Day 28 – yesterday was not easy.
A couple weeks ago, I had so much energy…and was in love with the world. This past week, I’ve been tired and stressed…and felt like I was dragging through the week. Yesterday, some of the anxiety started coming back…and also thoughts of ‘I don’t really need to do this’… ‘why are we doing this?’… ‘this is stupid – just have a glass of wine’. I knew though that I wanted wine because I was wanting a way to relax – a way to ease some of the tension and have it all melt away. Which is precisely why I am doing this… and precisely why a glass of wine is that last thing I should have been putting in to my body.
So instead, I did a spin class…then got in to a bath with a wine glass that was filled with a lovely thick cranberry juice mixed with sparkling water, and I read a book about the rise of alcoholism in women. And it worked.
The mocktail party was lovely. My friend had gone all out and made four different drinks to try! She spent hours! A watermelon mocktail with a sugar rim, a pina colada, a basil & grapefruit ‘martini’, and a homemade ginger beer. They were all delicious!! Unfortunately there was also a bottle of rum and vodka on the table, as her and I were the only ones drinking them as mocktails. I was a little on edge at first, as I’d spent a good chunk of my day battling within my head about why I was doing this….and here was a situation I thought I wouldn’t have to be ‘strong’ during, but turned out I did. That went away though when observing the ridiculousness of comments like “ohhhh…it tastes like a cocktail! Are you sure there’s no alcohol in here? Well, I’ll just add a splash of rum anyhow. Oh, yeah…that’s what it was missing.” Honestly, I don’t think they were ‘missing’ anything – they were delicious. I am not casting stones…as I probably would have been adding rum myself under normal circumstances. But it was funny to sit back and listen.
Unfortunately, my friend that I thought I’d have a bit of solidarity with this month as she was doing Dry September, ended up drinking at lunch and then continuing in to the night. Because she fell ‘off the wagon’ she’s decided to just not drink mid-week. No judgement at all…just a bit bummed as she’s the person I usually go out with for a “cheeky glass of wine” which ends up being more like 3 or 4. So I was looking forward to socializing at weekends without being the only one not drinking. What was interesting though, and this is not a judgement on her…more an observation of myself…was to hear her reasoning.
Made it through the work week…. beautiful weather and we were having lunch on a terrace… thought I’d just have 1 with lunch, so then had another one – and oh, yeah a vermut to finish lunch…. already had drinks today so may as well keep drinking… think I’ll just do a rule of ‘only on weekends’ rather than go the entire month.
I sincerely hope she doesn’t read this, but if she does I want her to know that this is not a judgment – at all! It was simply interesting to observe, as I have said all of those things myself. For me, what they all meant was, I couldn’t really go the month. Or just didn’t want to. I’m not saying that’s what they mean for her – her relationship with alcohol is hers alone. It was just interesting to see me in her, in a sense. Sometimes our friends are mirrors for ourselves. The way she was being teased lightly in terms of “it’s the 5th!!! You gave up already?!”… is what I’ve heard when I’ve announced things like ‘I’m not drinking right now’. It’s the “sure, sure…I’ve heard that before! Hahaha!”… because I’d inevitably have succumbed to drinking at some social situation within a week and figured ‘fuck it…it’s the weekend’. Our relationships with alcohol are all different – and I stress, this commentary is not a judgment in any way. For ME, those words/actions are a slippery slope. Alcoholism has genetic aspects to it, and it runs in my family. I know that I enjoy alcohol to relax and deal with stress – and that’s a red flag as it’s an early sign. So I want to handle it before it’s a problem.
Anyhow, today I have what was meant to be a coffee date – although he texted the other night to suggest wine instead. Normally, I’d have thought ‘what the hell…I can have a glass’ but I told him I’m not drinking. Surprisingly, he said he knows somewhere that does good alcohol free cocktails. I was proud of myself for telling him what I’m doing, rather than just going and trying to navigate the menu and ending up with water and feeling annoyed. Another friend texted enthusiastically about a wine catch up, as that’s the norm for us. I told her also…and so now we’re doing brunch instead and she’s excited about a new brunch place.
All I know, is that somewhere deep inside me I must know that I need to do this 90 day reset, as normally I’d have just given up and gone back to “only on weekends” – which unfortunately is not just 1 or 2 at a weekend, it’s 4 or 5 or more on Friday and Saturday and then a couple on Sunday at lunch. Funny enough, writing this anonymous blog is keeping me accountable. I don’t want to come back and write “I decided to give up on what was clearly important to me x number of days ago.” It’s odd, as this is anonymous and only a couple people know who I am and really I’m just writing to myself. So I guess, I don’t want to disappoint myself. And I would be disappointed in myself if I went back on a decision I had made for myself – and made in such a way as to keep me accountable. To myself.
I’m determined to do this. Sometimes I don’t know why, but I am – so I’m going to. I wish at this point I could say it’s because I feel like a million bucks, but I don’t. I’m having to learn how to sit with my feelings and deal with my anxiety in a different way. But hopefully, I emerge on the other side of this 90 days with some new tools for managing my stress, and a healthier relationship with alcohol.