Friday, 9 October 2015

Fear of Fridays

Quitting drinking has changed many of my relationships: my relationship with Chablis, obviously, but also my relationship with my husband, my children and....with Friday.

Friday has always been a special day of the week - a significant day.

When I was little I loved Fridays. No homework! And in our house, Friday evening was my mother's night off cooking.

As my Dad was unable to even boil an egg, this meant it was takeaway night. Fish and chips, or chop suey in front of It's a Knockout, or The Two Ronnies.

Plus, on Friday nights there was that delicious anticipation of Saturday morning!

Glorious Saturday morning: No need to get out of bed, all groggy and gummy eyed and dress in the hated school uniform.

I could just lie there and wait for the gentle thud on the doormat as the paper boy delivered my weekly comic (Misty, until I got interested in boys, when I swapped it for Jackie).

I'd read my comic in bed, cover to cover, then sneak quietly downstairs in my PJs to binge watch Multi-Coloured Swap Shop. (I realise I'm showing my age here).

When I was a teenager, one of my best friends was Jewish, and she would invite me to Friday night supper (Shabbat). I loved it. I seriously considered converting to Judaism. All those candles, rituals, generations of family around the table, gently teasing each other, and chicken soup with dumplings.

As I got older, and started working, Friday became even more special. The end of the working week!

We'd often start celebrating at lunch time, with a team trip out to a local restaurant. We'd return half heartedly to our desks, shuffle some things around, and postpone as much as possible to Monday morning, then we were out on the town! Letting out hair down. Going wild. We'd earned it!

Then I became a 'full time Mum.' But I still had a special place in my heart for Fridays. Friday was the day when I'd often have a lunch arranged with friends (and a glass or two of wine).

If not, then it was a perfectly valid excuse to open a bottle straight after the school run, either with a friend over a 'playdate', or - if necessary - on my own. We deserved it - hell, it was the weekend!

(In this, it appears, I was not alone. A recent report by Alcohol Concern stated a huge increase in mothers drinking from 3.30pm.)

But, a few years ago, Fridays started scaring me. I loved and hated them in equal measure. Whatever method I was currently employing to 'moderate' (no drinking on weekdays, only drinking beer, no drinking alone etc etc), the gloves were always off on Friday.

And it was getting out of control. Whatever promises I'd made myself, the wine witch would start yabbering on at me from lunch time onwards: come on! It's Friday! You deserve it! You're a grown up, you need to have some fun. You've been so good.....

Inevitably, I'd start drinking by 4pm latest, so by the time the husband got back from work I'd have drunk a bottle. I'd then drink another one with him. I'd end up grumpy, shouty, and exhausted, falling asleep on the sofa by 9pm. Unless we were going out, in which case I'd be a total liability. As always, I'd wake up at 3am, sweating and hating myself.

Then I quit, and my beloved Fridays became the worst day of the week. I'd manage to not drink from Monday through Thursday, but I'd get to Friday and feel totally....flat. Nothing to get excited about. Nothing to reward myself with. Dull and grey. Boring, boring, boring. It felt like nothing would ever be fun again.

(See my post Fed up Friday, Angst and Wobbles)

And, to be honest, that Flat Friday Feeling carried on for months. Staying in felt....featureless. Going out was hard work. Friday was the day I'd spend hours arguing with the wine witch (see my posts on Wavering and The Wine Witch), and that was exhausting.

But, somewhere along the line, my love of Fridays started to come back.

Now, from as early as Thursday evening I start getting a tingling of anticipation. Not because I'm going to be going wild on Friday, letting my hair down and getting legless, but for the same reasons I had as a small child....

.....Friday evenings: no homework. A relaxed meal with the family, and watching TV together, with the knowledge that there's no school run on Saturday! I still get up early, but I get the papers and a coffee and go back to bed, just like I used to with my Jackie magazine, while the children lounge around in PJs and play Minecraft.

So if you're struggling through the early days, and are feeling cross and depressed because it's Friday, then hang in there. You haven't lost that fabulous Friday feeling forever. It's just on hold....

Happy Friday!

