• Charli

Wellness Matters 13.08.2021


Here’s a shock: I’m not a big fan of gin! I know this is going to cause serious controversy but there it goes: I don’t drink gin!

Growing up it was known as Mother’s Ruin and I can see why. I would drink it, of course, as we all did, drowned in orange juice, because somehow, its counterpart, vodka, was viewed with suspicion, fear and to be avoided at all costs.

Gin leaves me feeling morose, generates a low mood and creates a sense of floundering. I know I can't just blame gin for this, I wasn’t in a good place, emotionally, in my teens, 20s, 30s and some of 40s, and, at times, leaned on alcohol as a crutch to numb the pain of childhood trauma. I sometimes wish I had never been offered alcohol, but it was such a part of the culture - still is, sadly.

I am happy to admit I have a love/hate relationship with alcohoI. I like a glass or two of wine or a vodka and tonic, but I also know when to stop.

Could I give up alcohol now? Yes I think I could but I don’t feel I need to, and that’s the difference: I’m not addicted and will actively avoid alcohol if I am feeling anxious or edgy. I enjoy participating in Sober October and relish the freedom it brings: not worrying about who the driver will be, sleeping brilliantly which isn’t really difficult for me, to be fair, and just having that wee bit more energy as the days pass.

Young people in Scotland can leave school at 17years old and go to University… and drink! I wish our culture was different. I hear and see the young people near me in the evenings with ‘nothing to do’ but drink. It’s sad. I don’t have an answer, but I do find it sad.

Ironically as I was preparing this blog I came across this article in The Guardian and much of my thoughts and feelings surrounding alcohol are mentioned here.

I will not buy a birthday card with ‘Prosecco O’Clock’ on, or ‘What’s better than a bottle of Prosecco on your birthday? Two’ I find this excessive use of alcoholic references extremely negative. I certainly do not want my life to be any more dominated by highlighting the pervasive effects of alcohol than it already is/has been.

I was bemused when I was given a huge bottle of Caorunn gin, among other gifts, as a leaving present from some teaching staff when I left to pursue my career change. I knew then without a shadow of doubt that I had made the right decision to gracefully bow out.

The gin has been opened for family and friends of course, which has saved me a few ££s so there have been some benefits!

As I prepare to go and see Peat and Diesel at Fringe By The Sea tonight, I will be mindful of my alcoholic consumption, especially as I want to enjoy dancing to Huey Morgan’s Block Party tomorrow night, and my capacity for heavy partying is significantly reducing as I get older.

Besides, as much as anything I want to enjoy Storm who will be walking the streets of North Berwick on Sunday 15th August. I am particularly excited for this event because of a family connection with Kim Bergsagel and Symon Macintyre otherwise known as Vision Mechanics

To all my teacher friends, learning and administration assistants, parents and pupils have a very safe and enjoyable week back at school next week.

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