So today is Day 49. For some reason when I was at school I really loved the seven times table, probably because it was taught by a teacher I adored. My favourite was “seven times seven is forty-nine”. Today I love that number more than ever.
Since I stopped drinking I have become ultra aware of the extent to which alcohol is all around me, all the time. On the TV, radio, advertising, supermarket promotions and the news. And everyone seems to be talking about it – what they’re planning to drink, what a great time they had, what an awful time they had, how long it took them to get over the hangover and how they can’t wait to do it again.
Today I’ve been looking at the new stories about alcohol which have been in the media since I stopped on 31 March 2016. These are the stories which caught my attention:
Drinking among the over 35s
Sky News reported “Over 35s Hit Weekly Alcohol in a Night”. I must admit I was not at all surprised at this apparently earth shattering finding. I was more miffed that the piece referred to over 35s as “older drinkers” and “middle-aged”. At closer to 45 I might be approaching middle age but at 35 ? I don’t think so. Isn’t 60 the new 40 ?
We were warned that due to an increasing demand, supplies of prosecco are running dangerously low. Seven weeks ago this would have caused me to experience palpitations and panic. I would have had to dash to the supermarket to stock up on supplies of my favourite friday night tipple. Now I can save myself a trip. I don’t think supplies of elderflower cordial are under threat but if anyone hears to the contrary let me know immediately.
Apparently these are a canny way of smuggling alcohol into venues where alcohol is banned or where bring your own is not allowed. They are miniature flasks made to look like applicator tampons. When I first read the headline I had visions of women “wearing” flasks in the same way they would wear a tampon but I am relieved I was mistaken. Quite besides anything else, the contents would be warm. I always preferred my beverage of choice chilled. Time to move on I think.
Keep wine fresh for longer
About to be launched is a “connected” wine bottle which apparently keeps wine fresh for up to 30 days. When I was drinking I would never,ever have left a bottle of wine open for 30 days – more like 30 minutes towards the end. I take my hat off to anyone who can have just one glass or perhaps two and save the rest for later. For me one glass is not an option and acknowledging that is a huge relief.
Drinkaware reported that 9% of UK drinkers are currently trying to cut down with another 11% thinking about it. Of those cutting down or stopping, the majority are doing so using willpower alone. Over the years I tried to moderate my drinking or stop altogether too many times to count. Every time my attempt ended in failure and usually I ended up drinking even more than before.
The difference this time is I haven’t had to go it alone. I knew I needed help so I referred myself to my local drugs and alcohol service. A huge and very scary step but I am so glad I did it. That’s how I got the support worker I wrote about in yesterday’s blog. Equally important has been the inspiration and encouragement I have gained from the blogging community and from a dry board where I post regularly. I have read everything about drinking and sobriety I have been able to get my hands on. I also have support from my GP and of course the wonderful Mr So. The difference has been huge.
Willpower alone works for lots of people but if not,there is loads of support out there. Grab it with both hands.
Although it might not make it to the national or even local headlines, for me, having made it to 49 days is BIG news.