SM x


  1. Swap Shop? Jackie? Were you and I separated at birth? I am really struggling with That Friday Feeling. Not only that, but I'm back on Day One, so I am officially the most useless person in the trying to be sober universe. Annie x

    1. You are not useless! You are still here, and you are still trying, and that makes you a superhero! Stop beating yourself up, Annie, and be good to yourself. Eat cake. Have a hot bath. Buy some fresh flowers. If you hate yourself, you'll only end up drinking more.... We love you xx

  2. Hi SM. I've caught up with your every single one and some of them a few times. It's my daily addiction :) my hubby reads them too and says they are great! Yeah Friday's for me used to be about getting all excited to do the bottle shop run and then binge drink all night and most times carry on the next night. Saturdays were spent in bed drinking water and popping strong pills for my headache. I felt guilty as a mum because I didn't have the energy to even get up and cook let alone do anything fun. That was 14 weeks ago...Now on my Friday's I think about drinking and feel flat for a little bit but quickly get excited (sometimes force myself) about what to watch on TV and what snacks to eat..chocolate or cake? Or both! And I've discovered herbal teas which are really yummy. In between TV and eating I read blogs and anything to do with giving up drinking like a crazy woman lol. So my new addiction is reading and eating sugary snacks and I feel happier than I have for years and wake up with no hangovers yay! And my Saturday's are spent doing fun things or cooking for my family x

    1. Hi Diana! Thanks for reading, and well done on 14 weeks - that's nearly 100 days! Yay! Hope you're enjoying that cake! Xx

  3. Ah Fridays. ... I'm still at the stage where I can remember the anticipation of the first glass of wine or a g&t in the bath while waiting for our takeaway. That was when the kids went to bed early enough to have an evening ahead. Now they're around much longer so it's much of the same but without the booze. I miss it for a bit then just have to force myself to be jolly and then it passes and I'm fine. I'm trying to create new routines and habits too. I want to create good sober memories for all of us. Yummy food and, of course, chocolate!

  4. Now my hubs and I go for long walks on Friday after he is done working.
    We catch up, and hold hands.
    It's perfect.

  5. Hoorah for Fridays and OMG misty at last someone that remembers it !! Fridays now meaning a lovely walk ( with the ever growing puppy ) and chilling on the sofa with my little man ( and big man and pup) looking forward to the early FRESH AS A DAISY Saturday mornings with a long puppy walk and home to late with a wonderful bacon sandwich ( ignoring the housework until at least 11!!!)

    1. You're still here Kags! Yay! And sober puppy's growing up! So glad to find another Misty fan - I was so gutted when it folded....

  6. I completely agree! I get up and say to myself my God things are great! No wine fog, no more "what the hell did I do or say last night", no more gnawing, horrible anxiety.
    Freedom from the hell I was feeling, especially those weekend mornings!
    Boston Strong, Boston Sober! Yah!
    Now going to workout! Amazing!

  7. Oh Fridays... I used to love them: come home, open a bottle, have a glass or two before dinner, a few after, fall asleep. But lately I started dreading my Fridays. No, scratch that, I was dreading not Friday but waking up Saturday morning with a hangover, feeling crappy and guilty because all weekend was already shot. If I can change my habits... to be honest, I think I can change my life.

  8. Heavens! That is exactly how I was feeling last night. It was Saturday night which is the one I used to look forward to. Bottle of wine, nibbles and family games or deep and meaningfuls with the other half. Just the thought of the mental and emotional release from the stresses of the week was so tempting. So last night I was this close to cracking open the wine - I was literally salivating as I envisioned that bottle of rose or red in front of me. I had had enough of being good. But something deep inside must have stopped me as here I am, hungover free and unscathed on a Sunday morning. But when is this internal struggle going to end? Day 37 today!


    1. Hi Mitzi! Huge congrats on 37 days. You're at the tough stage.... The initial euphoria (if you had it?) starts to wear off, and you think "is this it???? Is life going to be this hard and dull forever???" Then you think "hell, I wasn't so bad! I can just have one or two drinks every now and again." Then you're back where you were. Don't do it! Keep on going, and you'll find that - around 100 days - the mists start clearing, and that internal dialogue goes away. You're doing brilliantly! Just KEEP GOING - it's worth it!!!