I think I secretly knew it, but amongst other things, alcohol was wrecking my sleep.
- Reaching for the bottle shortly before six o’clock, ok … five o’clock (in the evening, in case you had doubts), but looking rather longingly at it from four.
- Sinking as much of the vin rouge as possible within 2 hours … may as well have just had it on a drip.
- One hour of warm, happy, relaxed fuzziness, whilst trying to look sober and make meaningful conversation.
- One further hour of room spinning and trying desperately to stay awake until nine o’clock and failing. Missing all tv programmes whilst taking up most of the sofa in an attractive snoring/dribbly sort of way.
- Told to go to bed … Tired and groggy having been woken up, and also irritable.
- Fitful sleeping, full of vivid often violent dreams, aware of sweating in a semiconscious state, desperately thirsty, waking between one and three in drenched sheets, awake for roughly three hours with chronic cystitis, heart racing, convinced I’m having a heart attack, back to sleep for a couple of hours before the alarm goes and wake feeling completely and utterly exhausted and filled with self-loathing.
It was the alcohol! … No Shit Sherlock …
Either that or the peri menopause, but it didn’t take a lot of research (ok, googling) to eliminate that one, for now.
So I ditched it, binned it, waved a teary fond farewell and now am alcohol free.
I also have something called interstitial cystitis which mean no fizzy drinks either, or caffeine for that matter, so a trip to the drinks aisle in Tesco’s leaves me feeling a little despondent, but and here’s the big but ….
I Now Sleep Like a Baby!
So I don’t care if I’m going to have to have a re-think on the soft drink options. I don’t care if I’m climbing the walls at four, five and six o’clock (ok, and lunchtimes as well), wanting that blissful first and never-enough glass of vin rouge. I don’t care that now I have to learn how to go to parties without clutching my comfort blanket of a drink, because the joy of a good nights sleep and a hangover-free morning is worth more.
The depression and anxiety levels have dropped from a seven to a three without blinking, and the interstitial cystitis (along with drinking 2 litres of orange squash a day – yawn, ditching the caffeine and fizzy drinks – double yawn) has completely disappeared.
That and the fact that my skin improved from day two …. red wine irritated it, so I’d be attractively blotchy combined of course with the typical facial puffiness the following day. I now manage to watch the ten o’clock news, chatter, natter and remember everything that I’ve said, go to bed and sleep washes over me so deeply that I know nothing, just blissful nothing until dawn. I am irritatingly bouncy in the mornings now, non-blotchy and really quite nice to be around so I’m told.
Sometimes we just have to reach the depths of despair before our rational, logical and adult self takes over, takes control of a situation that simply cannot continue and gets us on the road to recovery. Otherwise known as, The Way Forward.