To be a quite worried at how hard I think I'm going to find this?(38 Posts)
I've made a firm commitment to give up alcohol for a month at least and then significantly cut down thereafter. I've noticed over the past six months or so that I often/always reach for a glass of wine in the evening as a method of signalling the hard work of the day is over and I can relax. I have a very full on, full time job and two very adventurous, boisterous and often challenging (but equally wonderful) little boys (aged 3 and 5). My days are so full on - I get up, I get them ready, we do the school run, I dash to work, I work hard all day, I come home (Dh does pick ups), I referee/ entertain/ transport to various clubs all evening, we get them to bed, I then catch up on emails and work, and then around 9 or 10pm I get a glass of wine. It has become my reward and my emotional crutch and thinking back over the last six months there is probably rarely a night I haven't drank. I rarely have more than a glass and never have more than two at most but I am really feeling anxious about not drinking in the evenings! I will do it as I can be as stubborn as they come when I commit to something - but it has really struck me how worried I am about changing this habit and how reliant I am on having a drink!
it will be hard but you could still have a "special" drink to signal the working day being over, have say, a hot chocolate/ schler-sp? Or why not buy some non alcoholic wine, that way your still relaxing but with no alcohol?
maybe it isn't "drink" that is what you need; more a quick reliable source of relaxation after a full on day.
Could you swap out the booze for another instant form or relaxation? Bubble bath, foot massage from dh, etc. Maybe allow yourself one glass of wine every other day?
Could you settle down with a new hobby that keeps the hands busy but isn't too tasking, like cross stitch or a jigsaw?
Alternatively; go to bed!
I do the same, drink a bit more. I'm doing "wet Fridays" in January.
I do need a new hobby, I used to enjoy doing tapestry, that could be an option?
Stopping a habit is hard, replacing it is far easier. Perhaps find a special tea you could look forward to each night?
Against the grain but if it's only one glass and stays at one glass I wouldn't worry.
I think your story is very common. I have read some where that is takes 6 weeks to change a habit. I am sure you can do it. I agree with others that you should look for another way to relax.
I feel about tea as you feel about alcohol OP. For times when I really need something I have a box of Fortnum's smoked Earl Grey tea bags. I can't drink too much alcohol due to an auto immune condition, so tea is my crutch.
M&S do lovely 'posh' non-alcoholic drinks in glass bottles with flip lids. I rely heavily on those whenever I give up booze for Lent, dry Jan etc.
If you want to change your habit for good (and not just for a month), then I would not advise you to replace it by another drink, non alcoholic type.
But YY to starting against with your hobby.
I would also look at trying to make the day less stressful overall. For me it means no work email in the evening and getting up a little bit earlier in the am so I don't have to rush at all in the am. I found that starting he day calmly and slowly sets the tone of the day.
I felt like that when I was thinking of stopping smoking. I'd smoked for years and the day, when it came, wasn't as bad as I'd feared but it was on my mind constantly for three days and I wondered if I'd ever be free of it.
Is there some help that you can access, LittleRobinRed?
I've also noticed that it's only you who get the children ready in the am and take them to all the afterschool stuff.
Is there a reason why the childcare side of things seem to be mainly on your shoulders?
Can you make your days / evenings any less hectic?
DCs don't have to do clubs every night in order to grow up happy. It might be good for all of you to have some down time in the evenings, and they can learn to deal with being not-occupied or heaven forbid a bit bored! (A useful life skill - but this could be a whole other thread!)
If you are worried about your alcohol intake, then listen to yourself and find another coping strategy.
Dh starts work early, I do mornings with children, then he finishes for school time, and I stay a bit later. I then pick up emails in the eve as I don't get the full day as I start at 9.45 and finish by 4.30/ 5 to be home for after school stuff. It's great we both have very flexible roles, I've never missed a school thing, play, assembly etc but I do have to make that up elsewhere which makes life busy!!
I grew up with parents who used alcohol in this way and am really conscious of avoiding that pattern- they are in their 50's and it's definitely starting to affect their health.
I really enjoy a Lapsang to calm me down, or if I'm really finding it hard to unwind I go on Youtube and find a 30 minute calming yoga or meditation video to follow- both seem to give me the sort of release feeling that wine does. DH likes to play solitaire!
LittleRobinRed have you seen the Dry January thread? There's lots of us on there giving it a go & in previous years it's been such a supportive bunch.
We're over here if you'd like to join us.
Definitely go down the replacement route.
I quit drinking in 2015 and smoking in 2016. I now have a major coffee habit! It made it a lot easier though. How about herbal tea, or a soft drink? (Also not that great for you, but still). I would recommend replacing it with an actual drink, as it'll be the oral comfort that you'll crave and just doing tapestry or something instead probably wont cut it at first. Good luck!
I think you're right to be worried as it shouldn't be difficult to not drink every day, but you have solid plans to make a change. Tapestry sounds fun!
I agree with others who've said that it may well be that its a comforting habit, and your reward, rather than that you are actually addicted to the alcohol content. So hopefully substituting something else that you enjoy should take the edge off (and alcohol is quite calorific, so maybe a little chocolate wouldn't be out of the question ;-)).
I would also recommend giving up all those clubs! They are only 3 and 5 atm, surely just being with you/each other at home is enough. I'm sure you just mean swimming and football, all very well in themselves and holistic but better to wait till weekend perhaps, or just go to the park with them then.
I think when you are very pysched up and doing stuff all the time, then alcohol can seem a only way to "relax". What I mean is, too much stimulation, means you are seeking a relaxant and nothing else will do the chemical trick like a drink.
I have been alcohol free for a long time (although admittedly just had a glass this eve with dh - but actually it is making me feel rubbish, woozy, tired and bloated and I know tonight my sleep will be all over the place)
I have a friend who works INCREDIBLY hard, and has two professional roles back to back (just in process of changing from one to other). She admitted she drank to destress from busy demanding day and show the demarkation between work and play. But actually both times I have seen her at parties she has moved from merry to blind drunk without even being aware, and thanked me for lovely party days later, seemingly unaware that she was slurring her words, talking nonsense, staggering. It is pitiful that she has confused relaxation with oblivion. And she is not aware that she has a problem or maybe she is, but it doesn;t stop her drinking after work as I described.
knittingwithnettles Poor woman have to tried to talk to her or encourage her to seek help as it sounds to me shes if not alcoholic almost there.,. What a way to live is it really worth it sodding your health up like this?
Little robin! tapestry now that does sound well cheaper fo a start
What lovely idea
I guess it depends on how big your wine glass is? By having two, you are already over the recommended amount.
The hardest part will be breaking the habit. It's also about putting something else in place of the alcohol? Whether it be something relaxing, or doing something with your hands like tapestry? There are some fabulous non alcoholic drinks on the market, but they contain loads of sugar. Not really what you need when you are trying to wind down...
Try every third day. Then stretch it out to four...until you are only having a drink at the weekend or special occasion. Going cold turkey would be an option if you didn't want to drink again...
A wine glass full of iced non alcoholic worked for me& gave same 'treat' factor Good luck!
I have substituted a glass of wine for a cup of "nice" tea - so far it works and still has the treat feeling for me. Also cuts down massively on calories!
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