Quick Update- not so much excessively moderate as moderately excessive

Ok if I don’t do this as bullet points it will not get written.

  • I have been busy doing up my house in preparation to selling hence not so much time for blogging
  • DIY especially involving heights (I have been doing my upstairs windows) is not my thing, but I have had to do it
  • I can never believe that I will finish such projects or do them well enough
  • I am scared of falling off ladders and dying
  • After each day of working on the house I drank alcohol with complete abandon- partly to celebrate still being alive, partly as a reward for actually getting the day’s jobs done and done well and partly as a second reward for working hard
  • I enjoyed my regular drinking after a day of hard graft
  • Moderation went out the window
  • I never got really smashed as I knew I was going up ladders the next day

Has my project failed? No. I have simply had a few unusual weeks. Would I want to sustain this pattern of drinking? Definitely not- I miss my 3 non alcohol days a week.

Next week I go to see a friend for a few days and we will enjoy some wine fuelled nights which I’m looking forward to.

After that I will go on holiday with my girlfriend and enjoy a week of walking, beer and wine.

By the middle of September I get back into work and some old routines. Cutting down on alcohol will be top of my list.

Failure? No. Just life.

Jim x

Posted in Alcohol dependency, Influences on drinking | Tagged , | 7 Comments

My alcohol dependency- addiction or habit and association

Writing this blog, examining my drinking,logging the amount and when I drink, has thrown up some interesting issues for me. On the one hand I know I have allowed myself to become alcohol dependent, I know on occasion I can drink far more than is good for me and I know there has to be change. On the other hand I know there are times when I can have days not craving alcohol, times when I have drunk moderately and times when alcohol is not ruling my life. If alcohol were simply an addictive substance I feel sure that I wouldn't be able to have these variable experiences. Clearly some people do become addicted to the point where they have to drink to feel normal and where days not drinking lead to withdrawal symptoms. That's not me. Yes I have had bad days when I have drunk too much and wake up annoyed and disgusted with myself but those are days when there is something not right in me and I am misusing alcohol to cover up or eliminate difficult feelings. Equally there are times when I have had difficult experiences but alcohol is the last thing I reach for. Again, for me, it's not a simple equation of, "feeling bad, have a drink."

This then brings me to the influence of habit and association on my drinking. The more I have been looking at my drinking the more I am convinced that both of these are the biggest drivers of my drinking, not addiction. This past week has thrown up some interesting examples of this. Last Thursday I took two really good friends out for a meal as it was their 40th wedding anniversary. Meal out, drinks, celebration; these are massive triggers and associations for me. Yet,for me, 90% of overdrinking at such events is the accumulation of bad habits and patterns of behaviour built up over many years. The original reasons for overindulging are long gone. Now I do it because that's what I always do and changing what you always do is hard; bloody hard. Changing "what you always do" when the,"what you always do" involves a psychoactive drug that lessens your inhibitions and resolve, is harder still. But this journey is about change and change takes planning, preparation and plenty of bouncing back when things don't go according to plan.

My normal pattern for last Thursday would have been preloading a few drinks before leaving home. I do this to put me in mood, reduce any anxiety about the social side of things and make it slightly easier to match the "slow" (i.e. Normal drinkers) I am going to be with. At the restaurant I would then try and get the others to drink Jim's way for the duration of the meal, encouraging people to have a cocktail, bottles of wine, liquors at the end; basically let's get sloshed and have a good time. That has been my normal for a long time but it's ridiculously immature, damaging and tedious. So how to change my approach? Change for me has to be gradual and incremental so I had one small beer before setting off determined to drink less overall. In fact I decided that a simple way of changing my association to this occasion would be to mirror the drinking of my friend. He is recovering from an illness and is a model of moderate drinking. At the restaurant he had a beer so I ordered a beer. I asked him as the starters arrived,"fancy a bottle of wine?" I know I was meant to be mirroring not leading but this was my treat and I did not want my friend to hold back on account of me paying or have him think I was mean. So I offered. He declined as did his wife and my girlfriend.

"I'm fine with the beer but get some wine if you want some," he replied.

I stuck with the beer too. Later my friend ordered another beer. I had a second as well. But that was it. Finally we left the restaurant after nearly three hours and my friend and his wife invited us for a coffee. At 5 I took my leave and headed home. I felt sober. It had been a strange but lovely experience. I had experienced a meal out the way others do and I was OK. Throughout the meal I could feel the urge to order wine, have an extra beer at least but this was an association craving not a physical craving. By the time we went for coffees my anxiety about not drinking more was almost gone. I had for one brief moment broken an association that had resulted in many drunken meals out. I went home and felt no need for a drink. It felt like a small but significant success.

