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.