I do. Well, I did. For 100 days.
A year full of celebration and change made for plenty of reasons to raise a glass. Moving? Cheers! Sad about moving? It’s okay. Live in wine country? Go tasting! Getting married; got married? Cheers, and cheers again!
Heading straight on into another wedding season (friends’ weddings, not my own this time), I hit the brakes on the wine and the bubbles too. Sad, I know; but one month to the day later, I can see more gains than losses in the choice.
Toasting with water in the bridal suite before a dear friend’s wedding seemed a little extreme, but aside from that experience, sobriety has been a welcome change. Sobriety, what an icky word, right? It sounds so stinking booorrrring with a hint of, “Okay, so yeah, I’m kinda messed up.”
I have never had a “drinking problem,” though drinking definitely propelled me to do things I regretted, especially during my teens and early 20’s. (YOLO in these cases did not prevail).
Since then, a glass of wine with friends or while cooking or with dinner became a socially celebrated way to take the edge off. I mean life can be tough and the state of our world today is wayyyyy too challenging to really open our eyes (not to mention our hearts) to, so we might as well go drink wine.
As an aside, I drove from San Diego through Oregon last year on various trips and simply could not believe how much wine is being grown on this coast. From Baja all the way up through the Willamette Valley, fields of grapevines cloak the terrain.
So what has this first 30 days been like? Overall, it’s pretty great. The big bonus has been silencing one of the voices in my itty bitty shitty committee. We’ll call her Shaming Shelly. Shelly senses that drinking is slightly out of integrity, and she so shames me – quietly sometimes and more loudly at others. “Would you have acted differently without that glass of wine?” or,” “Would you have said that differently before that sip of wine?” or the zinger, “How can you do the work you do with women and girls and still drink?”
While she makes some good points, her berating tone was never helpful. The funny thing is that while drinking wine was a part of my lifestyle, I never noticed she was there! She had become so constant, such a normal part of my days like a buzzing fridge or light that you only notice when the noise stops. Only now am I aware of the peace in her absence!
People I interact with on a day to day basis would have no clue about this shaming voice in my head and how wine amplified her whine. But, somehow I rest easier without her, and over time, that stuff makes a difference in life.
Some days I think I’ll never drink again. Others I think it will just be 100 days, perhaps. Today, I will celebrate what seems like a little win. A little win for self-care. A little win for integrity. A little win for the courage it takes to feel my way through life – in all its wonder and all its messiness.
And because I can still find way to raise a glass…here’s one because we need not take ourselves too seriously: