I’m stopping drinking alcohol for 30 days and donating a fiver a day (the price of a cheap bottle of plonk) to Out Of The Blue*.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) rates alcohol abuse in its list of top risk factors for suicide. In their report on Public HealthAction For The Prevention Of Suicide, the development of policies to reduce the harmful use of alcohol is number 2 on the list of prevention strategies. This is cascaded to our National Suicide Prevention Strategy in the UK, and even further, is written into the East Sussex Suicide Prevention Plan.
So in terms of suicide prevention, alcohol abuse is pretty high on the agenda.
There are personal reasons for me too.
A big part of Walk2Run is intercession – that is, praying for an end to suicide, and to see people’s lives changed so that they can choose to live life in all its fullness.
There’s a verse in the bible that goes something like ‘be alert and sober so that you can pray’. Of course sober can mean ‘serious’ as well as alcohol free. Nevertheless, it’s hard to be alert and ‘sober’ (whatever the original meaning of the text) when under the influence of alcohol.
I’m no raging alcoholic, I’m not anti drink, and there are few more pleasurable things in life that sitting in my garden with my man and my kids with a glass of wine in my hand after a hard day’s work.
So I’m not suggesting everyone should join me, or even anyone for that matter.
(That said, if you would like to join me to raise awareness and funds for suicide charities, if you want to feel more alert, thinner and get a better night's sleep, let me know and we can multiply our efforts. The more the (alcohol-free) merrier!)
Today, for me, I’m faced with a choice. Do I drink, or do I want to learn to pray? I’m choosing to put down the bottle for 30 days starting today, 4th July 2018.
Cheers to living life in all its fullness! (and maybe dropping a few pounds round my waist)
Come and run with us, it might just change your life
*Out Of The Blue continue to raise funds to support 4 charities, The Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team, CALM, Dragonflies and Winstons Wish, and to raise awareness of mental health and suicide.