Woman-in-the-middle is a working mother of two in her late thirties. After years of working in an uninspiring career, she is exploring new avenues. She likes to write, and read, and sleep when circumstances allow.

Posts by woman-in-the-middle

David ruined the wedding drinking too much

A relative of mine ruined a family wedding  drinking too much. Let’s call him David. He got too loud, too boisterous, too aggressive. Arguments were had. Tears were shed.


Everyone was upset including David

The next day everyone was very upset. David was remorseful, cloaked in shame and regret. Those affected were in turn angry and saddened. David was ignored for a  while.
At the time, David admitted to me,  he was using drinking as a crutch. He  was using alcohol (self-medicating) to get  through a difficult time.   He was picking up the bottle rather than visiting a  GP or a counsellor.


David stopped drinking and people were supportive – at first

When people learned  David had stopped drinking in an attempt to address the problems that had caused the excessive drinking, everyone was very supportive. For a time. Soon it was Christmas and people began to ask if he would be having a drink. They  expressed surprise, disappointment even, when he said no.

Was he sure he didn’t want a drink?

Just one?

These were the same people who had been so disgraced by his alcohol induced behaviour at the wedding.


Relatives bought a crate of beer as a gift

After some time, David felt able to start drinking again, in smaller amounts, and usually just at home. When his birthday came around, relatives bought him a crate of beer as a gift. Relatives who had been at the wedding and had been appalled at his behaviour.


We need to support people who are trying to drink less

We need to see that posts on Facebook about ‘wine o’clock’ normalise binge drinking. We need to understand that giving alcohol as a gift can lead to drinking to excess. We need to support people who are trying to drink less.

wedding drinking

we need to stop the

‘ ah, go on you will’

Mrs Doyle inspired method of offering people a drink. We need to understand  celebrations and alcohol need not go hand in hand.

We have made many steps forward in our attitudes towards drinking. But we still need to exercise caution. Most of all we need to listen and support those who are making the brave step of trying to reduce their drinking.



Editors Note

This story really shows why it can be so difficult to drink less in Ireland.

If you’re worried about going to a wedding drinking too much, you’ll find some free good advice here.

Yesterday,  the official reports show Irish drinking has increased in 2016. So we’ve a long way to go. See here for details.


Top tips to handle the Christmas office party

Here we are again at Christmas office  party season – a time met in equal measure with excitement and a slight sense of dread. There can be very few people out there who haven’t at some point in their past slightly regretted their alcohol intake at a work Christmas “do”.


You serenade the crowd with a chorus of “Last Christmas”

Something about the occasion causes everyone to relax their inhibitions. The excitement of season, the novelty of mixing with colleagues outside of the office environment and before you know it you’ve had one glass of prosecco too many and are serenading the crowd with a chorus of ‘Last Christmas.’

I’ve been that soldier and whilst it’s a common enough occurrence, it’s not something I personally want to repeat. So how to approach the looming Christmas invites?


Don’ t go under duress

Firstly, I think it’s important to remember that it’s OK to say no, if you don’t want to go – parties are supposed to be fun, so you don’t want to be there under duress.


Top tips for the Christmas Office party

If you do want to go though, here are a couple of tips to help limit the alcohol intake.

  1. Start off the night with a soft drink. I find that the first drink can often be the one that really goes to your head, particularly if you haven’t eaten. So starting off with a soft drink helps set the pace for the evening.
  2. When having a soft drink, have it in a fancy glass with ice and lemon.
  3. Stick to a drink your’re  familiar with – now is not the time to start drinking fancy cocktails if you’re not used to them.
  4. Try non-alcoholic cocktails if you want to join in the festive fun – anything with Cranberries is a perfect festive alternative.
  5. Don’t get caught up in drinking rounds, stick to your own pace – good advice at any time of year, but particularly in the excitement of the office party, when you’re mixing with people you wouldn’t normally socialise with.


Finally, enjoy it – at your own pace! Happy Christmas.


Editor’s note

For more tips on enjoying your  drinking without harm click here

I still enjoy a nice chilled Gin & Tonic with lots of ice and a slice of cucumber

A few small changes made all the difference & I still enjoy a nice chilled Gin & Tonic.


Know the one that’s one too many

Do you remember that campaign – ‘Know the one that’s one too many’? That was made for me. Too often a great night out with one too many Gin & Tonics would turn into a terrible next day. Days wasted to hangovers because I had gone the extra mile instead of quitting whilst I was ahead.


My weekends were too precious to spend in bed

I’m afraid to say that it was only age that finally helped the penny to drop for me, ultimately I felt my weekends were too precious to be lying in bed feeling sorry for myself so I made a conscious decision to limit myself to three drinks a night – if I’m staying at home it’s only two. I also decided that I would drink only at the weekend, maximum two or three nights a week.


I enjoy a nice chilled Gin & Tonic

Now on a Friday night I enjoy a nice chilled G &T, in a nice glass, with lots of ice, maybe a slice of cucumber if I really want to push the boat out and pretend I’m in a fancy bar.


Without making any sacrifices, it really has made a difference

Without making any sacrifices, it really has made a difference. I have so much more energy now at the weekends than before. If my children drag me out of bed at 7.00am it’s not as hard as it was when I was drinking more, sure I’m tired, but it passes and I can enjoy the day.


The big difference is in my moods

The main difference though is in my moods. I was often very irritable the day after drinking, combined with the low moods that could also accompany a binge – not fun for anyone.  Not to mention the fact that alcohol is expensive; now that I’m drinking less I have a few extra euro in the bank to treat myself to something more long lasting – clothes, make up, books.

I’m not missing out at all

So the way I see it I’m not missing out at all – making a few small changes have all added up to a big improvement in how I enjoy my life, no sacrifices required.


Editor’s Note

If you’re trying to cut back on your drinking, you might find our top tips  useful.