The second example of the power of association was the arrival for one night of my German cousin and his wife. They were staying for one night in order to break up a long car journey to Scotland. The association here was German relative, reliving some old times and beer and schnapps. As soon as he walked through the door I offered him a beer. I knew how the evening would go. But it didn't have to go that way. He had a big drive ahead of him the next day. Moderation was called for. My cousin's wife and my girlfriend are not drinkers so this was not going to turn into a mini Oktoberfest. Fight the association Jim. I offered my cousin a few English ales which we shared. Sharing a bottle is not something I would usually do but again I was trying to redefine what having a drink with my cousin should be. To my surprise my cousin welcomed this slow, moderate approach. He would be driving the next day. But I was feeling anxious. I had guests, I wanted everyone to have a good time, that must mean drinking; doesn't it? Well actually no,it doesn't, and by the end of the evening we had all had a great time but all that was drunk was one bottle of wine and a few beers. I resisted the urge to break out the schnapps. These urges and cravings were all to do with habit and association. They went to bed and the cravings ceased. I watched some football and went to bed as well. I awoke the next day without a hangover and with a satisfied feeling of having broken yet another powerful association.

Two successful occasions where I had drunk moderately and challenged my own associations and habits around drink. Then Sunday comes round. I go for a walk with my girlfriend. I have a single drink in a pub but I feel apart, disassociated, not really present. I'm having my usual Sunday existential angst moment. I wonder if I have ever loved anyone, I start thinking about what am I doing with my life, the internal dialogue starts and I want it to stop. I'm pretending to be interested in what my girlfriend is saying and I feel bad that I feel so apart from her and everybody. I get home, I want to be alone, but I have to put on a show. People don't want troubled Jim. I need a drink. This is like last Sunday all over again. This is drink as medication, drink as a way of stopping my anxiety, this is the drinking I do not enjoy. I want people to leave but that's rude so I smile and carry on. The drink helps me pull of this deceit.

When I am finally alone I stop drinking. I feel annoyed that after two occasions were I drank alcohol in a different way to how I normally drink I succumbed to this "sad drinking" yet again. But I did stop. I realised that this episode was just another drinking by association. I get down, I feel a bit depressed, reach for a drink. This type of drinking is going to be the hardest to change. Two steps forward, one step back. But each step has taught me something. I am sure that my alcohol dependency is predominantly a psychological dependency based on years of forming and crystallising patterns of behaviour that are now harming me. Overall I am drinking less but breaking these patterns, changing my thinking and finding new ways of dealing with anxiety and ennui are big challenges that I continue to face.

One new pattern that I have established is the three day stretch of no alcohol. It shows me I can have days without alcohol and that I am not totally dependent on it. It also gives me the space to reflect and find new solutions to how to deal with difficult feelings. This is now my priority.

Thanks for reading. Jim x

Posted in Alcohol, Alcohol dependency, anxiety, moderation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Happy drinking, sad drinking; a weekend of contrasts.

I just re-read my post of 18th June “Reflections on my out of control drinking,” and what I wrote then could so easily be applied to yesterday when I had a day of sad, bad, mad, eating and drinking. Days like that happen every so often and when they do happen they confuse, frighten and disgust me. I have to understand them and I have to stop them.

I definitely recognise two different styles of drinking; I’ll call them happy and sad. Friday was happy drinking. A friend calls and suggests meeting up for a drink. We meet in a pub and we have something to eat and we drink four pints each. We chat, we laugh, the beer is really good and I go home after a pleasant afternoon. I did not order chasers or go for strong beer. I had a nice time. A successful afternoon of happy, appropriate drinking. Later in the evening I have a couple more drinks but nothing excessive. I then spend the weekend on various jobs around the house. Basically I’m on my own doing repairs and minor decoration prior to putting my house on the market. Saturday night comes round and I “treat” myself to some lovely food and wine. I worry that this is not really happy drinking as I am drinking on my own and I can sense that I am going to drink too much. I do. I have entered the sad drinking zone.

