The first month of 2019 has passed by. I know and it has been pointed out that I am drinking A LOT of wine. The mere mention of ‘dry January’ a phrase I first heard a few years ago, fills me with dread, even as a charitable person there’s no way I feel I could do that sponsored or not! 

Every year I’ve joked about it even a post on Facebook a few weeks ago I joked I made it till the 2 of January without wine so that was my dry January. So I now realise drinking heavily is part of me, my persona, my life!

The life and soul of a party, because I’m always the one that either climbs on a table or can no longer walk or speak properly! The one who’s usually sick the next day so I can’t make plans after a ‘night out’.

I brush off comments from my family about being ‘on the wine’, ‘drinking alcohol again’, feeling even defensively agitated by the comments telling myself I’m not an alcoholic because ‘I don’t drink in the day’ (well unless it’s a family get together or a lunchtime G and T with a friend) I know I’m up and down to the fridge 4-5 times an evening, but the wine is too important to worry about interrupting everyone’s tv viewing.

I’ve been to a local yoga class and the teacher mentioned how she ‘used to’ drink to combat a stressful job and it makes me really think about my drinking.  I meet up with a friend who is a fellow wine lover/binge drinker, oh how we’ve laughed over the years sharing stories of the hilarious things genuinely funny and even downright dangerous if I really let myself think about it for too long.

However, this time when I saw her we chatted about more serious issues, a relative of hers has liver failure from alcoholism over the years and another friend who read a book and it stopped her drinking alcohol altogether! Hmm what was this curious magical book I wondered?

Now it’s not that I want to finish my relationship with wine, it’s been there for me during many lonely evenings, anxious filled first meetings of new circles and colleagues, it’s helped me have some of the best comedy sketches in my life and some major hum dingers of drama filled stories to tell. I admit I love it, I’m in love with it, but I’m also a bit obsessed with it. 

I’m ashamed to admit I’ve been to the shops to pick up some bits of shopping and an out of stock essential fridge item for the family like butter, only to forget the butter and come back with ……. yeah wine. 

So I got the name of the book and started reading ‘The Sober Diaries’ I realise ……. and I have a lot in common. The book resonates with me and I decide to cut down and try and break the habit!

Alcohol free day 1

So the book talks of a little voice in the authors head called a ‘wine witch’ OH MY GOD I quickly realise I have one too! 

In the fridge there is 1 glass of wine left in the bottle from the night before. The wine witch is too loud, I can’t waste it, so I grab the wine witches suggestion that ‘its a shame to waste it’ and ‘Its only a glass left’ so drink it telling myself I’ll start tomorrow (I’m similar with dieting, so maybe have a food witch too?).

Alcohol free day 2

So there is no wine left! So no excuse. I usually sit down in the evening and when my husband and I watch a Box set. It’s a habit of mine I open a bottle. So tonight I do the total opposite drink wise, green tea with matcha! Wow I’m doing well, I’m so healthy and tee total! 

Later that evening I am smugly proud and go off to bed, I struggle to sleep a little as I’m so used to the gentle wooze of booze lulling me off to slumber.  

I sleep well and through the night as no usual wearing the carpet out to pee in the middle of the night or waking up with a dehydrated mouth thinking about sneaking downstairs for water without waking the house up!

Alcohol free day 3 

So because last night was a success I try the same again, it’s not the same, I do feel tired and a bit grumpy so decide that rather than fight the wine witch I’ll just avoid her and go to bed early. 

I listened to a sleep meditation, and dropped off.  I have used sleep mediations before, but am usually to tipsy to listen for more than 5 minutes before snoozing off. So I am listening properly and it helps.

Again I sleep better.

Day 4

I cook tea for the kids and I feel sad, like there’s something missing in my life, I miss wine, I even feel teary. I want to go to the shop and get some, but I need to be tougher. I even joke to my daughter about the wine witch and she reinforces, be strong mum you can’t give in. I agree she’s very wise for her young years so I decide when I get my younger daughter ready for bed I’ll put my PJs on too so I can’t go to the shop, I’m not dressed.

My usual evening routine I still feel low and tired so again go to bed early.

Day 5

So the day stared with my youngest crying because she didn’t want to go to school. I wrote a ‘to do’ list and only managed half the tasks and one of my salon tenants gave in her notice, so not one of the best days.  The after school time was tense, no idea it was go in to class for book night, friend for tea, rainbows and oldest daughter pick up from town, well the wine witch was screaming so off to the co op I went! Pinot Grigio in hand I felt so excited to see my bottled friend!

Bedtime for little one came and went, soaps watched and 9pm wine time (it’s not even that early) woohoo the glug of the first pour, yumm 2 glasses in I’m nicely relaxed in a familiar fuzziness.

Off to bed I’m straight out to sleep, BUT 3 am I’m awake, worrying about what to worry about, nipping to the loo, thirsty, disappointed with myself, why, why did I need it? What good did it actually do? I toss and turn with this thought now until ….. day 6!

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