7 Reasons I’m Breaking Up With Wine

breaking up with wine

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,

Krista xo

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. 


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31 comments on “7 Reasons I’m Breaking Up With Wine

  1. Hello Krista, Just found your blog and have enjoyed having a bit of a peek. I’m also into health and no refined sugar, alcohol, processed foods. Well done. It’s just not worth it for the long (life) run. I’m off now to have a read of some more of your posts. 😀

  2. Hi Krista – yes, I do see myself in what you write; I quit alcoholic beverages on 04/14/14. It was a struggle at first, but now I do not feel tied to this addiction and able to handle life with more joy. Reading your blog has given me many points to consider on my journey who wholeness and happiness. My core desired feelings are developing with a lot more clarity and joy without the alcohol. I wish you strength in your decision.

  3. Have you ever tried taking supplements to help with cravings?

    I just ordered this book…The Vitamin Cure for Alcoholism: Orthomolecular Treatment of Addictions
    Abram Hoffer

    The reviews on Amazon are very positive. I have also used L-glutamine and 5HTP and they have helped. Kudzu is another supplement that is supposed to help. Sometimes it is not an issue of willpower, but a lack of nutrients that causes the cravings.

    • Yes and I help clients with this; I will also being using amino acids over the next 6 mos:) I stay away from bread, sugar and yeast and find that wine and kombucha feed into this too. I recognized that years ago (and there are yeast allergies and alcoholism in my family so I dug into research around this). I eat a nutrient dense diet and supplement. But I am also a life-long ‘numb-er’ and have numbed in the past with various substances and food but also control’ of my environment, exercise, etc. I appreciate your comment and book suggestion.

  4. I LOVE this post Krista! I am spontaneously joining you (and dumping the titch of wine left in my fridge from you and I getting together last week! I was away and so haven’t had time to drink it). I have not felt like wine is a big enough issue to warrant stopping, yet have noticed some pull towards having some. One of my other best friends has stopped, and sees huge pluses.

    The big issue I see for me is I work too hard, and wine sometimes gets me to shut down! I’d like to get together with you over tea, and discuss how to make sure I find rituals and routines to make sure I take time off!

    Would you believe that I’ve also been considering quitting even decaf coffee? The reason is I get up in the morning, and want to have coffee first. That throws my morning routine off on the days that I succumb. Anyway, I thought you’d laugh, as I doubt you want to quit coffee!

    • I’d consider you one of the humans that possess super-human willpower but I love that you are spontaneously joining me:) And, of course, you are absolutely right – I am not interested in giving up coffee again at this time (in my life, too much restriction at once DOES NOT lead to success).

      • I missed your reply Krista! I know we talked more about this in person. Thanks for the compliment. I am very human, and love the tools I’ve amassed to help me have more willpower than I used to!

        In the end, I decided not to forgo coffee, even though it’s largely decaf, at this time. It is a pleasant treat for me, and arguably has no downside given that I don’t even do the caffeinated version often. I’m still debating though!

  5. I salute your courage and self-knowledge. I broke up with wine roughly 18 months ago and although I must admit that every now and again, I like you, start to think I’ve been ‘long enough on the wagon’ as it were, or I have a particularly hard day and simply need my ‘old friend’ to get me through (that phrase alone should have been my first clue that it was a bad idea to begin with … sigh!) and remember once again – it will just never work out between the two of us b/c we want different things. I want wholeness, and health, and full-on presence in the world, and wine, well just wants me numb and fuzzy. <3

    • Oh my gosh, yes. We do want different things. I am so grateful for the women who have commented here, on my FB page or in private, to let me know that I am not alone. One of the reasons I write so honestly about life is that it breaks shame; another benefit is builds connection by showing us how we very often struggle with the same issues. Thank you for sharing, Sandra!

  6. I thoroughly appreciated the honest and vulnerable revelation into this area of your life. It shows not only courage, but a true desire to commit fully to a life in progress. I didn’t have my first drink until I was 17 years old and the adventure left me in a black out. This should’ve been the first clue that perhaps alcohol and I would one day engage in a battle that would threaten to destroy my life and everything I hold dear. After years of “normal” drinking I began a dangerous dance with alcohol and almost one year ago I admitted that I was an alcoholic. Out of fear and desperation, I walked into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous and my journey into recovery began. I too have struggled with depression, anxiety and eating disorders, most diagnosed around age 16. Unfortunately there is not enough time or space to share my story with you, but perhaps one day I’ll be able to. I just wanted you to know that your story touched me in a very real and powerful way. Krista, I admire the truth you speak and look forward to reading more of your wonderful articles. We are not alone. Thank you Krista!