Yesterday I woke early, not having slept well and with a mild hangover. I’m slightly annoyed at myself. Four days without a drink last week, a happy drinking session with my friend on Friday and now a hangover after a sad drinking session on my own. I carry on with my jobs around the house. Around lunchtime I have a break and try practising some songs for an upcoming rehearsal. I lack energy and enthusiasm so I stop. Lack of sleep and a hangover mean I will not have a productive day. I do some decorating and then take a break to watch some football on the TV. I tell myself to have a beer, that might make me feel a bit better, take the edge off the hangover but at the same time I can sense where this will lead. I drink a second beer and realise I should now not carry on with jobs involving power tools and ladders. That’s it, welcome to the land of sad drinking. There is no fun or enjoyment in sad drinking. I know it, I am in the middle of it and yet I continue. And it’s not just drink. I had already had two breakfasts to help combat the hangover and now the floodgates opened. Crisps, toast, pizza, ice cream, strawberries and cream. I’m scouring the house for things to consume. I drink beer, red wine, beer, gin, beer, more red wine and finish with a gin. There is nothing happy about this massive consumption.

It’s now 4 in the morning on the Monday and I feel physically sick from the over indulgence so I sit in bed writing this. I have had days like yesterday before and I know that if days like that were the norm I would have to give up alcohol completely. Why do they happen? I know part of it was eating and drinking too much to combat the hangover from Saturday. If I had followed my moderation advice that would not have happened. But it’s more than that. Yesterday I experienced those feelings of emptiness that I have had before and the food and drink are a counter productive way of dealing with those feelings. I sort of recognised that fact as I was stuffing myself and yet I couldn’t stop and maybe didn’t want to stop. Exactly why I felt like that is hard to say. I had read an article about people who had lost a child and that got me thinking of my son who I lost 9 years ago, but I think about him a lot so that’s not the reason. It’s a host of reasons. Not achieving my goals in life, failed marriages, uncertainty about my current situation, that realisation that life is going by fast and getting old is now my reality. All of this and sitting at home alone nursing a hangover and feeling annoyed that I have not, so far, got a real grip of my drinking. God, what a self pitying shit hole I appear to have dug myself into!

That’s the self pitying done for. How do I avoid this happening again? Well I can’t avoid those feelings coming over me again. They just happen. What I can do is avoid the response. When I poured that first beer yesterday and said to myself that this was my reward for doing some decorating in the morning I should have stopped myself and been honest. I had the beer because I was tired, hungover and fed up. This would be “sad drinking” and that’s the drinking pattern of an alcoholic; the blot it out, escapist drinking I always said I would avoid. I have to have a strategy for avoiding days like yesterday. I could sense what was going to happen which is good but then ignored that and carried on regardless. What should I have done?

I was feeling tired so having a lie down would have been better than reaching for a drink. Reading my previous blog entries may also have helped. I think the main thing is to not to drink alcohol when I am on my own. I have always said to myself that learning to drink in moderation is my alternative to giving up completely and learning to moderate is not an easy option. Sometimes I like to “happy drink” on my own but I clearly cannot delineate between happy and sad drinking when on my own so I need to establish the principle that I do not drink when I am at home by myself. It’s a simple rule not dependent on circumstances. I also know I can be at home alone as I was last week, not drinking and feeling good.

I think I had said about not drinking on my own earlier when starting this blog. I now have to make that a reality. If I want to continue the happy drinking, then the sad drinking has to stop. If I can achieve this then hopefully there will be no more days like yesterday.

Jim x

Posted in Alcohol, Alcohol dependency, Influences on drinking, moderation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Well Jim, did you pass your test?

Ah the big test, the Saturday BBQ set within a difficult context. I was going with a plan; count the units, record the drinks on my app, set limits, alternate alcohol with soft drinks. Jim you are marvellous, with a plan like that you cannot fail, you are a beacon of hope to all the failed moderators out there! So… how did it go?

Well on one level…. oh stop prevaricating. How did it go? Did you succeed?

Short answer, No. Longer answer, sort of, and yet overall I feel very positive and optimistic if I take the weekend as a whole. Rewind to Friday night.

Fridays I drink; always. It’s Friday and the powerful association kicks in. My son and his girlfriend were staying in preparation for Saturday’s BBQ. By the time they arrived it was 9pm and I hadn’t had a drink. They both fancied a few beers after a long trip but I decided that because I would be drinking the next day, I would refrain from having a drink that evening. It worked. I drank a non alcoholic beer, we chatted and I was fine. I think I was fine because I knew that the next day I would be drinking, so no need to overdo it.

