MINE’S A PINT BY CATHERINE PANDAS - PANDAS Foundation UK

We have a comical moustache shaped chalkboard in our kitchen. Someone gave it to R at Christmas and for some reason it’s become our alcohol pledge board.

We were hit side and front on by something that would affect all three kiddliewinks at the start of the year, so we thought we’d stop drinking. I drunkenly scrawled a cryptic message upon the ‘tache, “No booze for good reason” and we launched into a three week dry spell, spurred on by this odd message. Over time, the board has been vandalised and twisted. Up until five minutes ago, the board read: “Booze for many good reasons”.

With a chubby palm, I have erased this leaving the following message scribed into a dusty cloud, “No booze because we want to look and feel good on our wedding day.” And that’s that.

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The thing is, we drink too much. And more harrowingly, I drink too much. R is a happy companion, but I know he’d be just as happy with a cuppa whereas my heartbeat raises every time an empty bottle clunks its way into the recycling bin.

When you’re suffering from mental illness, booze is not a friend. Alcohol is a depressant, and if you have an addictive personality like me, it can be destructive on many levels. We can usually afford to pick up a sneaky bottle of red after a hard day, or a happy day, or a…. Wednesday..? But when does it start to become a problem??

When I was on my own with V, when she was small, I drank destructively. I drank to forget about my own life. My awful life. My awful mind. My awful body. I wouldn’t stop until I’d thought through a thick fog of wine, “Oh dear, I think I’ve had too much to drink.” And by then it was usually too late. Then the guilt washed around me at 3am, waking up still drunk, “I’m a Mother”.

I’m not drinking for a week. Well, we are not drinking for a week. And next week I’m going to tell you all about the no doubt positive effects it’s had on my mental health.

As the week goes on, I’ll be updating this post to include things we get up to in the evening, that we’d otherwise spend sat on the sofa working our way through a TV series whilst sharing a bottle of something. For example, tonight, I’m going to the gym. I’ve also got a big cross stitch to finish this week so will probably spend one or two evenings working on that. Stay tuned!

Catherine xx

AUTHOR

Catherine Jones

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