Despite drinking alcohol during my younger years, I no longer drink as a new mum over 40. I’m not a recovering alcoholic, nor am I doing it solely for religious purposes. It’s because I don’t need it in my life.
As a midlife mum, I want to be there for my baby as long as physically possible and being a non-drinker is the healthiest decision I can make.
I often wonder how I started drinking in the first place, but it just happened one night when I was out with friends. I put it down to peer pressure. It’s only when I started to question the hold it had over my life that I suddenly realised just how much other people relied on it as a coping mechanism.
When I visit family in Persia, I see that life is not only more fun without alcohol, but the health benefits are huge too. Trying to explain this to friends back in Blighty is a non-starter though, since the vast majority believe alcohol is the key to having a good time, as well as unwinding and relaxing.
For many people, having one too many glasses of wine is the best thing about their birthday, Christmas, the new year, in fact any old celebration…but to me it’s just an excuse to have a drink.
On a night out I still get asked why I’m not drinking. Am I on medication? Am I pregnant, skint or do I have the car? This really pains me and shows just how saturated society has become. The real reason is that I now have a life I love and I feel so much more healthy for it.
It has taken time and one miscarriage to conceive my son, Cyrus. Each day when I look at him sleeping, I stroke his face and know I am looking at something pure. He makes me smile, his teething combined with many sleepless nights are tough, but I adore him.
He is only six months old, on the move and a challenge — but he is mine. I am his mum. But I can’t be his mum — not in the way he deserves if I have a drink. Not even one. It’s not worth what it might cost me in the end.
I don’t want to drink. I wake up each morning filled with happiness that I have Cyrus in my life. I am comfortable in my own skin and that’s because I feel I’m ageing better without alcohol. I’m better the way I am. After all, life is too short and I’m not planning to make it any shorter.
This article in The Telegraph on what alcohol does to your body after the age of 40 is worth a glance.