On the Saturday I went to the BBQ with my girlfriend. Mistake number 1, I took spirits and made a punch, I realised (naughty sub conscious probably knew) that I had no real idea how many units were in a glass of my punch. Then I switched to beer. I didn’t record my drinks on my phone app as planned and I realised that that was a stupid plan. How do you record each drink on a phone when in a social gathering? I learned a lesson, counting drinks needs to be done in a discrete way and not involving pulling out my phone. What I did do was to be aware of generally how much I was drinking so I started to drink water between some of my drinks. I also made a point of eating well so that I didn’t become drunk. I did end up drinking the equivalent of 2 bottles of wine but I did get to a point where I stopped drinking and I also left around 9.30 so I wouldn’t be tempted to resume.

I was dropped off home and whereas a few months ago I would have poured a large G and T, this time I didn’t. I knew I had drunk a fair bit but I was not drunk and I had stopped. I also congratulated myself on not having had any alcohol the night before. The next day I did have a few drinks later in the evening just to take the edge off a mild hangover.  Overall the amount of alcohol I had consumed over the week was one of the smallest totals since I had started logging all my drinks.

I was never going to suddenly crack this moderation thing. It is a process and it will take time but I feel very positive about how things are going generally. Probably the single most important area of progress is my commitment to alcohol free days. I have managed to maintain 3 alcohol free days a week for the past month and it feels relatively easy.I know I will be having a drink at certain points in the week and this makes it easier to manage the alcohol free days. In fact I enjoy the alcohol free days. I enjoy cutting down and knowing that this will be good for my body. For me the equation is simple; if I want to continue drinking, then I have to cut down my overall intake.

Saturday didn’t work out quite as planned but then I will use that as a learning opportunity. Already I am thinking how to do the counting of alcohol units when drinking and socialising. I think I might use counters which I keep in one pocket and transfer a small counter to my other pocket every time I have a drink. Could work?

In the meantime I feel good about not drinking on Friday night and three other nights last week. I feel good about reducing the overall number of units consumed in a week. I feel good that I stopped drinking on Saturday and didn’t get drunk. Small but positive steps.

I also need to remind myself of something. For me alcohol is not the problem. It is my tendency to overindulge, to gorge myself whether that be alcohol or food. I fill myself, I stuff myself. That I need to understand and change. One thing I am determined to stop doing is giving myself a hard time over it. OK so I sometimes drink too much, I’ll make efforts to tackle that, I’m doing that. I’m doing OK. I also do really well at other things. I taught a pretty good set of lessons today, I beat my friend at table tennis yesterday and I sat and listened last night as  a woman told me how she drank because she saw it a slow way to kill herself. Her life had become unbearable. My drinking is nothing like that and my life is thankfully one that still has possibilities. For that I am grateful.

This week I intend drinking very little and then next week comes the mother of all tests; a few days in Germany!


Posted in Alcohol, alcohol and health, cutting back on alcohol, moderation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

One surprise test done, another big one to come.

I now feel well on my way with my moderation journey and I feel quietly optimistic about my prospects. I am clear in my mind that I do NOT want to give up alcohol which means that in order enjoy it without putting my health and self esteem at risk I need to start changing my habits and behaviour around alcohol. That is going to be a long term process as making changes to long term patterns of behaviour is always notoriously difficult.  

What is also becoming clear to me is that the old dichotomy of alcoholic or abstainer is of little help to me and many others. There is a continuum of alcohol dependency and I see myself as quite different in my alcohol dependency to some of the people I have worked with and also to some of the sober bloggers out there. I completely accept that there are some drinkers who are at that end of the alcohol spectrum who have to go the abstainenance route. Equally there are those who have developed bad habits around alcohol and have alllowed a harmful dependency to develop but who are capable of changing those habits. My motivation to make moderation succeed is that I enjoy drinking alcohol; the change in consciousness, the mellow feelings, the camaraderie, the enjoyment and appreciation of fine beers, wines and spirits. I want to carry on enjoying these and to do so I need to change my habits.

I started this process by recording how much  and when I drink. It has been an important step. I used to drink oblivious to how much I was drinking and developed bad habits of drinking quickly and with  a crazy enthusiasm. Sometimes I was drinking for the wrong reasons. The relationship to alcohol for me and many others is complex. Key to succeeding with moderation will be adopting a vigilance with alcohol, specifically how much I drink and setting limits both in terms of units consumed in any one session and over the course of a week. I’m going to do this gradually and I am going to go easy on myself. The motivation is there so if I fail to meet targets it is because the process is one of gradual change in the right direction over time.

