If you managed "Dry January" successfully, well done! Despite our best intentions, however, sometimes our motivation to reduce or do without our "wee wine", G&Ts, beers - or whatever our tipple - drains as we move away from the year's beginning. We find our old habit can steadily trickle back, perhaps even with a vengeance. It might start at a jolly social occasion but often it is the routine habit that trips us up, the one that simply serves to transition us from "work mode" and the demands of the day to a more "relaxed home mode". We may consider it a "grown-up" reward for having assiduously applied ourselves and juggled everything. For some others, being addled is a distraction from the evening's unappealing TV. Over time there can be a creep - one small drink becomes two, which becomes two large ones; or it may be the measure is now in half or whole bottles. Perhaps that's accompanied with unsettled sleep with an odd headache or hang-over. You tell yourself that it is beneficial for alleviating stress but know deep down that it's unhealthy. So your attitude has a mix of resistance, pleasure and when you're being honest, a bit of uncertainty or fear. Does this sound in any way familiar?
Regrettably I have seen several lives ruined by alcohol misuse so I know the folly of ignoring increasing consumption. It is not just the physical and mental effects like deteriorating performance, premature ageing, memory loss, anxiety and depression, but also the knock on effect on relationships with family, friends and employers, not to mention finances. It might be that your friends and colleagues drink more than you but that inner voice is whispering, "It's time to cut-back...time to follow best advice". But that can be easier said than done for a multitude of reasons including your inner voice contradicting itself, "Oh, one more won't hurt"... "I'm more fun when I've had one"..."I haven't had that much really".
What is a safe limit? The current Government guidelines for men and women is 14 units per week with some alcohol free days. That's 6 "small" glasses of wine (13%; 175ml), 6 pints of lager (4%), 5 of a slightly stronger cider or 14 single pub measures of spirit. 14 might sound like a lot, but most of us will pour ourselves a generous double. Suddenly, it's not so much, is it? And no alcohol if you are conceiving/expecting a baby. (More information and tips are available from Drinkaware - please see below).
Anyway, like the guy in the photo, if you feel you'd benefit from a hand to get things better under control, the first step is to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning me on 075 548 54321 and my training and success in supporting clients facing these challenges will serve to help you. It may even be you want to knock it on the head completely. If you've been thinking this way, why kick the can down the road?