Stop drinking blog – 6 months without alcohol

My stop drinking alcohol blog – Following on from my weight loss blog I want to now explore my attitudes towards alcohol and what role I might like it to play in my future.

This diary is about me, it is a forum where I can explore my own thoughts and actions in a public space that makes me accountable for my behaviours, with a view to discovering old outdated beliefs I may have and implanting new beliefs and ways of being that may make more sense for me. I am not asking anyone to do what I do, nor am I saying that what I am doing is right or wrong.

This is my 6 months stop drinking alcohol challenge!

This blog is going to be a weekly blog, probably written on Monday mornings and I am going to capture my thoughts and feelings across a large period of time. I guess since I was 20 I haven’t gone longer than a week or so without some form of drink, a glass of wine, a bottle of beer or a whiskey to unwind with on a Friday night, so 6 months is going to be a  new experience  for me.

I really want to dig deep into this relationship and see if I can come out of the other side with a whole new way of being around booze.

What is my relationship with alcohol?

I think my drinking falls into two categories.

Firstly, a few drinks at home, mainly in the evening on the weekend, I very rarely drink on weekdays. I don’t mind this form of drinking, it is just a glass or two of wine, or perhaps a couple of whiskies and is never in excess, at these times I really take my time savour the flavours and enjoy the pleasure of a nice wine. I enjoy this side of having a  nice quiet drink, there is no hangover and no pressure to  have anymore than just a couple.

The second category is the one I want to change, and that is social drinking with friends at dinner parties, restaurants and pubs etc. I want to be able to stop after a few glasses and just enjoy a nice little buzz rather than having to match everybody drink for drink throughout the night. I don’t much care for hangovers anymore and there is a  small part of my character that emerges after a few drinks that I am none too fond of  (I will explore this over the next few weeks).

Alcohol was always around me as I grew up, my parents were very social (and still are) and drinks were always a big part of any social interaction, many of my friends enjoy to drink socially and I must admit that I do too.

Throughout much of my working career (certainly between ages 25 & 40) my work involved extensive travelling, extensive entertaining of business partners and extensive expense accounts – so having ‘a good night out’ was something I became quite experienced at, and I want to shake off the belief that I can’t have a good night out unless I have had a good drink!

Week 1

Monday 16th August 2010, 7 days without alcohol.

This first week has been relatively easy, work is very busy, however, I am not stressed these days. I spent the weekend with my parents and usually I would have drank wine through the meal and then into the evening followed by a Drambuie or two with my Dad. This time I just had some soft drinks and some tea, I didn’t tell my Dad at that time that I wasn’t drinking, it was interesting to observe how customary it is to just offer someone a drink and how my not drinking reduced the number of drinks that he had. (Maybe my being there used to increase the number of drinks he had!!)

On the Saturday I bought a bottle of alcohol free white wine, it was disgusting. I think it might still be in their fridge. Anyway, I passed the weekend with flying colours and feel OK at the moment.

Week 2

Monday 23th August 2010, 14 days without alcohol. As I work most evenings during the week I rarely drink,  at the weekend we met up with some friends after watching the film Knight and Day at the cinema (fun film) I just had a few cokes and it was nice. It took me a little while to relax and get into the flow but as others loosened up as they drank their drinks it was fine, I enjoyed it. I also drove home which made a nice change for Conny.

This wasn’t a big test though, I am sure they will come soon enough. Currently I am struggling to know what to drink when I’m out if I am not drinking wine.

Week 3

Monday 30th August 2010, 21 days without alcohol. This is progressing well and I am starting to see things a little differently now. I watched the Grand Prix yesterday and usually I would have had a glass of wine (habit / association) I had a cup of tea instead it was OK, I didn’t have the bag of tortillas and salsa dip used to have too.

We went out with friends to an Italian restaurant on Friday, usually we enjoy drinking a fair amount together, before, during and after the meal, they didn’t seem at all bothered that I wasn’t drinking and I had a really fun evening. I drank diet coke from a wine glass and (once the initial bubbles were gone) it looked just like red wine. So much so, in fact that when I got in the car to drive us all home I wondered if I should actually be driving and felt a little cautious! How strange are our minds?

