YOU CAN’T START A FIRE WITHOUT A SPARK

DrinkCoach
3 min readApr 4, 2021

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5 January 2021 — DrinkCoach

DrinkCoach asked Will, Alcohol Advisor from the West Sussex Wellbeing Team to document his new year’s resolution to cut back on alcohol. Read his series of blogs throughout Dry January…

Blog 1/10

Winter is here, the kids are back to school and the New Year is in. The coronavirus has been tough on us all and has forced us to change our lives in incredibly drastic ways. New routines have been made and old habits have been adapted or created to cope with all of the change.

That is what I am writing about today, a new habit forged over a period of madness, hidden in plain sight, created as if out of nowhere, fully formed and looming large.

All of a sudden it has become my new “norm”; I am talking about DRINK!

We all have drinking rules whether we are aware of them or not: some of us just drink at weekends, some of us strictly after 6pm or never after nine, some of us start with Corrie and finish with the News at 10.

These drinking rules are given to us by our parents, our friends, our families and by and large we stick to them…until we don’t. Until the playbook is thrown out of the window, until our routines and normal lives are suddenly not there anymore. And then the creep begins. In this blog I want to take a look at how the past six months have been and, importantly, what I need to do to make some changes.

I’m taking some time to reflect on how and why things began to change for me.

How did I go from drinking a fairly sensible amount to an amount I feel uncomfortable with?

April 2020: “5 o clock beers?” Why not, I don’t have to be in the office tomorrow.

“Fancy another? “ Why not, I only have a Zoom meeting at 10 tomorrow and I can just keep my head down”

“The kids have been a nightmare today, I deserve this”

It was all too easy to justify having a drink. Before you know it you’ve gone from drinking 3 nights a week to every night of the week. From drinking within the low risk guidelines of 14 units a week, you’re now drinking 20–25 units a week.

What’s happened? When did this happen? And why don’t my trousers fit me anymore?!!!!

I’m looking in the mirror and not feeling that great about what I see. And, if I’m being honest, I know the reason why. Alcohol has a LOT of calories in it so that might explain the expanding waist line and the rest, well the rest is life happening. This period has been tough, it’s been hard, unpredictable and relentless. And alcohol helps… until it doesn’t. Until it’s another thing to be worried, anxious and stressed over. Until it’s causing problems rather than solving them. So it’s time to change.

I need to reset, I need to refresh… I need to give the alcohol the boot. I need to be me again. I’m not saying I’m going to become abstinent; I don’t see that as me, I enjoy drinking, I just don’t want to do it all the time. I do see myself as the person before lockdown, the person who knew the rules and could stick to them. I was a weekend social drinker not an everyday drinker.

So, for the next month I am going to stop. I’m going to press the reset button and cut out alcohol for the whole month, to purge myself of the habits of the year, furlough the booze, don’t drink out to help myself out.. hmm maybe that last one doesn’t work that well. Anyway how hard can it be…it could be quite hard, maybe I need a plan, yes a plan.

Follow DrinkCoach on Twitter to follow Will’s story.

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An online early intervention service for people who want to cut down on their drinking