnotherapy (with 3 different hypnotherapists), miracle lemonade diet, cabbage soup diet, herbal life, the 5:2 diet, the list goes on, but I think you get the picture). I desperately wanted to be thin and even though I would stick to a diet all week, at the weekend, a bottle of wine would be opened, which would shortly be followed by multiple trips to the fridge and kitchen cupboards.
In March 2018, I decided I was going to quit drinking, so I bought myself a book called ‘Stop drinking now’ by Allan Carr, what an eye opener that was, In the book, Allan tackles all the reasons people believe they drink and highlights the fact that you get no joy or emotional support from drinking. His words certainly spoke to me and I didn’t touch a drop of alcohol for 12 weeks. I felt good, I was sleeping better, I lost a little weight, I had more energy and I was a lot less stressed. So, I have to wonder now, why on earth did I start drinking again?
The reason was simple, My 40th birthday was fast approaching, and we had loads of plans for the summer where alcohol would be present, so I just started drinking again. Although Allan’s book had outlined alcohol gave me no joy or emotional support. I couldn’t see how I could have a birthday party without alcohol. (I had to have champagne, I was turning 40!!!). We had loads of camping trips coming up with my kids motorcycle team and they all involved drinking round a campfire. It just seemed like a silly time to give up the booze. So, I went straight back to my old drinking habits, in fact I was drinking more because it was summer and summer equals beer gardens and BBQ’s, and you can’t go to a BBQ or beer garden and not drink…right?
In October 2018, I looked in the mirror and saw the effects drinking was having on my skin, I was able to get away without wearing foundation long into my thirties and now I was having to purchase Estee Lauder double wear foundation, to hide my skins flaws. I was tired of waking up 3 or 4 times through the night because I was having a hot flush and desperately needed a drink of water. My tiredness and dehydration led to me getting stressed out and angry at the slightest little things. It was time to give up the booze once and for all and to give myself a chance at living my life to the fullest without the effects of alcohol.
So back out came my Allan Carr book, along with several other books on sobriety. I also downloaded an ‘I am sober’ app so I could track my progress. My favourite bit of the app is the daily alert, which reminds me why I have stopped drinking, you write this yourself, mine says;
I want to be happy and healthy, drinking makes me sad and it makes me look rough. I get angry and stressed easily when I drink. I like myself better when I don’t drink.
In the beginning, making the above pledge everyday really spurred me on. After 2 months though I felt amazing and there was nothing that would make me go back to the way I felt before. The best way I can describe how I feel now is to tell you the story about my first pair of glasses. Many years ago, I decided glasses were cool and I wanted some, there was nothing wrong with my eyesight (or so I thought). I went along for an eye test and was given a very slight prescription. I was happy as Larry, “ one pair of black framed Dior glasses please” (I was a bit of a designer junky back then). Two weeks later my glasses were ready, I went along to the opticians and was told to stand at the back of the shop and look out across the shopping Mall, which I did. I could see everything without an issue. The optician then handed me my new glasses (that I didn’t think I needed). I put them on and looked out across the shopping mall once again. I couldn’t believe how much clearer my vision was. When I quit drinking it was like I could suddenly see my life clearly and realised how much time i’d wasted drinking booze and living with a hangover.
By writing this Blog I hope to show you that all the reasons you think you drink are all just in your head and that you’ve been brain washed from a young age into thinking that alcohol brings you some sort of joy or emotional support. Perhaps you think it makes you more confident or simply that you like the taste, or enjoy drinking. Which makes me ask the question,
Do you know what alcohol is???
A glass of wine, a pint of beer, a gin and tonic, whatever your tipple may be, it contains ethanol. Ethanol is a type of alcohol produced by fermentation of grains, fruits or other sources of sugar, this exact same chemical is used as motor fuel.
Would you go and order a glass of motor fuel at the bar and believe that it would give you some sort of joy or emotional support?
Do you think a glass of motor fuel will make you more confident?
Do you think you would like the taste or enjoy drinking motor fuel?
I don’t think so!!
For me personally, I used to believe my wine helped me to relax. Since giving up the booze, I have realised wine did not relax me, in fact it made my life more stressful. Drinking a glass or two of wine, didn’t make my stresses magically disappear, I would still need to deal with them eventually, only I then had to deal with them with a hangover.
Since quitting the booze I wake up every morning feeling on cloud nine and I want to scream how good I feel, so more people can follow my lead, so they too can feel amazing.