Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Dry January and the Empty Nest

I'm so addicted to alcohol that I used to give it up for Lent.    This year, partly because my daughter was doing dry January,  I decided to get the agony over with quickly.

I really hate not drinking, and I give up with gritted teeth (poor husband).  Every evening I distract myself with elderflower cordial,  peanuts, the Twin Peaks box set and a late-night cup of cacao.   There's no way I'm going out to dinner with no wine.

Eleven days in and I'm pulling it off -  just one lapse so far.   It was the day my daughter left home for good and I needed consolation.

So why give up something you love so much?  Simple: clarity and energy.  Drinking was taking up so much of my time and draining my energy.  Why squander the new levels of energy you get when your kids leave on a habit? This is something you only really recognise when you give up for a bit.

What's helped me a lot  is to stop feeling guilty about how much I drink  - thanks to the hypnotherapist Georgia Foster, who has written a great book on the subject.   She doesn't believe most people have to give up completely, and she doesn't make you feel guilty about drinking. She just offers manageable strategies to help you control your drinking, not the other way round.

Oh, and the other thing that's really helped are Wet Weekends!