No booze for you!

One of my best skillz is that of booze hag. Similar to food, social media, self-reflection and my predilection to melodrama I have no off-switch when it comes to an alcoholic beverage. Oh it’s been a long time since a fully-fledged hangover and even longer since the spewing in the shower the morning after work drinks (classy) but still, if I have one drink it’s as likely as a plane crash at an airshow for me to have another. Or two.

Now that is pretty harmless if it’s every now and then or even once a week. But no. Recently it crept back up to being most nights of the week.

It followed a period of stress, then doing my back, then rolling my ankle and (nearly) chopping off my finger. So the running regime fell in a heap. And the having a champers or three each night became the norm. And as sure as the sun will rise the dietary regime went from nutritious and tasty to a trans-fat junk food trough.

As I alluded to – oh so curiously – this all coincided with me falling into a depressive heap.

What a coincidence!

So – I outlined my action plan which was all very noble.

Point one had me checking in w/ my shrink for our monthly rendezvous. I told him proudly of my action plan but he interrupted me on the reducing the alcohol point. How much was I drinking – about 2 glasses a night. If those glasses were buckets. So about four standard drinks. Yikes.

He gave me the rundown:
1. Alcohol is a major toxin for depression
2. Alcohol is a depressant, so couple that with a propensity to depression and you have the climactic conditions for a Cylcone Katrina depression event.
3. The toxic effects of alcohol are cumulative – so by the third day of two buckets of vino or champagne a night the impact is that of SIX buckets of vino or champagne. Not in terms of how drunk you are but the level of toxins now floating around in your body looking for their sad buddies.

Point three was the clincher for me. The wake-up call.

For my shrink, me cutting out alcohol is – at this stage – far more important than the exercise. Reprieve!

So that was last Wednesday. I’d already started on a ‘no booze during the week’ rule so was two days clean but he wanted me to eradicate all alcohol until this coming Friday. So I’m a week without booze in. The hardest time was Friday night and if I said it was getting easier I’d be lying big time. I am one cranky creature at the moment. Which is alarming in and of itself. I mean, it was only 6-8 weeks of drinking more and yet the detox is just as hard.

He did make one other very important point. The being a mother between the hours of 3 and 7:30/8pm is really really hard. Doing it on your own (as I do five nights a week) is incredibly stressful and foul. Therefore, you must, MUST, build something into each and every day to ensure you have the energy and ability to cope with that repetitive period of stress. Of course exercise is the best activity – the release of serotonins etc give you the capacity to cope better. No reprieve!

So there you go. That’s your mental health public service announcement for the week.

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  • I can’t stop at one. I tend to stop at a bottle… because it means I’ve run out. I’m an all or nothing sort of gal.
    Damn for no reprieve.
    Glowless recently posted..R U OK? R U On Time?

    • dude, I used to drink PINTS of gin and tonic when Oscar and Felix were little. PINTS!

  • That’s scary what the shrink said. About the being a mother bit that is. No wonder I find myself reaching for alcohol/valium/chocolate just about every night. I don’t like the remedy though – exercise. Yuk!

    I don’t drink a lot, though. And I tend to mix my coping mechanisms. Sometimes I even manage to get away with some deep breathing and a few minutes of meditation.

    I find that some nights, the alcohol makes things even worse. I get even more irritable and cranky. I guess I’m also “lucky” that my hangovers start just about immediately after the first drink.

    Good luck, Kim… I hope things are getting better overall for you. I haven’t been here for a while, will need to catch up with developments.
    Dorothy @ Singular Insanity recently posted..Morning vignettes

    • No, not scary Dorothy, just good to know. And you’re right, we think the alcohol takes the edge off but it actually inhibits our ability to cope and respond appropriately. Being a grown up is so boring sometimes.

  • Mrs Woog

    I try hard not to drink during the week but most nights I fail. To be honest, the first glass of wine is the best, I do not really need the second. x

  • I too am guilty of letting the ol’ weeknight vinos catch up on me. I completely take your point about it being physiologically unhelpful for depression. Interestingly, though, someone very close to me who has depression at the moment was told by the shrink, ‘do what makes you happy – if a wine or beer is going to help you unwind at the end of the day, go for it and enjoy.’ So I guess there’s more than one way of looking at the issue!
    Sarah recently posted..Two.

