I watched the tonight programme last night on TV, about alcohol consumption and the new lower amounts set out in the guidelines of 14 units per week for women and men. They also gave a few facts:
No amount of alcohol is ‘safe’
One in ten people in the UK drinks the maximum weekly limit in just one day!
Drinking at home is the worst as it’s too easy to just keep pouring…
We need to have breaks in drinking alcohol; a few days of per week.
So, how am I getting on with Dry March?
It’s 18th March, and I did have a drink one night this week when on my own. I came face to face with a stressful situation and I just needed to relax. No excuse is a good excuse, but I don’t regret it. I had decided to have a drink that evening, and that evening alone, and I enjoyed it! And come the next day, I was back on the wagon. I haven’t even wanted a drink since. I feel so much better without it.
Now, I don’t plan on giving up drinking forever, as I enjoy it, but after my dry (all but one day) March, I am going to …….Continue reading How much alcohol is too much? The ‘tonight’ programme and my dry March continues…
‘Living with Depression and Anxiety’ Self-Help book cover
I am very excited to launch my new book cover for my seventh book ‘Living with Depression and Anxiety; 26 ways to get you out of the fog, into the sunshine’ PLUS it is now available as a paperback as well as a kindle/e-book! 🙂
My hope is that this book will enable many people to take charge of themselves and overturn the negative symptoms depression and anxiety can bring.
I share my own 26 tips that have not only helped me to cope, but that I think will help everyone.
And long may I continue to create, write and help through my own experiences and thoughts on mental health and many other adversities life throws at us.
I am only a few months away from being a qualified counsellor, after nearly four years of college and placement, and I look forward to a future of using my empathy and own knowledge to aid others’ to better mental health as I have done myself. 🙂
Available on Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk and many other Worldwide Amazon sites!
Firstly, here’s a few more facts about heavy or regular drinking…
Alcohol is a depressant, which means it slows down the brain and the central nervous system’s processes. Apparently, over time, heavy drinking interferes with the neurotransmitters in the brain that are needed for good mental health. It lowers the levels of serotonin in your brain – a chemical that helps to regulate your mood. Alcohol may help deal with stress in the short term, which I have found, but in the long run it can contribute to feeling of depression and anxiety and make stress harder to deal with. I totally relate to this. People who drink heavily are more likely to suffer from mental health problems. In Britain, people who experience anxiety or depression are twice
as likely to be heavy or problem drinkers. For some people, the anxiety or depression came first and they’ve reached for alcohol to try to relieve it. For others, drinking came first, so it may be a root cause of their anxieties
A person’s sex life can be affected negatively, with heavy drinking – experiencing less sexual sensitivity – and people can find they have changeable moods which can lead to arguments and social/interpersonal issues, especially with those close to them. Sleep may become disturbed, lethargy and tiredness may overcome a person, and a person may experience anxiety in situations where they are normally comfortable. Work performance can be affected, or the ability to be a caregiver to a child, leading to more problems, and so a person may drink to alleviate the stress… And so the vicious circle continues.
So, here’s my diary up to day eight.
Night five and I am feeling like having a drink. It has been relatively easy so far, but tonight I feel low. My ear issue from diving a few days ago is not getting better, despite being on anti-biotics, nasal steroid spray, ibuprofen and an expectorant. I am on holiday, in Lanzarote, the weather is fairly cold (albeit no-where near as cold as at home) rather than being sunny and warm as expected, and it’s very windy, which irritates my ear. I do not like where I am staying much as it’s a cold, damp uncomfortable room, people in the communal area outside our room are drinking wine and beer tonight and getting drunk (they kindly offered us wine too which made me feel even worse) and it’s rural and quiet, which would have been lovely but I am just not feeling it. The hotel we stayed at for the first 6 days was lovely in contrast and we had a couple of warm, sunny days.
I have been getting out each day, but all the wonderful walks and sights have been a little marred by my ear pain and concern about not being able to fly home because of it. As I write this I think I just feel rather negative! We’ve eaten great food and I can taste really well. Perhaps I should have a cigarette at some point because maybe doing drink and cigarettes at the same time is too much after so many years.
We could go out tonight, but I just don’t want to – I want to be at home and I am worried that my ear will not be better (it is blocked inside) to fly home on Monday. I have been to two hospitals in Lanzarote so far about my ear, and I must go tomorrow (Sunday) to find out if I can fly Monday or not. I do hope so! I miss my cats so much! And my home.
Talking of home, someone close to me got burgled a few days before we left to come here, and the day before we left I realised there were marks on my door and frame where someone had been trying to break in by prising the door open. They didn’t succeed, but it really worried me and didn’t start my holiday well. The police know about it, of course.
Strangely, last time we were in Lanzarote, our villa was burgled!
Stress has always made me want to have a drink, so it’s a tough one today, but I will not give in!
Despite all of this, Lanzarote is such a beautiful volcanic Island, driving round it does give us some spectacular sights, so I have added one to this blog.
Day six was easier, especially as my pain subsided. We had a lovely day out and went for dinner in a lovely, small restaurant. Michael nearly gave in to a cold beer as the man on the table next to us was enjoying a pint of lager. I wouldn’t give in, despite really wanting one, so we didn’t have one and once we got our delicious food it was fine. So that was me being strong, yay! We are eating mindfully, enjoying our food more than ever.
