Wednesday, 8 July 2009
Teetotal update 2
Geordie Accent: "Day 5 in the Teetotal House" and nothing much to report. I'm going to carry on with it (mainly because I'm quite obstinate) but I think maybe a better time to do it (more challenging) will be when parliament is back in session and I can't leave the parliament building without running into a reception with waiters running round with trays of wine.
It will also be more challenging when I stop telling folk what I'm doing and just start being teetotal. However here's the update so far. Sunday night's challenge was no bother - I went into the office and ended up caught up in work till 10pm so had to cancel my plans with my friend. Monday night I was with a teetotal friend doing some work so that was easy. I did notice however how much money you save not drinking. We went out for dinner and the bill came to £15! Result.
Last night was probably the first time I've particularly wanted to drink alcohol. It had been a particularly long day rushing from meeting to meeting in Edinburgh and Glasgow with people not turning up for meetings and various other catastrophes (eg spilling coffee all down my front just as I'm about to speak to 40 students from the UAE).
Went along to vote in the selection meeting for the Glasgow North East by-election and went for a celebratory drink with the winning candidate James Dornan and a few others afterwards. Whilst others drank beer and wine, I had a pot of tea. I did get one or two comments about how I couldn't possibly celebrate with tea but it didn't bother me one bit - I think I ENJOY doing the opposite to everyone else.
However when I got home, I was exhausted. I made my dinner (salad, being very good these days) and I really wanted a glass of wine. I was trying to figure out why and I realised that I definitely associate a glass of wine with relaxation. Sitting down on the sofa with a big wine glass in my hand is my way of saying thank goodness that day's over. It's the shutting of the door, the shutting out of the stresses of the world, the thing that signals that it's "me time" and I can now relax. Interesting.
More interesting though was that it was something that passed very quickly. Obviously that's the difference between being a habitual drinker and an addicted one. But seeing as addictions often come as a result of habit, it's best to be aware of it. I had bought some Schloer which is slightly fizzy grape juice in a glass wine-like bottle and I poured a glass of that into a wine glass and drank that instead. It more or less substituted.
However I did notice what I was missing and realise that I actually quite like the effect that first sip of a glass of wine has on me. Having a wine like drink in a wine glass was, in itself a good substitute but it wasn't the same as the heady feeling you get when you have your first sip of a glass of wine. I'm surprised at that. I would have said it was the taste that I liked but I said I'd be honest in this blog and the truth is that last night I'd have liked to have had that feeling.
OK enough navel gazing. Physical stuff - I'm not sleeping any better (I'm a wake up a dozen times a night kind of a sleeper) but I am waking up better and despite being a hay fever sufferer, have had no fuzzy heads since signing the pledge! It's only been 5 days mind you and I never really drank a great deal, just did it too often. So we'll see ...