Really liked waking up feeling normal in the morning too, knowing that I hadn’t been talking a whole load of rubbish through the second half of the night. On that point, one of my early observations is; if the other members of the party hadn’t had a drink  I am not sure that it would have turned out to be such an outrageously funny evening, who knows.

Regarding the whole ‘what to drink’ when out debate; Diet coke in a wine glass is working well (no ice) the only problem is that at home I would only drink the caffeine free version as I try to avoid caffeine after 15:00 because it affects my sleep, interestingly, because I have not been drinking I’ve hardly had any coke in the last few weeks and that has got to be a good thing. Also, I read that the fake sugar used in diet pop tricks the body into thinking that it is about to get a sugar rush and when it doesn’t happen you actually do start a real craving for something sweet, I have heard lots of people say that they have experienced this.

I have been experimenting with flavoured water and fruit drinks to see what drink would feel right whilst drinking with friends at home, but so many of them are so sweet. I finally found a drink called Feel Good – Cranberry & Lime from Tescos and I really like it. It is a tiny bit sweet and sparkly and easily drinkable, plus it looks like you are drinking a glass of Rose! I keep a couple of bottles in my wine rack for when people come around.

From time to time I do have an urge for a glass of Morgans Spiced Rum with coke, mainly because I really like the taste, much like the craving for some chocolate, I am just letting those moments pass and having a glass of something esle.

Week 4

Sunday 5th September 2010, 27 days without alcohol. Still going well an not a drop has passed my lips! I have found it very easy this week and I am more and more convinced that you can really change a way of being by doing something different for a month and abstaining from the old ways (I’ve not eaten any chocolate for 6 weeks now too).

We had friends over on Friday night and I felt fine drinking my coke in a wine glass (no calories) and I only nibbled on half the crisps and things we had laying around, I’m not sure if drinking alcohol makes me more hungry or if it just lowers my ability to resist? Great for my weight, no calories from booze and there is no way I would eat a kebab whilst sober!!

It is becoming very clear to me that I don’t need a drink anymore to be funny, or to relax, or to let my hair down – perhaps that old self belief was put in place as a teenager to get through those awkward years and has just remained under the surface, as a belief. (My teenage years were very socially awkward, especially around girls, being small (5′ 2″ ) and having attended a boys school)

I can see how far I have come now, how much I have emotionally grown and that the quiet calm confidence I have is a true measure of my own personal growth. Yet, all the while  that old  belief (that I need a drink to be social) was firing off under the radar – what a great example of unhelpful unconscious self beliefs…

I did feel a little uncomfortable or awkward to begin with, pouring drinks for others, yet having a soft drink myself, I don’t know why but it felt a little fake! Any how, this is  slowly passing now and I am feeling more OK with it.

Conny as ever is a great source of inspiration to me – she came home from a works celebration party last week and said that it had been really great fun and she added “I left whilst it was at its peak, because that’s the best time to leave.” – That got me thinking, because I initially thought that was crazy, my own thoughts were always “don’t leave before the end unless you miss something!” – This must be another of those old beliefs or certainly a belief from my old business days where many of the large sales deals I put together were at the end of an alcohol fuelled evening where people were more  open to suggestions and ideas. Perhaps I need to aim for the space between the peak and the end and give it a try?

Week 5

Monday 13th September 2010, 35 days without alcohol. I can’t believe that this is going so well! By absolutely stopping rather than cutting down it has forced me to do different things and this seems to have given me more choice. On Friday night I was out on a Boy’s night out and I just drank my diet coke in a wine glass and it was loads of fun. I even enjoyed watching as other people got a little tipsy, I know some people don’t like it when they see people who have drunk too  much, for me; I’m OK with it as long as they are not violent. My sober state also allowed me to negotiate with a bouncer to get into a club after hours.

I have noticed that I am probably a little less talkative during the first 45 minutes without a drink… Cancel that thought. I am quite a quiet person socially as I like to listen, I think my drinking used to make me ‘feel’ more chatty and I thought I ‘needed’ to be – This is a really old out of date belief, because these days I am very comfortable just listening and talking when I have something to say.

