Drinkers Like Me

It’s Bank Holiday Monday and I feel like shit. I felt exactly the same yesterday morning. It’s all too familiar.

I don’t have a drink problem but I do have a problem with drink.

And it has got to stop.

I tried doing something about it a few months ago, and wrote about it here. It was a short-lived attempt and I’ve slipped back into my old ways, as I always do.

I enjoy drinking and could never imagine living my life without. But unless I develop some self-control, it has so many negative side effects that it just can’t go on. I simply don’t seem to know when enough is enough.

The first drink is always the best. When you’ve had a busy day and you look forward to that first sip of cold beer straight from the fridge. You can’t beat it! But the second one is pretty good too, so I have another.

That is really where it should stop if I’m being honest. In fact, when I talk to my wife about cutting back on alcohol – it’s the magic number we often agree should be the limit. Just 2 drinks. Any drinks – even doubles – just 2 drinks. But it never happens.

Mrs FmC is nearly as bad as I am. We encourage each other. Partners in crime. She loves wine. I love just about everything. I find myself trying to catch up with the wine, despite having had several beers first. We seek the highest strength drinks for the lowest amount of money. We drink mainly at home. Hidden away in our own little world.

This year, we’ve often ended up fighting after drinking too much. We get tired and irritable. The slightest thing sets one of us off. We hate each other for a short while and shout and swear. We lose self-control and worse still we lose self-respect. We always regret it in the morning and kiss and make up. We love each other deeply and hate what drinking is doing to our relationship.

Drinking makes us tired. It makes us lazy. We often start drinking by late morning when we have nothing else on and continue on to oblivion, when we end up going to bed earlier than most people. We then have trouble sleeping. I wonder why?!

This 3-day holiday weekend has been a complete write-off because of drinking. Both of us feel the same. We have done nothing and gone nowhere. We have not socialised and have eaten crappy food and snacks. All we have talked about is how strict we are going to be during the rest of the week and get back on track. So often an empty promise.

We had planned to do a run on Saturday morning and a bike ride on Sunday morning. Neither happened because of drink. We haven’t even managed to get any decluttering or other housework done. What have we been doing for 3 days, other than the obvious?

We had hoped to continue our weight-loss plan (which we have been pretty good with on work days) but that has gone out of the window too, because of drink. We ended up having a Chinese takeaway on Saturday night and felt the need for a fried breakfast this morning to cut through our hangovers. Bad things follow bad things. I want to go back to good things following good things. It is much more fun!

Then there’s the money side of things. It’s like a smoker finding money for cigarettes – we always manage to find money for booze, despite being great at budgeting. I’m obsessed with saving money for our future FI. So why do I wear blinkers when it comes to the cost of booze?

We have various side hustles (such as matched betting) that we do to earn extra pocket money. These hobbies can be quite lucrative and ideal for a pair of homebodies like us. Lately, the vast majority of that extra income has been used to fuel our drinking habits. Including overnight stays in hotels where our only real agenda has been to drink our time away. That money could be doing so much more for us.

I hate to think what long term damage is being caused by this abuse of our bodies too. It’s funny how drinkers don’t see their habit as being particularly unhealthy. But it really is, in so many ways. And it’s getting worse.

Mrs FmC highlighted a program that is on BBC Two tonight: Drinkers Like Me – Adrian Chiles. It’s an introspective documentary about exactly the problem I am currently facing with alcohol. I’m looking forward to it and really hope it shocks me into changing my ways once and for good.

I am slowly coming around to the idea that the only way forward is to become teetotal. That scares me and I don’t want to accept it. One of the things I often dream about when I reach FI is the time I will have to travel to various pubs and micropubs sampling all the regional beers. Social drinking is such a pleasure. But that’s not what I am talking about here.

My health – closely followed by my relationships – have got to improve. I am wasting the most precious resource I have available to me: time. I need to take this a little more seriously.

So this article has got to be the catalyst to a series of changes in my life. Less alcohol. More focus on health and wellbeing – including the relationships that matter in my life.

More focus on happiness and life itself.

5 Comments

  1. For me, I had to removing all alcohol from the house to keep from drinking it…. ‘willpower’ just did/does not work for me.
    I found this enlightening and surprising. The exponential curve of the graph surprised me, it looks that there are very few who actually manage to have only 1-2 drinks per day.
    https://boingboing.net/2015/12/22/top-10-of-americans-enjoy-an.html

    Here are a few books that I read, maybe there are similar ones written by men.
    Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp
    Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget by Sarah Hepola
    Also, this website is good for health motivations:
    https://nutritionstudies.org/alcohol-16-reasons-to-rethink-your-drink/
    Good luck on your journey.

  2. From across the pond, thanks for posting the link to this video. You held up a mirror I knew existed but tried to avoid. Hugs and Kisses to all.

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