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