Some of the conversations recently have been about New Years Eve which is one of my favourite nights of the year and I must confess the thought of my 6 month challenge excluding any booze on this day a little disconcerting! I think I just need to turn that thought around and focus on what I will be achieving rather than what I will be missing.

I still feel that once this is over there will be a place for drink in my life, but under a whole new set of terms and conditions.

Week 6

Monday 20th September 2010, 42 days without alcohol. Another week ticked off :-) only 20 more weeks to go! Last night I really desired a glass of whiskey and coke, really just for the flavour. I am drinking much more water in the evenings where in the past I might have had a glass of wine or a whiskey. I’m finding that every now and then I actually do crave the flavour, not the volume or the alcoholic effect, just the flavour. Anyway, I just ignore it.

I am a man on a mission and nothing is going to stop me! Currently, I am also abstaining from sweets, cakes and chocolate too, my kind of strange logic makes me feel that if I am going without one thing I may as well make it two or three things!

An important part of this challenge is to observe myself and identify old out of date beliefs that I may have about myself; one of the beliefs that is bubbling up is the need to reward myself with food or alcohol. I am definitely going to break that belief as it does not serve me well, at this time of my life I need to reward myself with health and activity and not via any ‘emotional comfort’ means.

I am taking a long haul flight soon and that will be an interesting challenge for me, over the years I have travelled very extensively on flights up to 13 hours long and I would usually make good use of the free wine and drinks to help pass the time! I never was able to sleep on those flights, perhaps because alcohol is a stimulant? I am hoping that by choosing soft drinks I may be able to grab a little sleep this time, we’ll see.

I am hoping that I am not becoming an alcohol snob, like people who give up smoking and then moan when others smoke! Mostly I don’t talk about my not drinking challenge outside of this blog unless someone asks me and I am very happy for those around me to do whatever they want.

Another interesting aspect is about saving money – I’ve not really done the sums on how much money I might have saved over the last 6 weeks from not drinking and it’s hard to figure out really (should have done that measurement before I took a break) Just by not drinking 3 glasses of wine with a single restaurant meal would save around £12, then add a couple of bottles of wine a week, perhaps a bottle of whiskey a month, coke etc. I might be saving at least £50 a month? I like that idea. That would be £300 a year, earlier this year I took a last minute skiing holiday for less than £300 so I could get a free holiday by just not drinking!

My philosophy of abstaining from certain foods rather than having them in moderation is working for me, interestingly my personality type is a Enneagram Type 4 with a 5 wing and this type of personality can be quite self disciplined, focused, analytical and creative. (I did mention this in todays entry in my weight loss blog too)

Week 7

Monday 27th September 2010, 49 days without alcohol. I don’t know what to write really.

This is becoming a really interesting journey. Because I don’t need to do it I could stop at anytime, so the focus changes onto what can I learn about myself by setting myself the challenge to not drink any alcohol for 6 months?

What has become very evident to me are the fallacies that I had about drinking:

  • Drinking relaxes me – not true
  • I thought I needed it to socially ‘be more outgoing’ – not true
  • Fun things only happen if you have had a drink – not true
  • Everyone drinks so I don’t want to be left out – not true
  • Only boring people don’t drink – not true

I really thought this would be a lot harder than it is, it’s not easy, but it’s not hard either. I do still miss the taste and the association between drinking and certain activities. Yesterday I sat in my hot tub and thought to myself “I’d really like a glass of whiskey” because that is what I used to do, drink a whiskey in my hot tub!

As I recognise these associations and break them apart things are getting much easier.

Week 8

Monday 4th October 2010, 56 days without alcohol.

It’s not even a challenge now, it’s relatively easy. I am really amazed how simple this has become once you get over the old programming that you have inside your mind about what alcohol does for you and the role it plays in your social life.

