Wine and I used to be such good friends. It was my comfort at the end of a long, stressful day. It was my celebration, it was my anti – anxiety pill, it was my “instant extrovert in a bottle” magical potion. It was, and became, my way to deal. With pretty much everything. This is why I eventually gave up wine for good. I didn’t like the hold it had on me. And drinking a bottle a night becoming normal. It’s not. 💘
It’s such a personal thing, I tried so many tactics to achieve balance, and for a time, I wished I could. But now I’m much happier and I’ve accepted that for me, it’s not something that I’m meant to have. Our society has normalized overusung alcohol as a normal way to deal with stress, parenthood, work. Balance is a wonderful thing, and I do think it’s achievable for some. I only know for me what is truth. It’s like, I can’t unsee what I’ve seen (for me).
It creeps up, and then one day you realize that you can’t seemingly function/destress/relax without this substance, and then you (or at least I did) feel like you’ve been lied to by all of these cultural “norms”, meanwhile liquor stores abound, there are wine and painting nights, networking and drinks, and even workouts with liquor before, during or after. I know, I loved all of the sprinkling of liquor like confetti, but then one day it’s just enough. And alchohol is an addictive substance. It doesn’t happen all at once. But rather creeps, like a shadow.
When my mom got sick, I hadn’t drank for about 6 months, at that point. I was grateful for that, as I don’t know what I would have done, or how much I would have drank. The hangovers in the morning, even after only one glass of wine, really made it unbearable to function, and also I got the greatest gift through my sobriety: being there fully, no matter how much it hurt. I think God designed it that way.
After she died, only about 6 short months after her diagnosis of ovarian cancer, we held our annual end of the summer party that was her baby, and I drank in celebration of her, breaking my almost one year sobriety, but feeling like it was right. However, the next 3 weeks wine crept into my life in ways that were too familiar and unwelcome, and I decided then that sobriety felt too good, and right, for me to turn away just because it was easier. And I realized: wine didn’t fulfill its promises. It made me more anxious, more stressed, and I’ve found that without it at work functions I actually talk to people more because I’m present. You don’t need to hit a rock bottom to decide this isn’t for you.
“It is not too late to walk back from something decided” Ezekiel, The Walking Dead
In honor of national recovery month, here are some resources I’ve collected that helped me get through the first 40 days without drinking:
Unruffled http://www.theunruffled.com Spirutualish /(on Soundcloud and iTunes)
The Bubble Hour
Your kick ass life podcast (esp ep 2)
Sarah Hepola: Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
The big book, alcoholics annonymous
This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol. Annie Grace
The Easy Way To Control Alcohol by Allen Carr
Alan Carr’s book ‘Stop Drinking Now’
May Cause Miracles. Gabrielle Bernstein
(Or anything by Gabby Bernstein)
Drink. Ann Dowsett Johsnton
The Great Work of Your Life. Stephen Cope
Dry: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs
Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp
In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor Mate
Glennon Doyle Melton
Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life
Out Of The Wreck I Rise is a great collection of quotes that make you realize you’re note alone and introduce you to many different types of people in recovery. I still refer back to it often. http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/O/bo17978945.html
Also “Drunkard” by same author