Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Booze and Hormones

I honestly don't think about drinking much these days. The more time goes on, the easier everything gets....

....but the problem with that is that you begin to forget about all those dark days, and how bad it once was.

You start to think "Am I crazy? What am I thinking being so extreme, so black and white about the whole drinking thing? Perhaps I've been overreacting! Of course I can have an eensy weensy glass of wine from time to time...."

(For more on this one, see my post: Did I Overreact?)

And I've discovered that this incredibly annoying thought process is most likely to occur when there are hormones involved.

When we drink a lot, we get really out of the habit of listening to our bodies. The dramatic cycle of drinking-hangover-drinking, with all its associated mood swings, rather overwhelms everything else.

Back at four months sober, I wrote a post (click here) about how amazing it was, once your body got used to functioning without booze, to feel properly in synch with your natural rhythms - your sleep, your appetite and your moods.

But the other thing I've realised is that, having been pretty much oblivious to PMT for ages, I'm now very much aware of it. And that's when I start having all the What's it all about?!? thoughts.

(Funnily enough, my friend the addiction counsellor, tells me that she sees many women who had no problem with booze until they hit menopause. I wonder whether it was the hormone soup that tipped them over the edge?)

So, if you're early on in this whole journey, or even an old pro, then watch out for those dastardly hormones. They're the wine witch's best friend...

Incidentally, with #1 approaching thirteen, our house is a veritable bubbling volcano of hormones. Poor Mr SM - who has no sisters, and went to a boys boarding school from the age of seven - is finding the whole puberty thing somewhat unnerving.

On Sunday morning he asked "What are we all going to do today?"

#1 was angling for a family trip to her favourite French restaurant, so she said "Why don't we look for a little Brasserie?"

Mr SM looked horrified. He replied "Darling, you know I am a modern man" (he so is not) "but I do have to draw the line somewhere, and shopping for undergarments is very much a Mummy thing."

I left #1 to explain to her father the (very many) differences between a brassiere and a Brasserie.

Hormones. How can something so tiny wreak so much havoc?

Love SM x


  1. Yes! I remember going for my annual blood test last year (everything fine, even my liver function - who says miracles don't happen?) when my doctor said, but you know your are menopausal? I have a mirena so haven't had a period in years (apologies if Mr SM reads the comments.)

    I found myself getting more hungover on less alcohol, sweaty, heart-pounding, take all day to recover type things. Not any kind of fun at all. It has made stopping a lot easier. Thing is most of my light drinking friends are noticing the same thing. Last week we went out as a gang for dinner and apart from an aperitif nobody drank. We all laughed at our old codgery ways but a good nights sleep and waking up feeling energised in the morning is where it's at post 45.

  2. The most joyous word in the English Language is 'hysterectomy" . (Sorry Mr SM).

  3. What about "All our problems start with men: menstruation, menopause..."?

  4. I'm in early menopause. In my last years of drinking I must have been having serious hormonal symptoms, but I blames the night sweats, insanity, increasing anxiety, joint pain, etc on booze.

    Clearly it was some of both, but many symptoms continue?

    Whenever I ask myself, was I really that bad, I pause and ask myself if I want a drink, or if I want to get drunk. I never wanted a drink.

    So, I will stick with happy, joyous and free. It's just so much better.


    1. Great question, both of them!! I never really wanted to get drunk but I always for darned sure wanted MORE than one! But being aware of that does help, doncha think....what's the point of one if you can't keep on?

  5. I have endometriosis so my hormones are all over the place. I hate to think what all that alcohol did to my body. Maybe it contributed to the condition in the first place? Who knows? I'm just glad I'm not drinking anymore! A x

  6. Between the moodiness that comes with fluctuating hormones associated with menopause, a changing body that makes you feel not as attractive, coupled with an empty nest, it is for many women a perfect "cocktail" for drinking more. Was for me!

  7. I stopped drinking because I was worried about my health and thought it could be alcohol related... night sweats, mood swings, tiredness, weird tummy pains.... Had tried dealing with my worries by drinking more but was getting more anxious. So all of these symptoms have improved since I stopped. And I don't get periods any more. Must have been early menopause! Hormones and booze! Great post x

  8. Great laugh! That'll be one of those stories that goes down in the SM family annals and brings chuckles years from now.