One thing that has amazed me about my stopping drinking challenge is how strong I have been and how determined I am to see it through – Over the last 5 years I have been on my own journey of self discovery and personal growth and many of the goals I set myself were around finding calmness, letting go of my ego, choosing to be happy rather than (if I had X then I’d be happy…) and doing things that feel good for me rather than doing things that I feel (society or others or my upbringing) expects me to do.

It has crossed my mind on more than a few occasions that because I am really calm and choosing to accept that sometimes bad things happen and sometimes good things happen – means that my stress levels are very low and therefore my need to gain some form of emotional comfort in food or drink is no longer present – who knows?

I am sure there will be many testing times ahead, but that doesn’t mean I need to revert back to old ways of ‘managing’.

Week 10

Monday 18th October 2010, 70 days without alcohol.

I am just back from a week in Mexico and still no alcohol!!!! I was tempted twice, once on the flight (which I think is just a habit) and the second was in a restaurant after a long hot hike when my friends were drinking bottles of cold beer with a lime stuck in the top – they smelt delicious (beer, not friends) and it truly tested my resolve, anyway, I stuck to my guns and made it through. On a more healthier note I drank gallons of water whilst I was away and never had any holiday hangovers! Which just has to be good.

I have found a new role model to learn from to further increase the effectiveness of my therapy sessions – Drill Sargent Therapist

Week 11

Monday 25th October 2010, 77 days without any alcohol at all.

Had a good week and a lovely weekend spent in Chester with Conny, still no alcohol. I have started to notice that the times I miss a glass of wine are not when I am out in restuarants or pubs, I miss having a drink at random times, for example; Conny had a glass of wine in the hotel as we were getting ready to go out for the evening and I really wanted one too.

I am really glad I started this little challenge because it has given me the opportunity to really explore my beliefs about alcohol and myself.  I am amazed at how determined I have remained and how it is no longer a chore to do this, it is intriguing as I don’t know what I will discover about myself next. If I can be this focused and dedicated on a single task, where else in my life can I apply it?

Week 12

Monday 1st November 2010, 84 days without any alcohol at all.

Nearly half way through my 6 month challenge and I am just getting on with it, we went to a party on Friday night and it was fine not drinking. Whilst I was there I thought that I would have liked a beer or two, which is strange because I would normally have drunk red wine. I also thought that if I was drinking I would only have had a couple, so clearly something is changing inside of me, however, we will need to wait and see what happens once this is over.

I have also had fleeting thoughts about not drinking again ever!!! But that is certainly NOT my goal, what I am looking for is more choice, more flexibility and more sober social confidence.

Week 13

Monday 8th November 2010, 91 days without any alcohol at all.

Half way through!! Nobody is more surprised than me at how persistent and focused I have been on this little project. I went out with a group of friends on Friday and had a very good time, noticed a few new things; firstly, when I started doing this I felt a little conscious being in a pub and not drinking, this feeling has now completely gone, also, the need to ‘mask’ my not drinking by using a wine glass – this has gone too. Secondly, it has been quite fascinating to see (whilst sober) how the effects of alcohol differ greatly on people. Some look and sound drunk, whilst others look sober, yet aren’t, it seems to me that they are much less ‘judged’ by others, they almost ‘get away with it’  because they are not so visibly inebriated.

Christmas and New Year are looming, I know it will be hard, however I still want to go through without drinking to see and experience things from a new point of view.

Week 14

Monday 15th November 2010, 98 days without any alcohol at all.

Still going well and on track, just the occasional urge. I spotted a bottle of Drambuie in my cupboard last week and really fancied a glass, the feeling passed and I had a cup of decaf tea instead. I tend to try and drink decaf drinks after about 14:00 as it seems to help with my sleep patterns. Not much to write really, I am just getting on with it, it’s not really much of an issue at all. (Words I never thought I would say…)

Week 15

Monday 22nd November 2010, 105 days without any alcohol at all.

All is going well and nothing to report – still alcohol free. My wine rack has never been so full for so long.

Week 16

Monday 29nd November 2010, 112 days without any alcohol at all.

