That title makes it sound like I have a drinking problem. I don't. But I quite easily could, so I've decided to give up drinking for a while. I've done it before - in 2008 I stopped drinking for nearly four months. This time around I have a different motivation. My dermatologist has put me on a four month course of antibiotics to try and get a handle on my rosacea, which has been getting worse over the last year. Technically, I don't have to stop drinking alcohol, but she said it was advisable, so I've decided to. I'm also trying to save money and pay off my credit card, so not forking out all that money for booze each week is an extra motivator.
Of course, I have had a few trip ups so far, but I'm not beating myself up over it. The way I see it, if I can manage not to crack open any of the multiple bottles of wine that have been sitting in my fridge for almost a month now, I'm not doing too badly. Now I just need to work on my sugar habit... another recommendation from the dermatologist.
I've been doing a quite a lot of reading lately - I think this is a direct result of becoming somewhat of a hermit (note to self: learn to socialise in non-drinking forms). One of the books I've had on my shelf for a while but never got around to reading until recently was Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project. I stumbled across it on my last day in NYC last year and since then I've been following her blog and subscribing to her daily email alerts. Each week she features different people, asking them about their "happiness". Last week she featured a writer named Caren Osten Gerszberg. Caren's answer to one of the questions resonated with me... I could've written her answer almost word for word:
Is there anything you find yourself doing repeatedly that gets in the way of your happiness?
Yes. I grew up surrounded by anger and stress, which took up a life of their own in my life, and thus in my head. As cliché as it sounds, sweating the small stuff used to interfere with my path to happiness on a frequent basis. In recent years, I’ve learned how to meditate, breathe deeply, and be more accepting of myself and others, which has afforded me greater access to happiness. I’m no expert, but feeling the positive impact inspires me to continue the journey.
There was a link in the article to Caren's website, so naturally I clicked across only to discover that, among her many projects, she is a co-founder of the blog Drinking Diaries. It's been a particularly fascinating read given my current circumstances and I think will be quite useful in keeping me on track for my goal.
Now, does anyone have any good suggestions for tasty non-alcoholic drinks which don't involve high-fructose fruit juices or soft drinks? Soda water with a squeeze of lime juice is quite possibly the most boring drink ever invented.