So long Scroll Free September, make way for Sober October! I have been looking for a playful euphemism or a colourful metaphor to dress this up, but the truth of it is, for the last while I have been drinking too much. Not in the “drinking problem” sense but simply in the “this is not good for my overall health” sense. My husband and I have been planning to take a break from alcohol for ages now, but there was always some reason (read excuse) why it wasn’t a good time. There was always a wedding, holiday or other occasion on the horizon, which made the idea of going tee total a daunting prospect. We now find ourselves at the closing of the year. Christmas is fast approaching and party season will be here before we know it, so it was pretty much now or never.
Those of you who are regular readers will know that 2018 has been a bit of a roller coaster for me. Between my full time job, of which I have had three, and my side projects, I can end up feeling like I am working all the time. There have been a lot of changes and often by the time the weekend comes along, I am too exhausted to attempt anything more energetic than binge watching Netflix in my pjs with a glass of wine or a nice cold beer. Alcohol became a way to differentiate weekend nights from week nights! I wouldn’t describe myself as a binge drinker, I rarely, if ever get drunk. However, two or three drinks, a few nights a week quickly adds up to way more than the 11 unit safe drinking limit (17 for men.)
These habits crept in over the space of about a year. What had once been limited to Friday and Saturday started creeping into some of the other evenings too. I was definitely starting to feel the effect on my energy levels. It’s never as easy getting up in the morning after even a couple of drinks. As well as that, I am not getting any younger. I will be turning 37 next month and it’s time to stop taking my health completely for granted. I am well aware of the health risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption, especially for women, and I am not arrogant enough to think I should be lucky enough to escape them. From this week I will be teaching an extra Zumba class. This brings the total to 4 per week, and with the stress this will put on my body, I need to do all I can to mind it. Alcohol certainly will not help with that!
I am sure there will be lots of other benefits of having a dry month. I am looking forward to having more energy and to waking up refreshed on the weekends. I am also looking forward to having a little more money in my purse. But mostly I am looking forward to the challenge. I am sure the first weekend will be difficult. We Irish are notorious for having our social lives revolving almost entirely around a pint! Like many Irish families, ours has not escaped the effects alcoholism. I am acutely aware of this, and of its tendency towards heredity. This makes it even more important for me to get my drinking under control before it actually does become a problem! Who knows, it might become a permanent change.
As always, feel free to join me in my latest challenge. Wish me luck (and please send cinema recommendations) I will keep you posted on my progress. Be well xxx