I’ve gone over 48 hours now without touching a drop of alcohol. That followed three weeks of drinking every day. I really should be experiencing some form of cold turkey.
More than two of those weeks, of course, I was on holiday so that’s allowed I guess. My daily drinking over that three week period has been anything from one large glass of rosé to half a litre of red wine, plus beers, plus G & Ts.
Trouble is when you’re retired there’s a danger – or a hope – that all of life feels like a holiday. It can be so easy then to join the 10,000s of expat Brits who, so the cliché follows, reach for the G & T as soon as AM turns to PM.
It’s so easy to do when you’re relaxed, there’s little else to distract you and the sun is shining. That’s why alcohol becomes habitual for me when we’re on holiday.
I know drink’s not supposed to be good for me – but it seems to have very little affect – I often feel worse on a morning after not drinking than when I do.
Also drink is no longer playing a part in making me overweight. My increased exercise – mainly running and walking – and disciplined eating regime in the week is somehow keeping me just under 12 stones however much I drink.
Once I’ve decided I’m not drinking of an evening I can usually manage it fairly easily.There’s an hour or so before dinner when I get the urge but if I can resist until the first bite of my evening meal I’m happy enough with water and the alco pangs will pass.
I guess that means my drinking is habitual rather than addictive but it’s something I intend to keep an eye on.
Alcohol dependency is a major issue amongst people of my age and older. Take a look at the amusingly named ‘Alcohol abuse amongst the elderly – a complete guide’ on the excellent Aging.com website.
America’s National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence points out that up to 11 percent of elderly hospital admissions are drug or alcohol related, a similar rate to elderly people being admitted because of heart attacks, which can also be caused by prolonged alcoholism.
The alcohol-related admissions number increases to 14 percent relating to emergency room visitations, and the rate at which the elderly are admitted to psychiatric hospitals due to alcohol or drugs is 20 percent.
The list of health issues that can be caused by alcohol make sobering reading and include:
- Liver problems
- Mood disorders
- High blood pressure which can lead heart attacks, strokes and heart failure.
Although I’m going to allow myself my usual weekend tipple, I’m going to guard against habitual holiday drinking and stay teetotal during normal weeks at home.