I spent a little time this morning reflecting on how this challenge was going and I was surprised at how many things it has uncovered, especially about the many subtle ways alcohol was used in my life:

  • Used to de-stress after a hectic day
  • Used to complement an activity – watching sport or a film on TV
  • Used to celebrate a Birthday or anniversary
  • Used to ‘drown your sorrows’ when feeling low
  • Used to be more social and more ‘fun’ on a night out
  • Used when bored

It seems strange that this habit can be attached to such a diverse set of emotional needs.

Funny, because I watched the F1 Grand Prix last week with a glass of hot Ribena rather than a glass of wine and enjoyed them both (drink and race)  just as much. This weekend will be interesting as my family are having an early Christmas dinner and there will be all sorts of drinks available and freely flowing, I know I won’t have any and in a strange way I am looking forward to quite a new experience.

I no longer feel that I need to give any excuses for not drinking – frankly it’s no body else’s business, just mine.

Week 17

Monday 6th December, 119 days without any alcohol.

I passed the test of an early Christmas dinner with my family and didn’t need to drink any alcohol, interestingly, three others weren’t drinking either (for various reasons). The only thing I missed were the late morning Christmassy small glasses of Port, Cherry Brandy, Drambuie etc. that we always had to get ourselves ‘in the mood’ – I had a cup of tea!

It seemed to me that other people drank less too, not sure really, as I wasn’t keeping tabs on it and nobody was asking me if I wanted a top up or to join them in a glass of…. so, all in all there was hardly any pressure to ‘keep up’ or ‘have one more’.

I realise now that going through Christmas and New Year will be fine and this little 6 month challenge of mine has broadened my horizons and honed my levels of will power. Just looked on the calendar and my challenge will end on Wednesday 9th February 2011.

I am intrigued to know how I will react to drinking again – time will tell…

Week 18

Monday 13th December, 126 days without any alcohol.

Too busy to blog – sorry.

Week 19

Monday 20th December, 133 days without any alcohol.

A dinner with friends was cancelled on Saturday night due to all the snowy conditions, so we were suddenly left with no plans and a cosy night in, I must admit I really did fancy a glass of wine, however, I have come this far and nothing is going to stop me! More importantly, I really want to experience the cravings so I can break them down in my mind, and usually after a few minutes they just pass.

I have been applying this strategy of watching for my own ‘neediness’ on quite a few levels – for example; I am trying to buy a  new car and the garage are messing me around and really dragging their heels over a little bit of work that needs doing to it before I can pick it up. There is one little character in my mind that is frustrated about the delay, another one that is excited about getting a different car, and yet another part that is annoyed that the garage are being so incompetent.

All these three characters are running around in my head – and it is interesting to watch them as they all try to have their individual needs met. For me, I’m happy to wait, I don’t want a rushed job done on my car, I don’t want to to stress myself out complaining and the car is just part of my journey, not the journey itself. I don’t need to listen to those little characters in my mind, not hardly at all, regardless of what they are talking about – food, alcohol, new cars etc. They don’t control me, I can hear them, but I don’t need to believe them – they are not me.

We had the meal on Sunday afternoon instead and it was great, interestingly, I drove and the roads were truly atrocious, snowy, icy -13 Degrees C!!!!! I was really glad that I hadn’t had any drinks at all and I feel that even if I had a single glass of wine it may have made a very big difference.

I started to think about what I would do when the 6 months of not drinking comes to and end in early February – and I really don’t know. I am intrigued to find out how my attitude to booze may have changed, I feel that deep down there has been some very big shifts in my values regarding the need to drink. And I guess that’s what this is all about!

Week 20

Monday 27th December, 140 days without any alcohol.

No drinking over Christmas :-)

Week 21

Saturday January 1st 2011 145 days without any alcohol. Happy New Year!!

I am feeling really good this morning, no hang-over on January 1st, first time in 26 years. I have always enjoyed new year more than Christmas, as to me it is more ‘real’ and less commercialised. We went to a dinner dance with friends last night and I had a great time,  it felt really good to be able to laugh, joke, sing and dance and just let myself go whilst totally sober. This finally puts do rest a very old belief of mine that you couldn’t have a fun night out without alcohol.

