It has become apparent over the past few months that I am becoming more reliant on alcohol than I would like. What used to be the odd drink has become more of a need, a crutch to see me through, a way to lose myself and become numb for a short period. This concerns me, I am not yet an alcoholic but can see how easy it would be to slip into that addiction and want to quit the beast before it claims control over me. I used to be a whisky drinker, then vodka until landed on wine, any colour be it red, white or rose, doesn’t bother me. However, when I drink more than a bottle, sometimes nearer two and don’t get a hangover alarm bells began to ring.

I feel I have a growing need, bordering on addiction, a small slip then would be into alcoholism which needs addressing and the only way forward would seem to be sobriety.

Having health conditions out of my control is frustrating and alcohol numbed the sharp edges. Yet I realise this is causing more harm than good, with grumbling kidneys and several chronic illnesses the drinking must be causing harm as yet unseen. SO, I have decided that I cannot be trusted to limit my intake, one leads to another and then sod it my mind tells me to just go for a few more which is NOT coming from a healthy mindset.

I have the full official diagnosis from ME Clinic and Rheumatologist, confirmed by GP of having the following chronic illnesses; Diverticulitis, Depression, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), Hypermobility Ehlers~Danlos Syndrome (HEDS), Fibromyalgia (FMS) and unhappy kidneys with early stage chronic kidney disease (currently not actively treated just observing). This is why I befriended wine, it was a wonderful numbing elixir which embraced me in its arms for a short while.

Realising, not only through the mountain of accumulated bottles but through the concerned and worried faces of my daughters, that this was becoming dangerous. “Need” can become addiction, which I could see could so easily spiral out of control. If I am to be a role model for my daughters then I need to address my weaknesses and regain control.

The only way I can fathom to master my desire for alcohol, namely wine, is to wave goodbye to it and turn towards sobriety. Which is exactly what I have decided to do.

I am hoping, with every fibre of my being, that I can do this and not weaken and fall. I have found a fabulous app called Nomo ~ free from the App Store, I have it on my phone and also downloading it onto my iPad, to help keep me on my path and not falter. I am setting myself the 365 day sober challenge as a starting point and going to take it literally one day at a time.

My journey starts today, Friday 16th June, I will periodically update and share my journey sans alcohol with you. I have stocked up on some aspartame free low cal tonic water and will keep it refrigerated to have chilled in a wine glass as a substitute for the first few weeks and will see where I go from there.

I will have to find alternative ways to cope now and hope that the forthcoming months will find me in a happier healthier place both mentally and physically.

If any of my readers have found themselves in this predicament and gone sober I would appreciate and welcome any tips or advice you can offer. What coping techniques were useful and any alcohol free beverage recipes you love.