Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Drink! Drink drink drink!

I'm aware that my last teetotal / alcohol update said I was going to talk about the person who'd inspired me to do this - and I've not done it yet! I will do it but it's not something I can just write without thinking about it and 'thinking time' has been at a premium this week. Meantime I've still not had a drink - not a drop has passed my lips - and it's got a little bit harder. I've realised that the time I most want to drink is when I'm very stressed. I would never have thought I used alcohol to relieve stress. To be honest I'd have said I didn't use it for any purpose - I just liked the taste, or drank it because it was there. So I feel that's a bit of a weakness in me to be reaching for a glass of wine if I'm uptight.

How do I know I do this? Oh well if I was to tell you that I'd get started on a rant about my bleep bleep bleep of a week and we'd be here all night. Oh go on then ... it's not been too bad but my fun moments do not include:

* the one where my shopping fell out of my bag all over the middle of the road (goodbye eggs, farewell weightwatchers garlic dough balls, see ye around apples):

* or the one (which I thought might be my last) when I banged my head on a door frame and nearly knocked myself out;

* and definitely not tonight's fiasco when I raced to get to a flat viewing before the estate agent had to rush off only to find a woman at the house who knew nothing about it. She looked at me suspiciously and said she had viewings TOMORROW night but no estate agents coming round. At this point I realised I was at the wrong one, yelled to my niece who was with me to "RUN! FAST" and sprinted round to the next street wishing I could see the funny side but failing!

Anyway there have been moments this week when I've been like a tightly coiled spring, silently screaming with frustration (you know how it is) and each time my mind has pictured a nice cool glass of wine or a lovely green bottle with Peroni inside. I have reminded myself each time that I'm not drinking. And I've reminded myself that this is a self imposed rule which I'm at liberty to break. In much weaker moments I've reminded myself that nobody will know if I don't tell them. That's always been followed by a pious little voice in my head going "yes but you'll know Anne"! Shut up!

I have forced myself in these moments to think about why I actually want a drink and it's simple - alcohol is a relaxant and I want to relax. Having a drink would instantly relax me, I think but then again, whatever it is that's bugging me, I get over it eventually, distract myself with something else and forget about it. So I might miss out on that moment of calm as the alcohol courses through my body but that's about all. And given the other side effects I think I'm winning with this one!

It's not been a major test for me. I've had no pressure from anyone to drink - that's mainly because I've had no time to be socialising mind you, work to do, by election to fight, no rest for the pure among us as they say! I doubt I'll be drinking much for the rest of the summer but I'll try the whole abstinence thing again when we go back to parliament. There will be lots of receptions with free wine flowing and I suspect a lot more pressure to drink. Then we'll see how I get on.

Meantime, I'm away on holiday on Saturday but before I go I WILL tell you all about my cousin and why she inspires me and makes me think so much about alcohol and the role it plays in all of our lives.

*Just as a footnote, I read over this again and it occurred to me that I could be teetotal on holiday. Surprisingly I discounted this immediately on the grounds that 'I want to enjoy my holiday' and 'I don't want to spoil it for my friend'! Food (or should that be drink) for thought!

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