When I was at university I drank like most students do. I went out once or twice per week and it got messy, but since being a working girl I’ve actually ended up drinking more. I don’t go out anywhere near as much (we’re talking maybe three times per year), but I found myself getting through a bottle of wine over a weekend and drinking gin during the week. And I didn’t need to be. So for lent, I gave up alcohol. 40 days without drinking doesn’t sound that long, but when you work in education it can be a hard slog.
The funny thing is, I noticed a few things when I gave up alcohol which I’m sure a lot of people come across when they say they don’t drink. When I was at the Bat Out Of Hell launch in March, I was really impressed that the non-alcoholic drink choices were anything behind the bar. But I know that this isn’t always the case at most events I attend. People often forget to offer non-alcoholic alternatives at events or just offer water, and this is a real issue. It also results in people questioning why you’re not drinking. They make something that shouldn’t be an issue extremely awkward, and I feel like I should make up an excuse. Like maybe I’m pregnant, religious, or I’m on antibiotics? But I’m not.
Other things I noticed is that I had more money to spend on things I really enjoy, like the theatre. And just by not having a glass of wine whilst I was at the theatre, I’d come home with at least an extra £5 in my purse than I would by buying one. I noticed that I’d wake up in a far better mood than if I’d have had a drink. Whilst alcohol may make me fall asleep much quicker, I find my sleep is interrupted and and I wake up fatigued the next day.
Corinne recommended the Dry January app to me, which really helped me stay on track. Every day at 9am, I’d get a notification asking if I had stayed dry, and every day I could say yes. It was such a motivator for me, and I definitely recommend downloading the app if you want to watch your alcohol intake, or even just track it. It’s free, and so easy to use!
I have drank again since Lent ended, but only a couple of times. I’ve decided that I need to stop drinking solo, and will only do it when I’m with company who are also drinking. This should hopefully drop my wine intake, and stop me drinking ‘just because’. I’m going to continue to track my alcohol consumption