Is it time to go sober?

How long does it take to break a habit?

As a regular wine imbiber I quit my routine glugging when advised to prior to a recent operation. Then, in recovery (from the op, not the booze) I stayed mostly dry, just enjoying the occasional G & T.

Was it a challenge? No, not really. I loved my FeverTree tonics with my Seedlip non-gin gin. My reflux reduced, as did my belly. I’d broken the habit of quaffing on pinot once the clock had struck seven... or so I thought.

The surgeon’s ‘good to go’ signalled a return to driving and spontaneous shopping. My first early evening purchase was milk, but my second was Merlot, corn chips and salsa. Was it a one-off treat? Sadly, not.

So how long does it take to stop drinking?

There’s no simple answer to this. With any habit change there needs to be a commitment to it and a desire to change. In my case I was aware I drank over the recommended units and cutting down would benefit me. But was I committed to stop drinking altogether? No.

Even though I’m back to buying a bottle or two of my favourite vino per week, I’ve definitely reduced my intake. My digestion is better and I know that an evening without alcohol is much the same for me as an evening with it.

There are different opinions on how long it takes to break a habit and of course everyone’s relationship with alcohol is different. If you’d like to review your drinking visit https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/advice/how-to-reduce-your-drinking/how-to-take-a-break-and-reset-your-tolerance and if you want to raise money for MacMillan Cancer Support and go sober in October visit https://www.gosober.org.uk/fundraising/top-tips

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