I am breaking up with wine again. At least for 6 months, possibly forever. I can’t commit right now. I awoke early this morning knowing this is the day. But the truth is, over the past 5 years that I have been drinking any alcohol again, I have known many times that it was a bad idea for me.
Though I have journeyed far toward health and wholeness, my old addictive personality is still there, lurking, delighted that I opened this door again.
At 40 my husband and I began the practice of dating each other once more and after 20 years of abstinence, I felt ‘ready’ and ‘mature enough’ to try drinking a glass of wine now and again during our dates. 2 Tbsp would make me feel giddy and less ‘in control’ – a feeling I hated then. But now I crave that feeling – kind of numb and fuzzy. In the beginning, we would only drink together in wee 4 oz glasses but over time my glasses have become bigger and bigger and often I refill mine when my husband is out of the room.
And I happily drink on my own. I think I prefer it.
I talked a bit with my husband about this and at various intervals, we would decide to only enjoy a glass out with the occasional supper, not bring it into our home. Or we’d do a 2-3 month stint without any alcohol (he barely drinks anyways) during which I’d drink more kombucha because I feel like it gives me the tiniest little buzz. My husband has the most amazing willpower of any human I have met. But the truth is I do not. Fortunately, what I do have is a fire in me that continually propels me toward honesty and truth and freedom.
7 Reasons Why I’m Breaking Up With Wine
1. I sometimes (ok, often) start daydreaming around 3:30 in the afternoon about what time is actually acceptable for me to have a glass of wine. And when I land at a social event I feel myself distracted, even a little anxious, just waiting for that first glass.
2. I no longer have just one wee glass. I want two (and once I’ve had two I really want more) bigger glasses. Heck, I’d actually be happy if you just gave me the bottle and popped a straw in. And this is why I quit at 20 years old; because I could never have just one drink.
3. My Mind-Body-Spirit Intentions, as I’ve written about before, are: Unshackled, Strong, Purposeful, Authentic, and Connected. And I can no longer pretend that my desire for alcohol is aligning at all with at least 4 of these. It seems to help with the connection part sometimes but I should be able to enjoy my girlfriends or sisters without alcohol.
4. My children are watching me. They see every drink and how I become a little happier as I sip.
5. Because my mission is to help YOU live with purpose, health & joy and sometimes that involves supporting you in doing hard work. And to be a trustworthy leader or teacher or encourager, I must also do the hard work.
6. I prefer to be a moderator in most things – to live with as much freedom as possible – but there have been times in my life where it served me more to simply quit (sometimes for a season, sometimes forever): refined sugar and bread, TV and decorating magazines, drugs, alcohol, and caffeine. I do not want to be in bondage to anything.
7. This scares me – this desire for alcohol. I feel embarrassed telling the truth and I also know that many people might look at the amount I drink and think it is nothing. But this is about me and who and how I want to be. And I want to be free.
I believe there will be health benefits to breaking up with wine, too, but in no way is that the impetus for this decision. It can simply be a happy side benefit.
Do you recognize yourself in any of this? Perhaps not with alcohol but with another area of life? If so, then at least you know that you are not alone. And I hope that my vulnerability (’cause I’m really feeling vulnerable at the moment) will provide a measure of encouragement for you to finally Just Let Go of that thing that is holding you in chains.
Here’s to Unshackled living. Cheers,
For further reading, you may appreciate The Anti-Anxiety Food Solution (wine helped calm my anxiety) and The Four Tendencies (affiliate links).
P.S. I ended up doing a 19 month fast from wine though wine wasn’t the root issue – anxiety was – much of it situational because we were walking through hard life stuff. The wine was really good at calming the anxiety but I have built up a support system and multiple strategies to help calm my anxiety in healthier ways.