So I already know that Stoptober is really about dropping the fags for a month, but since I don’t smoke and my body is screaming for an alcohol vacation, I’m giving up the drink instead. Only for the month mind……
2 years ago, I promised myself I would stop my cheeky nightly Red and restrict the embibing to the weekend. I’d been pretty good with sticking to this and found a new energy, slept better and best of all the weight dropped off my stomach. Since this is my trouble spot, it seems likely that a correlation between the 2 exists.
Slowly and somewhat stealthily over the past year, the old post-work drinks have crept back into my life. I’m back to the nightly drinks – maybe 1 large wine a night. Binge drinking I am not, however as I get older I am more concerned about the battering my liver is receiving and the general kicking I am giving my body by the relentlessness of my drinking. Add to that the clear midriff bulge which I have to attribute to my nightly Red and there really is no excuse not to put myself through this torture.
This however is clearly a problem. Here I am proselytising about getting out there and mixing with the masses, when usually (for me) this is inextricably linked with a large glass of dutch courage. I am not dependent on alcohol to go out, but it certainly makes the experiences a less scary one and the fact is, I just really enjoy the taste. You just can’t beat a good Merlot or Guinness.
What the hell am I doing????
Saturday 1st October 2016 – 1/2 bottle of Merlot
There is still 1/2 bottle of Merlot in my kitchen. It is Saturday. I have just come back from holiday and have no plans other than slagging off contestants on the X Factor. I’m sorry – there is no contest. I will finish this bottle and that will be it.
Sunday 2nd October 2016 – Alcohol Free
7.30am – I wake up surprisingly alert for a Sunday and spring out of bed, getting ready to take Oscar for a walk in the park. The sun is out, it’s a lovely day.
11.00am – I want to go back to bed. Dog is walked, stung by a wasp in the long grass and liberal amounts of TLC being dispensed.
3.00pm – Mouth feels like it’s stuffed with cotton wool. I haven’t had 1 glass of water all day. That will have to be remedied over the next month.
8.15pm – X Factor on with Lemon and Ginger tea. Hmmmmm
22:49 – Bath and bed. I’ve managed my first day, but strangely have developed the most excrutiatingly itchy hives over my body and face and almost passed out on the toilet. This can’t be related surely. Worrying.
Monday 3rd October 2016 – Alcohol Free
Absolutely horrendous sleepness night, itching and scratching like a dog with fleas. Woke up feeling awful, but I’ve just had 2 weeks off work. I can’t possibly throw a sickie now.
Rock up into the office with hives marching relentlessly all over my body. When my eyes and face start blowing up with the evil growths, my manager tells me to make an emergency GP appointment. This is an allergic reaction – phew! Not alcohol withdrawal after all (what a relief)!
Prescription antihistamines dispensed, I return home to spend the rest of the day laid out on the sofa feeling crap and with my face swelling to abnormal proportions. I have to cancel a climb up the O2 for a friends 40th birthday. Tut!
I couldn’t face alcohol today if I wanted to.
Tuesday 4th October 2016 – Alcohol Free
2nd day off work, swollen to Michellin Man proportions. It’s ridiculous. I look as though I’ve been in a boxing ring. Sitting in my dressing gown too scared to eat or drink anything unless it triggers further swellage, I come to the conclusion that the culprit is actually sitting in the cupboard under the sink. I have recently carried out a bulk laundry in an unusually enthusiastic bout of ‘Autumn Cleaning’.
I spend the day scrubbing and washing clothes until my flat is covered with laundry. Everything seems to be decreasing in size; the redness, welts, my face and feet. My hands still look as though they belong to someone else – they are huge and incredibly painful.
No alcohol cravings today. Even if I wanted a glass, there is no way I’m going out looking like this……it’s too close to Halloween!
Wednesday 5th October 2016 – Alcohol Free
Back to work and feeling as bright as a button. Not sure if that is anything to do with no alcohol for the past 3 days, or the fact that I am looking human again.
It’s cold tonight. I put the heat on for the 1st time this year – whilst I sip my ginger tea, I have a vision of being swaddled up on the sofa, with a glass of red and Oscar nuzzling into the throw. I quickly distract myself. It’s way too early to start showing weakness. Several glasses of water and a Red Bush tea later, I’m back on safe ground.
Thursday 6th October 2016 – Alcohol Free
Crazy busy day at work and then it’s off at 5.15pm to my once a week private work in another part of the City. It’s straight from the office into the jostling tube commuter traffic and onto my evening visits. They take a-g-e-s and I don’t finish until 8.30pm. On my way to the station I pass a lovely pub near Hyde Park corner ‘The Victoria’. There are quite a few people sitting outside, drinking under large patio heaters and foilage roaming over the walls of the pub exterior. Oh, the temptation. I manage to scuttle past but vow to visit after this month is over. It looks like the perfect kind of place to swing by for a few drinks and a good natter.
*** Note to self: The Victoria, 10a Strathearn Place, Paddington. W2 2NH
Friday 7th October 2016 – Alcohol Free
It’s Friday 19:05 and I’m drinking herb tea. There is nothing more to say.
Saturday 8th October 2016 – bloody Alcohol Free
Saturday night. I’ve deliberately made no plans to go out as I don’t think I’ll be able to cope with it. This had better get easier….I’m already over it.
Sunday 9th October 2016 – Alcohol Free zzzzzzzz
First week over. I really hope this starts getting easier and am taking some consolation from the knowledge that the 1st weekend is always the worst. I’m really missing my wine and have found myself thinking about it a lot in the evenings. I’m trying not to get paranoid about how much I love alcohol. Was I a hairs breadth from developing a habit? Have I already developed a habit? I’m really not sure I can manage an entire month without the demon drink. OMG. This is torture 🙁