Day seven was easy as we were on the plane home and although one person near me was having a can of beer, everyone else was drinking tea and soft drinks, like us.
Day eight – I have lost weight! A kilo! And I put this down to walking a lot and no drinking, so this is even more of an incentive. I had a fantastic day counselling my clients, and our takeaway curry in the evening was not accompanied by beer but Pellegrino sparkling water with slices of lemon – mmm refreshing and delicious!
The amazing thing is that I have still not had a cigarette even though I hadn’t given up. I just keep thinking I will have one in a minute, and then don’t.
Day nine – this is my first day back on my own, since we stopped drinking, as Michael has now gone home, so this will be the real test – can I be alone, possibly feeling lonely, and not have a beer?
When asked when I have had one day off drinking, I can name a few, but only a few. When asked when I have had two days consecutively off drinking, I can name one time in the last (at least) fourteen years, and that was when I had to stop in order to do the horrible purging of the bowel and gut for my colonoscopy, yuk! When asked when I have had three days consecutively off drinking, I just couldn’t say; not in the last fourteen years anyway and most likely quite a while before that too.
Now, I say, I have had an addiction to drink. I am not an alcoholic, but I have been drinking nearly every day, and that is no good, especially as I suffer with depression and anxiety and alcohol actually makes it worse. It is an addiction. And it’s time I took control.
So, here I am in Lanzarote, with Michael and we both decided to stop while we are here on holiday. A strange time to stop some would say (and have already) but for us, it’s the best time. It’s away from the normal routine of home, we are together here for the first few days of our month’s sobriety (we live apart at home), we are busy enjoying …….Continue reading My diary of my one month off alcohol, blog one, the first few days of dry March…
As a child, I had various jobs. I liked to earn my own money as I didn’t get regular pocket money. Ongoing, I would occasionally iron a shirt for two of my brothers and I would get a whopping 50p for each time as they would be in a hurry. Which in the early 1980’s was a lot of money.
These were my jobs from 13 to 16 years old… which was 1987 to 1990!
My first job as an after school local newspaper round and I loved it – chatting to some of the people I delivered to was a great way to learn how to talk to adults of all types, and I also loved the Christmas tips 🙂
My second job was in Primark, in its early days of trading. I didn’t like it at all. Spending hours picking up clothes that people had dropped or knocked onto the floor, or on the extremely busy tills was not my cup of tea.
As a summer job, I worked on the seafront making and selling fresh hot sugared ring donuts. That was OK. …….Continue reading Working as a child – my experiences…
living with depression and anxiety cover
I am very excited to launch my brand new book ‘Living with depression and anxiety: 26 ways to get you out of the fog, into the sunshine’ I hope it will help many people live better 🙂
Description: Amanda Green has lived with depression and anxiety since her teens. Now in her forties, and practising as student counsellor, she would like to share all her best tips and explanations for coping in everyday life. She explains, in easy to read terms, 26 self-help techniques and ideas, to help you through your darkest times, and to help you feel better.
Life enhancing, with thorough explanations, this book could help turn your life around as Amanda has with her own.
This book challenges stigma and inferiority issues, explains talking therapies, and delves into working with depression and anxiety from the inside out, using nutrition, writing, and getting to know yourself properly. It even incorporates how to look for other support including friends, family and animals.
Find your true self today and banish the label of depression and anxiety – learn to cope and feel a part of the world …….Continue reading Launching my brand new book ‘Living with depression and anxiety: 26 ways to get you out of the fog, into the sunshine’…
A few more ways to deal with depression…
It is very easy to feel inferior to others when we feel down or anxious and cannot do what we perceive others’ can do easily. If we feel very down and at times useless, we can make up stories that people are thinking negatively about us. We hear what we want to hear and don’t always hear what the person is really saying because something hits a chord with us and we concentrate on it so much we believe …….Continue reading Inferiority issues, depression, anxiety and a tip for self-destructive traits…
Do you suffer with depression and/or anxiety?
This blog is about recognising the signs for your symptoms of depression and anxiety, if you can.
For me… One of my internal processes begins with me getting stressed, then that stress becomes out of proportion as I become over anxious about even small things. But lots of small things build the stress, like bricks. To the outside world people might think that I am over-reacting to something small, but for me it’s not the small thing that has just occurred, it is just the LAST thing I can handle after the last brick topples me. After that I get a day of feeling more energetic and happy, dancing and feeling positive. Then I might come down with the crash of a depressive stage, but it will only last for a day or so. I know it well enough now that even if I feel like my life is terrible and I have no future worth having, I do know also that it will not last long and ‘tomorrow is another day’. Things will definitely get better. I have reminders around the house, or chat to people who can remind me to try to ensure I don’t forget. However, it’s easy to ignore if I feel too down.
So, that is a typical routine for me. How about you? Could you write a journal so that you can analyse your routines? Could you mark on the calendar good days, sad days, great days, bad days? Could you write notes and pin them to your fridge to help remind you that things will get better? Do you have someone you can call, see or chat to on-line who can help remind you?
Try to think of ways to recognise, acknowledge and act upon symptoms that are negative or positive that can help you feel better in the long term.
I am in the process of editing my book of tips to cope with depression and anxiety, and this is an excerpt. I will announce publication on my blog when it’s ready! 🙂