    • Thank you, Heather. I am so proud of you for making that choice a year ago and can imagine the angst and struggle involved in stepping bravely into that. Thank you so much for sharing with me! Drinking is such an acceptable addiction amongst women yet has the power to destroy marriages, physical health, mental stability. Perhaps especially for those of us who already tip toward anxiety or depression. Fuel for the fire. I miss wine every single day (which is a certain indicator that I made the right decision to quit) but am so happy to no longer wrestle with the daily question of “will I or won’t I.” I won’t. Big hug to you.

  7. Hi Krista, I just found your blog through Becoming minimalist! I am striving towards mediocrity in my life! I too have an addictive personality and have been alcohol and drug free for 3 years. I am struggling with quitting sugar and am finding it extremely difficult. Also working at reducing the unnecessary “stuff” in my life. Which is difficult when living with my husband who is all about wanting 3 of everything??. I have a true tribe of women in my life who cheer each other on and they are a huge part of my recovrty! So I’m working on myself and looking forward to reading more on your blog!

  8. I just ran across this blog although it was posted in 2016. I have been struggling with giving up red wine. I have to admit that I really enjoy a good red wine. But I’ve become more and more concerned because of a lot of what’s in Krista’s blog. It’s just become too much of a habit and it’s scaring me. Cracking open a bottle of wine has become how my husband and I socialize. And I share Krista’s issue of not being able to stop with one glass. I am in process now of stopping drinking during the week and maybe altogether. Again, I enjoy it. I just feel scared when it creeps too far into my life as a habit or addiction.

  9. Thank you so very much for writing this article! I found it originally a few months back and it struck a major cord with me. Deep down I knew my drinking was slowly becoming more of a problem emotionally and physically but wasn’t ready to take the step of quitting. Your article has been on my mind ever since I first read it and I relate to many of your 7 reasons. As of today I haven’t had a drink in 15 days and I’ve never felt better in my 43 years. Thank you for all your words and I really look forward to reading more! 🙂

  10. Just read this older post of yours Krista. Your honesty is amazing. Thank you. It makes me feel normal. I’m wondering where you are at now with alcohol? (you don’t have to answer!)

    The past 3 years i’ve done Feb Fast, Dry July, and also usually November. Over the Christmas period this year I felt a strong pull to give up alcohol for a whole year! I’m 8 days in.

    All of your 7 reasons resonate with me and I’m pinning this article to read every few weeks as I think it will help hold me up in this time!

    • Hi Emma, I’m a pretty open book about most things and keep thinking I’ll write a follow-up post (and then promptly forget;)). I am now about 1.5 years wine free. Never went back. The cravings were bad for about a year- some real lust every time I’d see it on social media, in a movie or drive past a liquor store. So pretty much constant. Finally, this past summer it occurred to me that I need to try amino-acids – it is so weird that I support all these other women but couldn’t see something about myself.

      I realized that I didn’t crave the wine from addiction but because it calmed my anxiety so effectively. My anxiety spiked horribly after I quit the wine and I struggled all last year (I also gained a bunch of weight interestingly which seems counterintuitive). Anyways, I started taking GABA to help with calming and the cravings disappeared (not necessarily all desire but the actual cravings or lust for it). I have more I could say and should likely get it into a post.

      I am aware that if I choose to drink wine again it is only opening the same can of worms but some days I try to convince myself that it would be ok. I think I probably have the self-talk of an addict though that it isn’t fun to say aloud. Some days I try to convince myself I made it up and I was completely fine with wine in my life… that I exaggerated… but in the end this talk just confirms that I made the right decision for my health:)

      I’d love to stay in touch about how you do with your year off. xo

  11. Wow! Your post just described me and wine as well, not to mention how dehydrated and terrible I feel after drinking wine the previous night. I have cut down to once a week and also drink kombucha instead, but somehow the wine creeps back in. I currently drink about 2 glasses once a week, but as you said, it does not benefit me. Thank you for this post, it is a reality check! I will quit as well. Today is a new day. 😊

  12. Wow…I identified with so much you just said. As a therapist in private practice, I deal with others pain on a daily basis. Wine has turned into a daily. nightly affair for me. Is it a “habit” or the beginnings of an addiction?!? That I am unable to answer honestly at this moment, but you gave me a lot to think about. Thank you for being so vulnerable.

  13. I think that this is a very personal decision that should not be taken lightly by others. If you think that this was necessary for you, then I wish you the best of luck for your sobriety.

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