A treat but also a pain

For an Irish Independent article, I kept a drink diary for a week to tap into the feelings surrounding her relationship with alcohol.

SUNDAY: I was up early for a cycle race so felt ready for my pub lunch with friends. A few drinks turned into an afternoon watching the All-Ireland and a great night out. I work really hard all week and Sunday is the one day I feel I deserve to do what I want.

Units: 22

MONDAY: Woke up feeling sick and guilty at the amount of alcohol I had. Feel like I’m in a black hole. Never drinking again and definitely going on a diet!

Units: 0

TUESDAY: Had a ridiculously early start and a five-hour commute. After a busy day, a large glass of wine went down very well while chilled out on the sofa with the latest episode of Breaking Bad.

Units: 4

WEDNESDAY: I’m anxious because I’m behind with my accounts and admin work and I’ve a hell of a lot of catching up to do, so have to knock my weekly cycle club on the head. Didn’t finish work until 9pm and had two glasses of wine to unwind with more Breaking Bad.

Units: 4

THURSDAY: Met with an independent retailer about a business plan and a brainstorming session for a fashion night. She asked me to go for a bite to eat and one glass of wine turned into a bottle.

Units: 12

FRIDAY: Why, oh why? Feel miserable! Up at 6.30 for a cycle then an important meeting with a designer and boutique owner. It should have been a moment for reflecting on my hard work and what I’d achieved, but instead I felt tired and cranky. I cooked dinner before a family Mass in remembrance of a loved one and had one glass of wine.

Units: 2

SATURDAY: I’ve a 6am start for work in Dundrum. I feel great after a good night’s sleep and no alcohol. I want to enjoy my cycle tomorrow so no drinking tonight.

Units: 0

“I think I attach the same sort of emotionality to alcohol as with food and see it as a treat or way to unwind,” says Fiona. “But by Friday I felt miserable and really tired from not sleeping well.

“Keeping the diary was a good way to reflect on my relationship with alcohol. Afterwards I did four days of detox and felt amazing without alcohol, I slept better too. You may think you’re treating yourself with a drink, but there’s an element of punishment in there too.”