Monday always marks the start of something new. The work week, obviously, but also the start of new diets, exercise regimes, new habits like getting to work on time, keeping the house cleaner.....Monday is the day when new leaves are turned over, transformations into better, more disciplined lives are started.....and all too frequently, these promises made, dissolve before Wednesday....and then we have to wait another four days before we repeat the process yet again.
At least, that's how my life looked.
Ironically, my sober life started on a Sunday.
And Sunday was always my favourite drinking day. I loved to open a chilled bottle of white with Sunday lunch - fresh bread and delicious smoked pacific salmon, maybe read a book in the afternoon, (continuing to drink of course), drift off to sleep.....and then inevitably Sunday dinner would fall apart because I couldn't be bothered to cook, and I would just keep working away at another bottle, until I staggered to bed.
I think my decision to stop drinking on a Sunday was a reaction to all those Monday mornings facing an untidy house, unwashed dishes, unfinished laundry (so I would have to rush around and throw stuff in the tumbledryer so I had clean underwear) and the inevitable thumping head and cloud of depression.
Yesterday, I found a list on my phone of 20 reasons to Stop Drinking. It was typed on April 4th 2015, just over a month before I finally stopped drinking - and although I forget actually writing the list, I do know that my intention was to stop drinking on Monday 6th April, and I was going to program my phone to sound an alarm every day at Wine O'clock, to remind me of all the reasons why I Should Not Drink.
I am sure that this fizzled out by Wednesday 8th April.....but I thought I would revisit the 20 Reasons to Stop Drinking, to see if I was at least on the right track.
1. Better Digestion (why would that be #1? But yes, my digestion is better)
2. No more heartburn ( totally gone - this list might be a bit repetitive, I was trying to get an even number)
3. Coffee tastes Better (Absolutely- I love my coffee in the morning, without the queasiness)
4. Better Sleep ( No question)
5. No Hangovers (You think this would be #1, wouldn't you?)
6. Lose Weight (Hasn't happened yet, but it will)
7. Get More Done ( I am a productivity Ninja now)
8. Be a better Wife (Well I'm not really the one to make a judgement, but I think that I am a nicer person to live with - I'll verify and get back to you)
9.Write More ( I write every day, if not this blog, then my business blog, and I am gradually geting organised to write that business book I have been talking about for five years)
10. Don't Stress About the Past. ( This is probably the most wonderful one. I wake up everyday to new possibilities)
11. Don't Drunk Text ( or Drunk Facebook, or Drunk Dial, or Drunk Email)
12. Remember the Night before ( And the book I was reading, and the TV program I was watching and the conversation I was having)
13. Save Money. ( I haven't calculated the total, and I have spent money on AF beer and wine, but there's a saving for sure)
14. Less Depressed (Apart from the occasional attack of PAWS, I am much sunnier)
15. Build a Good Business ( I'm not a millionaire yet, but a couple of new clients, a new website, and a new found passion - it won't be long)
16.Skin will be Clearer ( Yes, no more sweaty blotches, or dry patches)
17. Exercise More ( Not so far, but I I am getting there...maybe next Monday, ha ha)
18.Better Sex ( Again, I probably need to verify - but I am sure its better with someone who is actually present, and not a drunken mess!)
19. Better Reputation - (I hope so)
20. No More Shame. ( Definitely)
These were my reasons to stop. Maybe yours are completely different. Maybe you are surfing around this Monday morning, to get some inspiration, maybe you have a thumping hangover and are just fed up with feeling like that......
Maybe it will be this Monday, or next....or maybe it will be a Tuesday...it doesn't matter.....I would just like you to know that the improvements to my life are not just documented in my list.
I found that I have new friends. New friends that I have never actually met. They read my blog, and I read theirs. Some leave comments, and many don't. But I know they are there, and they are from all around the world.
They have difficulties, and problems and issues - they struggle with Sobriety sometimes, sometimes it's easy.
But I guarantee you, whenever you make the plunge, there are thousands of people on your side, helping you through.
Have a great Monday, and thank you all for being here.