3 Days Alcohol Free
I am 47 years old, have been with my husband, a civil engineer for 29 years, and have a great teenage son, whose confident, independent, clever and fun. He’s studying A’ Levels in Mathematics, Physics and Geography, and he’s the apple of both our eyes. Thankfully so far he shows no real interest in getting drunk, although some of his friends do.
We run our own business, which generates reports on the sustainability of development sites for planning, and during a non-drinking period of four months in 2015, I applied to do a MSc in Transport Planning, and was awarded a distinction. This is all great, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. It has facilitated a great lifestyle over the last few years. The removal of the restrictions of the nine to five though, and having no bosses to answer too, has definitely presented increased opportunities to drink more regularly, and in greater volume.
When my son was growing up, I was so busy with him, and his school, sports and social clubs, alcohol was not an issue to me. I rarely drank on weekdays, and the weekend drinking was just social. That is one thing I am very grateful for, I have no guilt in relation to my son’s experience of my drinking alcohol. Belle Robinson (or Robertson?) describes thinking about non-problem drinking as similar to thinking about corn on the cob. That’s how drinking was for me until the last few years. I never thought about it too much, and gave it up easily for long periods in 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2015.
Part of the reason I suspect that it has become an issue to me now is that my son is now nearly an adult, learning to drive, and optimistically going about the business of planning his future. I no longer have to drive an hour every night to pick him up from swimming, football, drama, friend’s houses. I no longer have to plan or attend children’s parties or fundraise for the school. I no longer have to get up at 6am to travel to work.
Being busy, and caring so much, restricted the opportunities to drink, and the following days obligations restricted my intake on the occasions when I did.
According to Parkinson’s law work expands to fill the time available for its completion. Alcohol drinking too, it appears will fill the available time; however in my experience, the volume drunk expands too.
It’s time to take back that time, and make it productive, and enjoyable again. I feel it is the start of empty nest syndrome, my son is doing great and becoming very independent, which I am actually very proud of, but the house is becoming very quiet. One of my lovely dogs has died, my gorgeous cat, who was my big cheerleader, and self-appointed adopted mother to the two border collies has died at the good old age of 23; she was with me from my student days.
My parents had issues with alcohol, although I still consider my childhood very stable and happy. They both died of smoking related cancer within seven years of each other, cementing my resolve to quit smoking nine years ago, which I now do not miss at all.
My husband has also seen the light, and we are both going to get some new ‘life’ in our lives to keep the journey interesting. I will not allow alcohol to fill the happy spaces in my life, at this critical time of change.