Another observation is how absolutely supportive everyone has been for me, not a single person has tried to tempt me or coerce me into taking a drink (thank you all). I really feel I have achieved something quite profound inside by happily enjoying the whole festive season and new year in a completely new way and I feel this will afford me even more flexibility and choice in my life as I continue my journey.

I read somewhere recently that it is worth considering what emotions are you trying affect through taking drugs, alcohol, vices, addictions etc. for example; if you have a glass of wine after work because you want to numb the stress you are feeling – what other emotions may you be also numbing? Because it would be a shame if you were numbing love, joy, gratitude, hope, worthiness etc. I like this way of looking at it, regardless of whether it is true or not.

Week 22

Monday January 10th 2011 154 days without any alcohol.

Only 4 weeks to go until my challenge ends and I am having quite mixed feelings (which surprises me). On one hand I am looking forward to having a glass of wine or a pint of Guiness, yet, on the other hand I am feeling a little unsettled about what will happen. Will I just be able to have one or two glasses? Will I easily be able to refrain if I wished? Or… Once I’ve had a couple of drinks will my resolve just fly out of the window? I guess we will see.

I am so glad that I made the effort to follow through on this little project because it has allowed me to see a whole new side of myself (one that I like) and it has challenged some of my beliefs and even helped me to setup some new more helpful beliefs. Once the full 6 months is over I will list the things I discovered on this journey.

Whilst sitting here pondering – I just realised I haven’t even though about having a drink since New Years Eve 9 days ago – amazing. I also heard that the liver can regenerate itself and I found the following information:

What quantity of alcohol usage should be seen as being a risk to the liver? –  First, it should be understood that alcohol is a poison. Any amount of alcohol can produce damage to the liver. In an otherwise healthy person with no underlying liver problems, the general rule of thumb is different for men and women. Men metabolize and are able to clear alcohol more efficiently than women due to body size, body fat and certain enzymes. Because of this the maximum “safe” daily intake of alcohol for a woman is 1 – 2 drink per day; for the male it is 3 – 4 over a 24-hour period. It is also important to recognize the body and the liver in particular does not distinguish between different forms of alcohol. Beer and wine are not “safer” than whiskey or spirits. One drink is defined as one shot (1 and 1/4 ounces) of whiskey or spirits, one four-ounce can of wine or one 12-ounce can of beer. If an individual has an underlying liver condition such as hepatitis B or C, or prior damage from alcohol or other diseases, the liver is very sensitive to any amount of alcohol. In those conditions, the only safe dose of alcohol is zero.

Can liver damage be reversed? –  The liver is a unique organ. It is the only organ in the body that is able to regenerate… that is completely repair the damage. With most organs, such as the heart, the damaged tissue is replaced with scar, like on the skin. The liver, however, is able to replace damaged tissue with new cells. An extreme example is a patient who suffers an overdose from Tylenol. In this example up to 50 – 60 percent of the liver cells may be killed within 3 – 4 days. However, if no other complications arise, the patient’s liver will repair completely, and a liver biopsy after 30 days will appear completely normal with no signs of damage and no scar. However, the long-term complications of liver disease occur when regeneration is either incomplete or prevented by progressive development of scar tissue within the liver. This occurs when the damaging agent such as a virus, a drug, alcohol, etc., continues to attack the liver and prevents complete regeneration. Once scar tissue has developed it is very difficult to reverse that process. Severe scarring of the liver is the condition known as cirrhosis. The development of cirrhosis indicates late stage liver disease and is usually followed by the onset of complications.

Week 23

Monday January 17th 2011 161 days without any alcohol.

During the last week I started to realise the enormity of my challenge, to actually not drink any alcohol for half a year. Funny how that statement leaves me with two emotions, firstly, well done me and secondly, why should this be a big deal? Lots of cultures don’t drink, lots of people don’t drink. By standing on the outside for a while I have noticed how drinking is tightly woven into the fabric of life in the UK. Business lunches, a drink to unwind, a social drink, a celebration drink, a drown your sorrows drink, a “I’m bored” drink, a “I like the flavour” drink, a “I need a drink to be myself” drink etc.