This week I have been very moderate in my drinking, having 4 alcohol free days Sunday to Wednesday. Yesterday I was intending not to drink but a surprise test sprang up. My friend turned up for a quick music rehearsal and very unusually he brought with him a third of a bottle of wine. I was also due to tutor a student later that day. My instinct was to say no thanks but sharing that third of a bottle would mean having one small glass of wine. This could be the test I needed. I hate drinking one glass of wine. My habit is to have one then immediately want a second. But then this is one of the habits I need to change. We drank the wine. It was gorgeous. The alcohol went straight to my brain and I felt that lovely subtle change in consciousness. I monitored myself. I tried to drink slowly. My friend knows my drinking pattern and said to me that he could tell I wanted another glass. It was easy to resist. I had a student coming round in a couple of hours and I never drink just before teaching. This small glass wouldn’t count. We went back inside and rehearsed. That was moderation in practice. One small glass and stop. It was different, felt slightly strange but this is the landscape within which I must now operate. A small unexpected test and I had passed. Later on after my teaching I had an alcohol free beer and recorded my first ever one and a half units of alcohol day, ever!

Tomorrow will be a proper test. A family BBQ at my ex wife’s house with my grown up sons, she with her new husband and me with my girlfriend, coming together to commemorate the 9th anniversary of my middle son’s death from cancer. It would normally have been an ocassion difficult on a number of fronts and I would probably drink excessively. I will drink tomorrow but I shall go with a plan. I will record drinks on my app as I drink them. I will alternate with soft drinks and I will drink slowly. I am fully aware that despite this plan I may just revert to old habits. I’m determined not to, and I am strangely looking forward to the challenge. It seems the right thing to do as well as showing respect for my son. When he was ill, I often didn’t cope well and on one ocassion turned up with a terrible hangover and was sick after a two day feeling sorry for myself bender in London.My son got angry with me and pointed out that he couldn’t do anything about his cancer whereas my “illness” was entirely self inflicted. He pointed out I had the power to make myself well which he did not have. It was humbling and I felt like a jerk. Nine years later I hope I can finally redeem myself.

Any change needs motivation and I think I have found mine.

Posted in Alcohol dependency, cutting back on alcohol, moderation, sobriety, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Now they are even putting alcohol into ice lollies!

From today's i newspaper

Unbelievable. Alcohol in lollies. Won’t be long before kids discover these

Posted in Alcolollies, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

At last- A definitive breakthrough in the alcohol and health debate!

We have all read  the conflicting  articles. We pick up of the paper only to read that a scientist somewhere has made a startling discovery that drinking a glass of red wine a day protects you against heart disease only to pick up the paper the next day and discover that another scientist has done research that shows that the very same glass of wine a day gives you an increased risk of dementia. The messages are confusing. The world needs to know one way or another – is alcohol good for you or will it kill you?

In order to cut through this confusing array of research I decided, in the spirit of scientific research, to use my own body in order to definitively answer the question; is alcohol good or bad for your health? Today, on this very blog page, I am going to share with you the answer to this question.(Intake of breath)

Some of you will be wondering why I have chosen to share this groundbreaking research on my blog rather than in scientific or medical journal? The answer is that it’s too important to wait for scientists and medical professionals to sift through my research, to test the data, to make sure I have used rigorous methods. This research is so groundbreaking that I need to get it out there now. So what if I don’t win the Nobel Prize because my research has not been peer reviewed? Some things are worth more than glory and a big cheque. But I prevaricate, I am wasting time; you want to know what this groundbreaking research tells us about alcohol and its relation to our health. Sit tight, strap yourself in, and be prepared to be shocked and enlightened. This is it, the definitive answer, The answer based on real research, the conclusion that could save lives, and without wishing to sound too self important, could save mankind and change the course of human history.

Here it is:


Groundbreaking eh? Enlightening?

Oh you already knew this? Old news you say?

