A recent study found that British people were downing around 120 bottles of wine every year, lockdown has led to people are drinking more, and more frequently. I am grateful that I am no longer one of those statistics, it wouldn’t have been pretty!
Before I stopped drinking for Dry Jan 2018 (and never looked back), I loved my nightly glass (es) of wine, I was fully functioning, never had a DUI, never missed a day off work, but I drank most days…doesn’t everyone?
It all looked very different at 3am, I would wake, heart racing, berating myself for yet again drinking too much, and on a Tuesday to boot! A voice told me ‘This has to stop’ It’s not authentic with who you are. You care about health and practice self-care, Stop poisoning yourself with alcohol!’
By 6pm the next evening a chirpier voice arrived. The ‘wine witch’ said…’You’ve had an exhausting day, time for a cheeky chilled Sauvignon…You might give up? Don’t be ridiculous! Sober – anagram of Bores! Everyone is drinking! You can just have one!
Sadly I couldn’t just have one, I wasn’t born with an ‘off switch’ To be clear though, there was no rock bottom moment, I was what’s known as ‘high functioning’ – high bottomed (sadly not true for a woman my age!)
But alcohol is ingrained in our culture. From baby showers, christening, playdates, parties, weddings, fresher’s week, funerals – From celebrations to commiserations, alcohol is the ‘social glue’ that sticks everything together. We think we are either ‘good drinkers’ or alcoholic losers.- rock bottom drunks or happy social drinkers – occasionally lightweights who just can’t hold their beer. It’s not true. It’s a spectrum, there are many ‘grey area drinkers’ (at least 50 shades of grey – but sadly not sexy!.)
The opinion of others can be frustrating,
You see as Jason Vale the Juicemaster once said, ‘Alcohol is the only drug you have to justify not taking’
But, I found that rather than giving something up, I was gaining my life back. I discovered - to quote the most perfect book title by Catherine Gray ..The Unexpected joy of being sober’
If only someone had told me before how freaking fantastic life without alcohol is!
The tide is turning in the UK. We know that the opposite of addiction is connection, This is why I founded The Sober Club to encourage people to focus on ‘what’s next’ and how to be in optimum health. Ask yourself ‘Would my life be better physically and emotionally without alcohol? If the answer is ‘Hell yes!’ Challenge yourself to 30, 60, 90 days and reap the benefits.
It’s SO much easier than it was a few years ago, there is an array of amazing ‘grown up’ alcohol free drinks from zero per cent beers, cider, artisan botanical ‘spirits’ through to gut boosting kombucha, alcohol free sparkling fizz.
So ‘keep the ritual, Change the ingredients’
Janey Lee Grace is a presenter on BBC Radio 2, author of several books on holistic living and the founder of The Sober Club www.thesoberclub.com and hosts the Alcohol Free Life podcast. She gave a TEDx talk Sobriety Rocks – Who Knew! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NktRXVUmQC8
Janey's new book Happy Healthy Sober – Ditch the booze and take control of your life is out now