    • That is interesting. Not sure what to say there!

  • 3-7:30? SO TRUE! Mr Duyvken usually gets home between 7:30 and 8 and things are pretty sweet by then. Even if I don’t fit in exercise just being outside helps me enormously. Glad to read the no-alcohol thing is going well. xx
    Amelia recently posted..Monday

  • and my FAVOURITE coping strategy in that afternoon/evening zone? Going outside, closing the kitchen door and sitting the steps watching the world go by. 3-4mins out there saves me from saying things I know I would regret as soon as I’d said it. Big picture stuff, you know?
    Amelia recently posted..Monday

    • totally. i go and sit on the swing seat out the back. Or go and hide in my room for a few minutes. Just to get my breath.

  • Dude, I am listening. No booze for me all through the week this week. I’m going to try at least. If I get past that initial drink desperation I am fine. Like Mrs Woog said, I only need the first glass the rest is just because I am greedy and I get excited because I have some adult time, and I CAN, so I will. And I do. Always bites me in the arse though when I have to get up in the night, most nights.

    Anyway, good luck with this all. Thinking of you and hoping that it gets a little easier for you soon x
    BabyMacBeth recently posted..It’s wonderful

    • the detox is vile in my experience – and fascinating. The sugar cravings are massive – and so telling. So I’ve been pouring myself a big soda water w/ Bickfors Lemon Lime and bitters cordial, lots of ice and lime wedges to have that feeling of something for me.

  • My mums Dr says to me quite often – “sanity was never found in a bottle…” and this applies so very accurately to her situation.

    Kim, I don’t drink from one month to the next. When I do, I binge, which is revolting.

    But knowing these points regarding depression – makes so much sense.

    Good luck with the detoxing and the exericise thing.

    xx

    • Oh Lucy, I really like that. Sanity was never found in a bottle. So true.

  • Take the money you’d usually spend each week on wine and spend it on yourself – an accessory/item of clothing is what works for me! I actually rationalise a lot of my “extra” spending by doing it mindfully as a swap for something else which is not purchased.
    Eleanor recently posted..Beauty and the Beast

  • I just checked out Nikki’s post today (Stylingyou) – perfect timing, check it out, and go shopping!!

    Elemar x
    Eleanor recently posted..Beauty and the Beast

  • I’m on a roll now. You and Duyvken have got me remembering my “younger children years”. Mr CB used to be away on business trips a lot, so I rationalised that he wasn’t there for dinner (and I ate the kids’ fishfinger leftovers) so, hey presto, I was saving at least $50 (?) dollars a week, so I could buy myself a new shirt or makeup or something.

    If you haven’t been doing this since the kids were born then that money has accumulated, don’t you think? Like a running tab.

    Am I a bad influence?

    E x
    Eleanor recently posted..Beauty and the Beast

  • LOL Eleanor, I love you!! xx
    Amelia recently posted..Recycled

  • Agreeing with Eleanor. (Hi Eleanor!) The “younger children years” I found the hardest so far (kids now nearly 14 and 17) and I had a drink or two every night to get through the arsenic hour(s). My friends drank a lot more. I think it’s also partly about thinking ” I’m not at work and I’m wiping bottoms all day but hey, I’m still an adult! I’m sophisticated!” Hardly drink at all now – love tonic water, ice and lemon. I barely miss the gin!
    xxx

  • Kill

    To steal from a tacky fridge magnet:

    “Seven days without alcohol makes one weak”

    You’re welcome

  • When my kids were little, hubby was away a lot, he was in the army and got sent out on “manouvres” often. I remember coping just fine with the kids on my own, it probably helped a lot that I had easy kids, also when they napped after lunch, I did too. 1-2 hours downtime seemed to do the trick just fine.
    river recently posted..today’s topic?

  • Wow, I agree that point 3 is an eye opener. Wishing you all the best as you detox x