Well I didn’t know it. I am one of those that only read the research that legitimised my drinking. I would read, paraphrase and pass on all the research that shows that drinking wine was good for your heart,could lower blood pressure and even protect against dementia. Whilst this research is often disputed  the one thing that I would forget to mention about all the positive research done on alcohol was that  all these positive messages came with the proviso that you only got health benefits if you drank very moderately. Every bit of research had one thing in common; there were only ever benefits if you drank very moderately (and we are talking here about maybe one or two glasses of wine a week). The sad fact is that those, like me, who can drink a bottle and a half of wine in one sitting have no allies on the medical front. Once you start drinking in the 50+ units a week range you are almost certainly going to encounter adverse health consequences. (For those of us trying to fool ourselves “adverse health consequences” is clever, gentle code for “death”)

Irony aside I have been recording one measure of my health against the amount of alcohol I’ve been consuming over the last four months. So yes, actual data recording and research! Before starting to address moderating  my alcohol intake I wanted to know exactly how much alcohol I was consuming and when. I’ve been logging this information for the past 15 weeks alongside the record of my blood pressure as this is something that I take medication for and is being monitored by my doctor. I always had a sense that my blood pressure was related to my alcohol consumption and often this was very apparent if I took my blood pressure after a particularly heavy weekend. But even when I was not drinking, my blood pressure was becoming very high. My doctor put me on medication, I’ve bought myself a snazzy blood pressure monitor and started recording my blood pressure on a weekly basis. When I started to record how much alcohol I was consuming each week I decided to put the two sets of data together to see if there was a correlation over time between my blood pressure and my alcohol consumption. A screenshot of the graph is below:

It’s pretty conclusive and probably to anyone else, pretty obvious and no surprise. But when it’s your own data and the correlation is that stark it becomes real wake-up call.

Drinking alcohol at the level I am doing is adversely affecting my blood pressure. More units= higher blood pressure. The blood pressure medication is keeping it in check but already my doctor is thinking my dosage needs to be increased. I know that’s not the answer. The answer is in the graph; lower your alcohol intake and your blood pressure will go down. It’s so bloody obvious, and contrary to my over the top introduction, not groundbreaking at all.

What about other health effects there have been on my body? I suffer from semi permanent flushed face which could be rosacea but eases off when I don’t drink excessively, obesity which is caused by overeating the day after a binge plus the wasted high number of calories in alcohol, episodes of gastritis brought on by alcohol, and the most worrying one of all, possible alcoholic cardiomyopathy.

This last condition (not proven as yet) was picked up after a trip abroad where I partied and drank continuously for 7 days in March. I returned and had tightness of the chest and problems breathing. My girlfriend rang the helpline, a paramedic turned up and I was transferred to hospital. A slightly irregular ECG was inconclusive but they could rule out heart attack. Instead an x ray showed an enlarged heart. They asked me about my alcohol consumption as this can be linked to an enlarged heart and is a symptom of AC. I lied and said I drank moderately. Oh, they said, because the symptoms I was displaying were consistent with alcoholic cardiomyopathy. They suggested going to my doctor. I didn’t. Instead for the next few days  I drank very moderately. Things seemed OK and I went back to my old ways. Writing this down here, I can’t believe how stupid this all seems. Intelligent guy gets stark health warnings, intelligent guy ignores warnings, puts head in sand and continues to put his health at risk. Conclusion: intelligent guy may not be as smart as he thinks he is. In fact he appears to be intellectually challenged. I haven’t  even mentioned possible damage to liver, brain, mental health etc.  Scary stuff.

Anyway, there we have it. Alcohol in excess is not good for you.

Not groundbreaking. Bleeding obvious really.


Question is Jim; what are you going to do about it?  Good question.

Understand, plan and change, that’s what! Things staying as they are is not an option.

Here’s one little thing I do. Below is a selection of my very low alcoholic drinks.  I like these. I can drink these and get the feeling that I’m having a drink.  They help me cut down.  That is good.

A  selection of low and non alcoholic beer and wine (non-alcoholic can legally contain 0.5% alcohol). Helps provide the association without the grief. All helps in cutting down the units.File 11-07-2017, 15 37 48

Now for something completely different…

On a different note, I want to add that although I am writing about alcohol, I do not want to give the impression that that is all there is in my life.  I haven’ t had a drink since Saturday, I have been teaching, playing sport and writing songs. I go shopping, see people and tomorrow I’ll be working with people with mental health problems including a few alcoholics.  Some of them wake up and reach for the bottle. I never do that. But I have developed a dependency and I have to change my drinking habits.  I have seen the effects and I do not want to end up like some that I have worked with.  You don’t necessarily have to reach bottom before starting to climb.There is also much more to us than just alcohol.

Jim x

Posted in Alcohol, alcohol and health, Alcohol dependency, alcoholic, moderation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments