Friday, February 01, 2013

New year, new me etc...

Hello peeps. Yes, I do still exist. I am not sure why I post so infrequently anymore, except to say social media has taken over my life.. sometimes in the world of twitter it is easier to express a thought instantly then, spend time blogging. But today I have decided it is time I reconnected with this blog once more, otherwise it will be overtaken completely by spambots....

Anyway here I am ready to share with you the wonders of Dry January...

To say I drink too much is probably putting it mildly. I'm not even going to tell you how many units I drink a week, because it is far too embarrassing, and if I don't tell my GP that stuff, I'm certainly not telling you. I also suffer badly from not having an off switch - or I do have one, but it kicks in just after the LAST glass of wine I should have had, ie, way too late.

So for a long time now, I have been thinking I should cut down. I'm ok at having a couple of dry days in the week, but come about Wednesday, I usually feel a glass of vino calling. I blame the children myself... When they were young and I was entirely without a social life, I started to drink wine more regularly after they'd gone to bed, and it's a habit that's not only stuck, but crept up on me. Particularly since I stopped smoking. It's easy to say that you drink or smoke or do whatever your vice of choice is because of the stress in your life, but I can honestly say at the moment, considering what stress I have had in recent years, there is now comparatively little stress in my life, so THAT excuse won't wash anymore.

Over the last few years I've tried (and failed dismally, to the crowing of my family) to give up alcohol for Lent. And this year at Christmas my big sis started talking about dry January. To much sneering from my loved ones, I mumbled something about trying that. I should really have known better, my big sis not only once talked me into doing a very hideous fell run on New Year's Day (WITH a stonking hangover, thanks Jo), but also conned me years ago into doing a 10k, which she then backed out of, after I'd signed up for.
But she is much more abstemious then I am, so was sure she'd make a better fist of Dry January then I would.

I didn't want to commit to anything though, knowing how pathetically weak willed I am (I can only say it is a VERY good thing I have never tried hard drugs), so while I toyed with doing it for charity, I gave up on the idea pretty swiftly. I really wasn't sure I was even going to make it through one day, let alone a month. So I decided a quiet approach was best, and I wasn't going to make any bold and meaningless promises to anyone, if only to avoid the family mirth when I failed yet again.

As it happened, I woke up on New  Year's Day with a hideous hangover. I'd like to say we'd been to a wild party, but all that had happened was Spouse had switched to beer without me realising, so I drained the second bottle of wine all by myself with horrendous consequences. I felt so ill, the thought of alcohol the next day was the last thing on my mind (I swear the only reason I am not an alcoholic is that I can't do hair of the dog), and is it happened, I didn't feel much like it the next day either.  I was slightly tempted on the 3rd, but the lingering memory of the hangover was a powerful impediment. By the Friday I was feeling quite pleased with myself. Normally, I'd be the first to open the wine on Friday night, but that night I had to do a lot of offspring related driving, so I didn't drink then, which meant  four sober days. And I managed to resist the temptation on Saturday and Sunday, despite much provocation in the shape of family rows. And then it was Monday, and I'd done a whole week.

Although I am very weak willed, I also possess a stubborn streak. Having got through a week, I was damned if I wasn't going to get to the end of the month. (A similar thing kicked in when I stopped smoking and kept me on the straight and narrow till I kicked the habit). The second week was tough, but by the third week I was feeling ok about it. And now it's February (and while the last two days have felt more testing then the previous three weeks), I have miraculously stuck to my guns and done what I set out to do.

And the resulting health benefits? (I am resolutely IGNORING the irritating article I read in the Mail saying there are none). Well,  I do feel healthier, though I still struggle to get up in the mornings, and I don't seem to have lost any weight, which is annoying. However, I can report that exercise is much easier, and I run faster then I did when I was drinking.

Tonight is Friday, and I can have a drink. At the moment, I am not entirely sure I will have one. Alot of the desire to drink seems to have seeped away. Whether it comes back as soon as I have a glass I don't know, but I'm certainly going to try to keep to a few dry days a week if I can. And as the children are developing social lives which involve me going out late to pick them up, it looks as though my weekend drinking is going to be a thing of the past. So Dry January has been a good preparation for the teenage years, and maybe I won't resent the sacrifice so much anymore...

In the meantime, I have at least proved to myself I'm not as alcohol dependent as I thought, and have nearly cracked 10 minute miles for the first time in years. So it has had it's benefits...

And my sister? Nah, she didn't even last the week...



Lisa Rullsenberg said...

Well done you! that's brilliant stuff. We've generally not drunk as much since well before Christmas with a combination of ill-health, medication, travelling and... well, just not being bothered. Actually, it is quite nice to not see huge numbers of wine bottles filling up the recycle bag so quickly.

Enjoy the glass: enjoy chilling down on having quite so much as you had previously. You will possibly enjoy it more! (Plus easier and faster seem like good health benefits to me: you're taking notice of the Daily Mail???! Are you crazy?!)

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