572 Days

573 days ago, I was in the queue in Marks and Spencer’s, clutching a bottle of Crémant d’Alsace. My drinking had always been “more than the NHS guidelines,” with a half laugh and a wave of the hand, but during the pandemic what had been “a glass or two most nights” became a glass every night, became two glasses every night, became “fuck it, might as well finish the bottle,” every night.

I think we can all agree that even if the NHS guidelines are overly cautious, a bottle of wine a night is disastrous levels of consumption.

I did This Naked Mind‘s guided Dry January in January 2022, and then had grand ideas about moderating. Moderating was exhausting, and it got harder and harder the more I tried.

Making up rules, finding ways to break the rules, getting depressed because I couldn’t follow the rules, thinking up new rules, breaking those too…

These are all things I tried, might have been successful for a while, but ultimately failed at:

  1. No drinking at home. So I went out to dinner every night for a week, spent loads of money and put on weight.
  2. Only drinking on special occasions. It’s amazing how quickly “Tuesday” becomes a special occasion.
  3. Setting a budget per month. I bought it in the supermarket, it’s “groceries” even though the only thing I bought was wine and Pringles.
  4. Only drinking with food. I’d start snacking while I cooked, so I could open the wine. Or I’d buy crisps so I could drink while watching a film.

I ultimately decided that, being basically lazy, moderating was just too much like hard work and it was going to be easier to bash it on the head completely. Shortly afterwards, I got an email from This Naked Mind, advertising their year-long course, The PATH. I knew I didn’t want a life of permanent recovery, chairs-in-a-circle, powerlessness-over-alcohol, “hello-my-name-is-Rosamundi-and-I-am-an-alcoholic”. I am very glad AA exists and that it works for some people, but I spent ten years of my life as a lay member of a religious order, that’s quite enough offering of my life to a higher power, thank you. Someone said “you can make this doorknob your higher power!” in all seriousness and I gave them an appalled stare and started muttering about heresy.

I wanted a life of freedom, where I no more thought about drinking wine than I’d think about drinking petrol, and that’s what This Naked Mind offers. So I signed up to the course, and pulled the money together for it, and bought the bottle of Crémant d’Alsace as a last hurrah before the course started.

Hello, my name is Rosamundi. I used to drink too much.

2 Comments

Filed under stopping drinking

2 Responses to 572 Days

  1. Colin D. Speirs

    I had a long screed here, but deleted it. Suffice to say that I have found in my own issues, abstaining rather than trying to cope with “a moderate level” works for me

    I am glad that you found something that works for you, and for sharing. Society is to quick to condemn, usually from people being scared that it could happen to them, but it is easier than we like to think to find oneself in a undesirable situation.

    Take care you!

  2. Robert

    First class!!

    I was in the “one bottle” club.

    Home from work I’d have the drop of wine in the bottle in the fridge poured out with my coat still on.

    Then to cook … Which bottle to have tonight? Nice choice!

    Meal done, settle to finish my one bottle for the evening.

    Bedtime approaches? A nightcap? Ooh yes:)

    Which left the drop in the bottle in the fridge for the next evening.

    I drank only one bottle a night but miraculously threw two into the rubbish each day.

    We lie with abandon when we claim to drink only one bottle a night.

    Well done in your sobriety!