I’m all set up and ready to go and I have been sitting here staring at the keyboard. This is my first time writing publicly about this and security by obscurity is no security at all.

Well, here it is. I’m not proud. But I’m not all that ashamed either, so let’s just get on with it.

I’ve decided to stop drinking alcohol.

This isn’t the first time I’ve made a decision like this. It’s not even the first time I’ve made a public decision like this – although those have usually contained a caveat like “for X amount of time” or “until event Y”.  And I’ve certainly not included an implicit “forever” in it.

Yes. Forever. There’s no point to it. It doesn’t do me any good. There are no advantages. All the advantages – like the cake – are lies. And it does plenty of harm.

I’m unsure about the counting of days thing, but for the moment I’m going to do it anyway – but more out of curiosity than as some kind of measure of success. I initially counted days when I stopped smoking, and eventually I stopped doing that too.

No one major event has made this a sudden decision. I’ve been contemplating it for literal years. I’ve been actively trying to control my intake for about 2 years, in fact, and with the addition of therapy to my life for the last year I probably drink at approaching “normal” (for this country) levels.

Two years ago, if I’d been drinking in the way I do now, then I probably would never have gone to the doctor about it. So, I’ve improved significantly, but it’s not enough.

  • Drinking is bad for my physical health
    • It makes me fat
    • It hurts my liver
    • It increases blood pressure and cholesterol
    • It increases my risk of diabetes
  • Drinking is bad for my mental health
    • It’s a depressant
    • It messes with my sleep
    • It detaches me from my emotions
    • It stops me being present
  • Drinking is bad for the people around me
    • It numbs and makes false my interactions
    • It sets a bad example for my children
  • Drinking steals my life from me
    • I don’t do what I want to do
    • I shut down emotionally and physically
    • It takes my money
    • It takes my future

Last night, I had wine with dinner – a bottle split with my husband – something I wouldn’t have contemplated this time last year. We would have needed “one each”. But it wasn’t “enough” and so I had to have some fruity cider after. I didn’t “have” to of course, but I “had” to. Anyone who’s been in this position knows what I’m talking about.

And then I plonked myself into bed within minutes of the children going to sleep. The house a cataclysmic wreck. To-do list for work untouched. Personal sanity projects abandoned.

What did I gain? Some extra calories. A sudden wakefulness and heart palpitations around 1 am. Guilt, disappointment in myself and a mild hangover this morning. Less money in my bank account, less time to spend on anything other than fire-fighting and catch-up today.

So there we are. I’ve decided to stop. Really and truly. And I’ve decided to make my commitment semi-public, through this blog which I have no intention of sharing with anyone.

I’ve had a lot of “Day Ones” over the past few years and they have been failures. So it’s time to fail better this time.