1500 days!

Well how about this for kismet?  Tomorrow is my belly button birthday and today I hit 1500 days sober!  Thank you Universe for tying that up so neatly 😉

Wow – just wow.  Such a big number and yet day 1 doesn’t feel that long ago.  So much has happened, so many friendships made, so much gratitude.  Who knew that such a small change could make such a big difference to my life and the lives of those around me?

So you may have noticed that my post frequency has reduced again as I enter my fifth year sober to once a week.  The fire in my belly doesn’t burn so fiercely for me now on this issue.  I’ve realised that I can’t change the world of public health and alcohol single handedly – no matter how loud I shout or how many words I expend in effort.  So I’ve contented myself on changing the lives of those who matter to me most – my family and to end the intergenerational transmission of alcohol dependence here.  I have above my desk a note that reads:

A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove, but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.

That was reason enough for me to stop drinking and remains reason enough to never start again.  And to support that reasoning is new research from the Institute of Alcohol Studies

Download “Like sugar for adults: The effect of non-dependent parental drinking on children & families” [pdf]

and as reported in The Guardian last week reads:

At least 30% of parents admit being “tipsy” or drunk around their children, a study has found, prompting calls for a national conversation about alcohol consumption and the harm that exposure can do to youngsters’ emotional development.

Such behaviour can trigger family rows or leave children anxious, embarrassed, worried or disrupt their bedtime, according to research by the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS). The findings include that 15% of children have asked their parents to drink less, and 11 to 12-year-olds think adults drink to “solve their problems”. There are now calls for the government to strengthen official warnings about how much it is OK to drink, and when.

“All parents strive to do what’s best for their children, but this report has highlighted a troubling gap in their knowledge,” said Katherine Brown, the IAS’s chief executive. “Parents who have a glass or two of wine in the evening deserve to understand how this might affect their children and the steps they can take to minimise this impact.”

Alison Douglas, the chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland, said: “As well as the negative impacts on children’s wellbeing, seeing how adults drink can have a big influence on our children’s future drinking habits.” Jon Ashworth, the shadow health secretary, who has spoken about his father’s death as a result of drinking, said: “Children are incredibly perceptive of their parents’ drinking habits and this analysis must serve as a wake-up call to the government.”

So news continues to present itself as the battle rages for our hearts and minds on the subject of alcohol and addiction.  We still await the outcome of minimum unit pricing (edited to add: although Wales announced Minimum Unit Pricing today!)

PHE continue to produce resources to support alcohol awareness:

PHE ‘All Our Health’ alcohol resource

The alcohol industry continue to try to subvert the public health message:

Drinkers’ Voice Vs ‘anti-alcohol’? Guidelines, pregnancy & cancer risk messages

Drinkers’ Voice labels itself as a consumer organisation and says ‘the anti-alcohol lobby has dominated the conversation on alcohol and your health, resulting in misleading statistics and scaremongering news headlines’

And so it was ever thus …….

Unbelievably this blog has now had over 500,000 views.  Who’d have guessed that when I started it back in October 2013?  Thank you to all of you for being here, for reading, for commenting, for supporting me in my journey from terrified, reluctant ex-drinker to relaxed, contented ‘not interested even if you paid me’ non-drinker and proud member of the soberocracy! 🙂

Edited to add: Plus an extra 1500 day gift of a mention in Single and Sober My Top 20 Recovery Blogs and Sites


20 thoughts on “1500 days!

  1. Congratulations. You should be, and no doubt are, immensely proud of the change you have made to your life and to that of your family. Thanks on my behalf too x

  2. Many congratulations! The note above your desk touches me, too, as I am taking a look at what I really value and considering some life changes. The next step on the sober journey. Thanks for helping to guide me down this road. 🙂

  3. I love that note, too, so many times as a child I saw the adults acting “differently” after the booze started flowing. Huge congratulations to you, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! 🙂 You have been (and continue) to be an awesome sober role model and mentor for me! xx

  4. Congratulations Lou.
    Such an inspiration, very much needed at the beginning of my journey to sobriety – bumpy though it has been.

    I hope you are doing something lovely to celebrate with those closest to you xxx

    1. Thank you Claire 🙂 Hubby has given me his cold so I think I may be celebrating the day in bed! Hope you’re okay? xx

  5. Congratulations on your 1500 days! That is amazing! So cool!

    You might not have changed the world (yet) but you certainly changed my world, my life. As the first subscriber to my blog – it really helped me to push forward, to realise that possibly I did not have to do this all by myself. Your tips and pressence helped me tremendously. So thank you. <3 <3 <3

    From the other side of the Channel I wish you a happy birthday!

    xx, Feeling

  6. Happy Birthday and 1,500 days, dear friend. Very glad that I have zero expectation of ever catching you up!

    That Welsh assembly announcement was a good thing to hear. Evidence (I hope!) that the tide is turning and who knows whether that may itself influence the final decision in Scotland? Xx

    1. The internet didn’t eat it – bizarrely it was caught in my spam filter! So thank you for not 1 but 2 birthday messages 😉 xx

  7. Posted yesterday and the Internet ate it… happy belated birthday and yippee for 1500 days! There will be cake…

    Really interesting timing for the Welsh Assembly announcement. Wonder whether it will have any influence on the decision on the legality of Scottish MUP?

    1. Thank you Prim 🙂 There was cake – made by the HOF clan no less! Yes interesting timing indeed and hope bodes well for news out of Scotland xx

  8. HAPPY 1,500 Days!!
    Woo Hoo!
    You have been such a role model for me and so many other people!!
    I keep telling myself if you and Prim can do it, so can I!

    1. Thank you Wendy! Well I keep telling myself if you and Prim can do I can do it 😉 xx

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