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....