herald

Saturday 21 October 2017

I'm off the drink for eight weeks ... and yes, it is a bid deal

It's sometimes foolish to make too big an announcement. Like when Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford took out a full page in the The Times in 1994 to tell the world that their marriage was hunky dory and denied all rumours that they were getting a divorce.

They separated in 1995. Did they jinx their marriage? Or were they pure stupid!

Well, I have decided that I am going to stop drinking alcohol until Christmas, and I'm hoping that by telling, well a few of you, I am not jinxing anything, or being pure stupid.

I realise telling people that you are giving up alcohol is boring and tiresome. "Just shut up and do it", is the main reaction I am getting.

I suppose I am hardly climbing Kilimanjaro. I am not taking some radical step to change my life - like move house, leave a partner or change careers. I am simply stopping consuming alcohol for 8 weeks. Big. Swinging. Mickey.

Except, it is a big deal, because yet again I have let the demon red wine come into my life too frequently and its properly getting me down.

Alcohol is a strange thing. Some folk can happily knock back a bottle of vino a night, and they are grand.

Others can drink wine, vodka and shots at the weekend, and they are okay. But then some people find themselves struggling when the pressures of work or the difficulties of life make them go for a glass. It might only be one glass and they begin to feel the smooth warm liquid take away their worries and cares.

You know alcohol is causing you problems when you begin to have a love hate relationship with it. I am definitely beginning to hate it.

"Ya didn't look like you hated it on Saturday night at 2am," I can hear a pal say. Well no, I was loving the effect of it at a great party I went to.

But it is slowly making its way into my Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday evenings.

It is ensuring that my evenings are centred around the pouring of that glass of wine after work.

A ritual is becoming hard to crack - get home, potter, look at the clock and think its not 7pm yet, potter some more and then pop - the vino is poured.

RITUAL

This ritual is turning into a stranglehold, so much so that I cannot do the cutting back to weekend drinking. For me, at the moment, its all or nothing.

And so I will attempt to stop. And give my brain and body a break. If it all goes according to plan - I will let you know.

I once knew someone who gave up alcohol from when he was fifty, til he was sixty. And even though my 8 weeks feels like 10 years now, I'll give it my best shot.

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