I am a 61-year old woman and alcohol has been part of my life since I was a teenager. The amount I drink peaked at one bottle of wine per night, nearly every night for years, sometimes more at the weekend. I had wanted to cut down for years but never managed it.
In November 2022 I had my 5 year NHS Health Check where I finally admitted how much I drink. My blood test results also showed high cholesterol. The practice nurse gave me information about the One You Lincolnshire programme and I registered. I had my first call with my assigned coach in February. He gave me a few tactics to try to adopt to help reduce my intake. At first I was not very successful but my coach was supportive, non judgemental and praised the positive steps.
In parallel with the One You programme, I had registered for newsletters from other sources online and was reading a book on alcohol. I was acutely aware that I needed to rewire my brain about alcohol, go against the messages out there that it helps you relax, make events more fun etc. I wanted to get rid of the hangovers and the guilt every time I had a drink.
I was mentally ready and on 13th March 2023 I stopped completely. I did not find it hard; the good physical effects were immediate. The reason why I stopped completely rather than cutting down was that it freed up my mind. I didn't have to think whether I would drink, what I would drink and how much. It was liberating.
My coach was supportive and during our calls he reinforced those reasons underpinning my decision. It was very helpful to report my progress to a third party.
In my opinion there are only benefits to stop drinking alcohol. I have cleared my head of thinking about alcohol all the time; the hangovers, foggy heads and bad sleeping have gone; I remember the films I watch and the conversations I have in the evenings; I fit in clothes I thought I would never fit in again (no wine = no wine belly) and best of all I had blood tests recently and the cholesterol levels are significantly lower. I also feel very relieved and lucky that I did not do myself permanent damage. Ultimately, it makes me very happy.
The One You programme came for me at the right time. At the end of the day, I did it for me, supported by my coach. I was not accountable to anybody else but myself and I would highly recommend it.