The best decision of 2022? Can you think of one?
As a matter of fact, I can and ……..I am proud that I made it.
Curious? Here we go. In April 2022 instead of flying to London I spent unexpectedly a day in hospital on a heart monitor. Consequently I found out that I had a few heart rhythm issues and that I would need an operation. The cardiologist muttered almost mischievously that of course drinking alcohol was not the best thing to do. While saying that he was doing a scan of my heart and did not even look me in the eye.
In France there is a joke that if the doctor asks if you have been drinking and your reply is – ‘No, nothing at all’. He would say: ‘What, not even wine?’
I decided to take the cardiologist’s advice rather seriously. Maybe because deep down I felt that I would love to drink less regularly. In fact I had been thinking about it for some time. I looked up causes of the heart problems I had and there it was – cause number one, alcohol and number two, coffee. Two of my favourites!
The best decision in action
Moving forward 6 months, I am still drinking a few coffees per day. However I have almost removed drinking alcohol from my life and against expectations, it was not hard. To be honest, it almost went by itself.
This made me think as I never before had a real need to stop having a glass of wine. Despite the fact that I felt that I rather would not have the habit. This time the urge to have a drink was gone and I slowly became indifferent about it.
Throughout the summer I explored zero alcohol beers and I discovered they are getting increasingly popular. Furthermore there are some tasty ones out there and I tried a few different brands. When Autumn came and the weather became slightly cooler I did not fancy a cold beer.
Then something interesting happened!
Imagine coming home from work on Friday. You feel like a drink to reward yourself and to finish of the work week. Instead, I felt more and more that that drink was not going to give me that feeling of reward anymore. In fact a cold glass of sparkling water with a slice of lemon had the same effect. It seemed that the association of alcoholic drink and reward had become less strong.
It went even further and even if I poured myself some wine with a meal, I forgot to drink it while I was eating. So why have it then, was the logical conclusion. I am not sure what exactly happened but without me putting any effort into it, I had reduced the association between wine and enjoyment. To be honest I am thrilled that it happened like that.
My best decision made
Now I tend not to drink during the week and have a bit when socialising with friends or going out for a meal. I am happy to sit hours on the tiniest glass of wine and usually end up pouring it into my husband’s glass.
And one more thing – no more bad wine, please! If I have some, I would like a wine I appreciate. For instance there are a few local cafes where they serve rather mediocre cask wine. It definitely is less attractive going there since I made this decision.
Can you relate to this at all? I am sure there are many people out there who wish they could do this as well. Yet it never seems the right moment. In my immediate circle of friends there are at least a handful of people who have made the same decision during the last year.
Rather interesting to see! Cheers to you all.
Hi Marijke, I cut down drinking many years ago and don’t miss it at all. My only indulgence is champagne and I don’t go out of my way to drink it, I’m happy with water or the new botanicals of which there are plenty now. Alcohol free beer? Never a great fan of beer anyway! There seems to be a gradual increase in the variety of non alcoholic drinks but like meat, I find it best to stay away from the imitations !
Thank you, Dace. It is funny that we do ‘t miss it at all. I do like a good 0.0 %beer and there are some great ones out there. I realise I like them more in the summer than winter and not with a meal. Sparkling water will do for me on most occasions.
I can totally relate to this! I had complications from COVID which impacted many organs including my liver. I’m down to an occasional sip of wine. Feeling well is way more important.
Similar story here although not sure if it was related to covid and vaccinations but I suddenly got heart and lung problems and decided to cut alcohol to a minimum.
Great timing for me … I did do a couple of dry weeks in January and am so glad I did. Now I find that I just don’t want to drink as much. It was a lovely way to re-set my relationship with alcohol.
That was a successful ‘dry’ for you. Many people just sit it out and start the habit again after the dry period.
A timely reminder that I am facing a similar issue with my heart and am yet to knock the wine habit on the head – it’s certainly a more frequent indulgence during summer! Hoping that cooler days ahead will help me break my association with it too.
When I found out that alcohol was considered the number one cause of my heart problem, it kind of happened by itself. But I have been thinking about it for years yet never committed.
What an interesting read, thank you for being so open and honest!
Thank you for your comment. I felt that if I write about it, I have to be honest and offer clarity.
Good for you! I have completely stopped drinking alcohol! I no longer like the way it makes me feel. I want to be my true authentic self always and not have the influence of alcohol!!
Amazing how many people have stopped because of such reasons. I am liking less and less how it makes me feel and it is slowly becoming non-essential.
The best decision I made in 2022 was to hire a coach and start focusing on myself and my business.
Hiring a coach is something I have had on my mind for a while as I feel I need it. I am always struggling with the cost of it and that is a thing I have to deal with….
I stopped drinking at all a couple of years ago after a diagnosis. Before that I didn’t drink much at all – an occasional sip of bourbon every few months or so.
As far as decisions go.. I decided to be at peace with letting go of a relationship that was once the most important relationship to me – my lifeline, my fuel for living and decided to become my own lifeline and fuel for living. I have so much peace after making that decision.
(I love your blog and going to add it to my midlife bloggers blogroll this week!)
Relationship let go! Very courageous and it seems for you for the best. Thank you for your feedback on my blog. What is your midlife bloggers blogroll?
The best thing for me this year was getting our new puppy. He’s adorable! I, myself, am eleven years sober now! Alcohol and I liked each other a little too much. The doctor said if I drink again there’s a 50% chance I won’t wake up. I was like “NOPE!”
Good on you that you stopped when it was needed and that you know the consequences if you would have a drink. The puppy sounds nice. One day maybe for me as well.
Thank you for sharing your experience. I had a good read. I liked how open and honest it was. It touched me so much.
I love your blog, by the way. The design is nice and it’s easy to navigate.
Thank you, Rosie. I really appreciate the feedback about the post and also about my blog!
I enjoy my glass of wine, but like you I have cut back to special occasions or dinners.
Interesting, I have read so many articles stating how red wine is good for our cholesterol levels. One reason I was having a glass of wine in the evening.
I think there is conflicting evidence for the benefits of alcohol and I suppose everyone has to do whatever they feel is beneficial to them. I enjoy a glass of wine but funnily it is getting more and more a minor detail. I even forget to drink it if I have one.
I was a heavy drinker for a few years and then in 2000 I took custody of my niece and I haven’t had a single drink since that day and I never even miss it.
Obviously a solid reason for you to stop drinking. I don’t miss it but it is still on occasions in my mind. I used to be a smoker and quit decades ago and that is now a total non-essential thing in my life. I never think about it.
Thank you for sharing your story! I have a dear friend with a similar experience! Good for you for making a healthy heart choice!