BOTTOMS UP

I seem to have all but given up drinking. A strange conclusion to reach but there it is. And it’s not an attempt to detoxify my liver or any of that ‘my body is a temple’ stuff. I just seem to have got out of the habit.

I’ve never been a massive drinker. Lack of funds as a teenager, lack of inclination as a student and lack of stamina as an employee all meant that the big nights out have been peppered across my years rather than liberally sprinkled. I did drink and had my fair share of hangovers through my twenties but they were nothing that a lie-in and a stack of carbohydrates couldn’t handle. With no commitments until Monday, I would drink and dance away my Saturday night without giving it much thought.

But then came the children and everything changed. At the beginning, you couldn’t have paid me to have a drink. Then, as pregnancy wore on, I would have the odd glass of wine in accordance with the recommended limits at the time. After that, feeding the baby and sheer exhaustion meant no drinking in earnest and then suddenly, child number two was on the way and it started all over again.

There was a brief period when I just had two children where I might have contemplated regular drinking but the fear of going to bed at 2.00 only to be woken again at 5.00 far outweighed any possible pleasure that the drinking might have offered me. And I had a horror of the house burning down and neither my husband nor I waking and rescuing the kids. A female phobia I admit but one which meant that I always made sure that one of us had their wits about them at bedtime. It was generally me.

And so gradually, drinking more than the odd glass of wine in the evening became reserved to dinner parties when I wasn’t driving and parties that we could walk to. With almost everyone around me having young children, such occasions became fairly thin on the ground and my tolerance for alcohol declined dramatically, a few glasses of wine having the effect that a full night of drinking might have done in the past.

You may have gathered by now that with me it’s all about control and so, after an unfortunate evening a year or so back when I said more than I should have done, I decided that there was really very little about drinking that I enjoyed. It makes me indiscreet, causes the room around me to behave most peculiarly and results in me feeling rubbish the next day. Where’s the fun in that I wondered?

Now I sound all puritanical which I’m not really.But I have come to realise that all the pleasure from alcohol for me is in the first glass. It’s that much anticipated sip of a crisp, cold, white wine when the children are all seen to and the evening becomes my own that I enjoy. After that I can take it or leave it. So I’ve left it really, for months now and I honestly don’t miss it although it does make my rare evenings out quieter and shorter than they once were.

I’m not saying that I will never return to drinking to get drunk but for the time being it’s not something that interests me. Good grief! Could I be any more boring?!

What do you think? I'd love to know...