Enough to keep you awake

I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately. It takes me a while to get relaxed enough and then I wake up early.

I’ve got some worries. Still learning financial literacy. Wondering if I want a significant other or not. And concerns about my health.

I want vitality. Enough to lose weight, strengthen my limbs, think clearly. And for the past several months I didn’t have a sleeping problem. I had two other problems:

a waking up problem and, I’m shocked to admit, problem with drinking.

No, I didn’t start each day pouring vodka in my oj. I didn’t sneak out to lunch and down a g&t. I waited, like a responsible grownup, until I got home from work.

My routine was get home, take off bra, put on relaxing clothing, pour wine, load up YouTube vids, drink wine. Never just one glass.

It was relaxing. Acceptable. The wine meme shown here by “Brit Wit” was a popular one and I laughed and chortled and shared it widely, cheekily suggesting friends and family would like it. I have been tagged in lots of them. Gosh aren’t they funny? Funny, funny that we as women are drinking to excess. And not just weekends. But during the week. Like, every night.

Australia’s SBS network has an excellent program called Insight that featured an episode recently called “Wine O’Clock” about the rise in drinking in middle aged and older women. I felt drawn to watch it a few nights ago because, in the back of my mind, it became clear to me that things weren’t so funny any more.

I have been spending money on wine above saving. I’ve been normalising headaches and hangovers and laughed when, last week, I couldn’t remember some things about a night I’d had with a friend. My room mate told me she’s come home to the front door left unlocked with me sleeping on the sofa. Last weekend I cleaned my house and realised I hadn’t vacuumed or mopped in a month.

So I sat down and watched the show. And got hit in the face with some daunting stories and statistics. Are you aware that over-drinking causes cancer? One of the types is the type Paul died from – Esophageal Cancer. And yes, he’d been drinking far too much wine at night to deal with a stressful working situation and I’d asked him to stop.

Plus overdrinking causes fatty liver (I’ve got one), high cholesterol of the bad sort and issues with the pancreas and indigestion and numerous other health problems – including excess weight and impacts on depression and cognitive abilities.

These memes aren’t funny. Movies and television programs that glamorise wine (“The way classy people get shitfaced” according to another meme I used to like) and all those funny, funny sayings aren’t so funny. Photos I post of myself raising a wine glass to prove I”m having cheeky fun aren’t that great either.

So right now I’m finding that I am having trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep. It’s frustrating. I’m hoping that it is a temporary phase. I’m going to focus on tiring myself out from physical exertion. The sort I found it hard to do because I was sluggish and always a bit hung over from my nightly “relaxation” ritual.

I don’t know if I have a “drinking problem”. But I do think that drinking is becoming a barrier to my achieving my goals of writing, health, study and savings. And I have a problem with that.

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