Since the lockdown I’ve been drinking too much. I can’t seem to stop. I know I’m ruining my marriage but that doesn’t stop me either.
My husband and I met at a Shabbat social event five years ago and our marriage is a good one. So why am I doing this? My husband doesn’t drink much and never has but I drink a bottle of wine a day sometimes. He says I am not good company when I drink because I get angry with him and then if I’m honest I’m actually also bad-tempered next day.
I keep trying to cut back but every time I stop drinking, I get so depressed. I work from home now all the time and although I’m happy not to commute any more I miss my work colleagues.
I enjoyed my office life and the social events that came with it. Now I’m putting on weight and am nearly two stone heavier than I was last March so I feel less attractive which makes me feel even worse.
I have to stop this but I can’t seem to.
I don’t know if I’m just a weak person or if I am an alcoholic with a serious problem.
Isabel – Highgate
I’m so sorry to read all this. Lockdown did put a lot of pressure onto relationships and the world we’re in at the moment seems so bleak that it’s enough to drive anyone to a glass of vino. But that’s not where the answer lies. As you realise. It only makes you feel worse but knowing that doesn’t making it any easier to stop. Nor will it help if I tell you how you drinking too much is affecting your health.
Although I’m jolly well going to (it’s my column after all). So here just to remind you is the downside of drinking. The weight you have gained is unhealthy and alcohol consumption as you probably know puts you into a higher risk category for life threatening diseases. Just three alcoholic drinks a week increases your chance of breast cancer by 15%.
But of course telling you that will have as much impact on your decision making as your mother had when telling you not to date bad boys. It might be more useful if I remind you that that alcohol is a very strong drug. Its the most harmful drug and oddly the most socially acceptable.
Isn’t that weird. It’s the most dangerous drug worldwide and yet it’s the one everybody pushes on you, and then society makes you feel like an odd one out if you dare to say ‘no thanks’.
I’m going to hazard a guess Isabel but I would think that a glass of wine is something you associate with the fun times at work – and indeed ‘a good time’ throughout your life. It is likely that you have lots of lovely images and recollections associated with a glass of wine ingrained in your sub-conscious and placed there over many years.
Having more than one in lockdown is a comforting way to revisit those good times, it’s also a result of boredom and a wish to anaesthetise against the world. And now we’re able to socialise a little bit more and go out more you suddenly find you are stuck with a habit you can’t stop, Your body is used to the sugar level and you are caught in the grip of a powerful drug to which your body has also become acclimatised.
While your conscious mind will decide to stop drinking it will eventually give in to your sub-conscious mind and its associations of the fun attached to a drink. Think about that battle between your sub-conscious and your conscious mind next time you reach for a drink. Your sub-conscious will tell you a glass of wine will make you feel better and your conscious mind will tell you it won’t. That’s a big battle to win.
So to give you some practical help I hugely recommend that you read a book called The Naked Mind by Annie Grace. It will give you the knowledge to understand and win that battle. To help you lose weight there is a wonderful naturopath who you can make an appointment with on-line called Elizabeth Gibaud.
Elizabeth is the best recommendation I could ever give you. I have worked in television with a lot of experts and she is the best I’ve come across. Very strict but gets results. Also of course there is bound to be a local AA meeting somewhere you can join but also since you mentioned how you met your husband it would seem you are very much a part of your community, in which case I’m sure you will find support there too. I really hope this all helps.
You can contact Elizabeth Gibaud for weight loss help or speak to Delissa for dating and relationships coaching via https://www.thedateist.co.uk/
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.