It has been an interesting journey for me over the last 5 years to try and make conscious decisions in my life based on what I want, rather than, what I am expected to do (by society, peers, culture etc.)  and that brings up the question of “what do I want?”

What do I want the role of alcohol to be in my life? How much is enough? When, where, why, how? Am I drinking for me or to be included? Am I drinking for fun or to numb something? – I don’t know. I think I will try and capture in words (soon) what I want from alcohol and the role it may play in my future.

Week 24

Tuesday January 25th 2011 169 days without any alcohol.

Only two weeks left to go, although it’s not really a struggle anymore. I had a dream last week where I dreamt that I had drunk a beer and then only realised afterwards that I was not drinking – and I was really disappointed with myself! I don’t know what that means, beer isn’t even my drink of choice. I am getting the feeling that drink will play a less active role in my life, sometimes I will drink and sometimes I won’t, perhaps just social drinking, either way the big question is going to be how much drink? Yet, I don’t want to have a set of rules, just the freedom to do what I want, when I want – I am just going to have to see.

Week 25

Monday January 31st 2011 175 days without any alcohol.

Conny and I went away for the weekend so we could spend some time together and chill out, it was really lovely to just do nothing and wander around on the beach and sit in coffee shops and chat. On the whole choosing to not have any alcohol was quite easy, I noticed a couple of things though; I really (really really really) fancied a glass of wine on Saturday afternoon whilst we sat in a little coffee shop, this was one of those moments were you really don’t have an agenda and could just sit there all afternoon chatting or reading or watching the world go by – Conny had a glass of wine (I did sniff it, but didn’t drink any) I really like it when you have a glass of wine in the afternoon whilst on holiday and it goes  straight to your head.

In the evening we ate out and I noticed that I’m not that bothered anymore if I drink alcohol with a meal or not, in fact, I am finding it much more refreshing with water or a cold soft-drink and the average price of a meal comes right down. I’ve noticed too how expensive a glass of xyz is… I know it always was expensive, I guess I just used to kid myself it was OK to pay £4.50 for a glass of wine  (there is an old belief in there somewhere) – we looked at the price of a shot of Amaretto in the restaurant on Saturday and it was £3.30 (Just looked on the Tesco website and a whole bottle is £12.33) I know they need to make a profit but that seems a little extreme.

Just one more week to go and the 6 months is up! Not a drop has passed my lips. Have I missed it? Yes. Was it easier than I thought it would be? Yes. Has it changed the way I look at alcohol? Yes. Will I drink again? Yes. Will I drink differently? Yes. Was it worth while? Absolutely cialis canada fr.

I am starting to see that I want to use alcohol in moderation and mainly only in social situations (rather than something / a habit) that just happens at home. This got me thinking about “buying rounds” in pubs in the future, I think I am going to stop doing that – it is so easy to get caught up drinking as fast as the quickest drinker (and some people get all pushy if you don’t want a drink). I am going to have to make some new guideline/boundaries that work for me.

Week 26 – I did it!!!

Monday February 7th 2011 182 days without any alcohol.

Feeling very good today. Conny asked if I was going to have a drink tonight to celebrate – just seems like the wrong thing to do…. Celebrate not drinking with a drink! I think I will celebrate by not having a drink.  We are going out on Friday night so I will save myself for then, I will be able to try out my new guidelines at this time too, to see how they feel.

In some ways I wished I had done this a few years ago, however, it might not have worked back then – because this is not just about drinking it is more about how I am choosing to live my life, how I want to “be” with myself and how I want to interact with the world.

These are the guidelines I am going to play around with to see what they feel like:

  • Avoiding drinking on my own at home
  • Not allowing my glass to be refilled without it being empty
  • Taking a soft drink here and there
  • When I drive I am not going to drink at all
  • No longer joining in in “rounds” in the bar, so I can drink at my own pace
  • I am not going to “beat myself up” if I break a guideline here and there

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Finally, thank you to everybody who has helped me and supported me (especially Conny) it is really appreciated.

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