I used to judge people for how much alcohol they drank. I was judging a behavior I just couldn’t understand.
Then I had kids!
And wine became my best friend.
It’s funny and depressing to admit that before I had kids I never really understood why anyone drank. Then suddenly I found myself exhausted, overwhelmed, lonely and on edge. I discovered that a glass of wine magically muted the edges. As my kids got older, drinking became a regular part of my routine.
Every night, around 5.30pm, like clockwork, I’d pour a glass of wine and begin the “relaxing” part of my day. I’d finish work and pour myself a glass of wine while I got dinner ready. Between the first sip and the fifth I’d start to relax. By the tenth I was totally calm and convinced I was a better parent, a better person.
Soon, that glass of wine turned into 2. Then 3. Some nights I’d blink and the bottle would be gone. I never got drunk, or blacked out, or acted crazy. Instead, I slowly numbed myself over the course of a few hours and turned off the creative, passionate, magical part of my mind that makes me who I am. I told myself a story that I couldn’t unwind without wine. I told myself I couldn’t sleep without wine. The story served me well - until it didn’t.
Every morning I’d wake up a little foggy, a little slow. I’d chalk it up to hormones and a lack of sleep. I refused to admit it could be any kind of hangover because I was still up and functioning.
At work events or social gatherings I’d quickly down a glass as soon as I entered the room. Being in a crowd made me anxious about getting it right. I reasoned I’d be more relaxed with a drink in me. Alcohol gave me courage. The courage to have conversations with strangers. The courage to be a better version of myself.
I've recently embarked on a new life. Wine is no longer part of my daily routine. I still enjoy a glass or two mindfully if I go out or feel like having it, but I was desperate to break the nightly ritual. I was motivated but petrified. Who would I be without it? Turns out I’m someone who has accomplished more than I ever dreamed possible. I’m someone who has learned the strength of her own mind and the impact of determination. I feel more myself than I’ve ever been. I feel rested, healthy and creative. I didn’t give it up completely either. I’m just choosing mindfulness. The word that eluded me for so long.
If you can relate to anything I’ve said, consider giving yourself the gift of change. Empower yourself by doing the things you think you can’t do. The rewards are incredible.
P.S. I’m wearing the Sundown Cami – Black Lace and a second hand faux fur coat. I love mixing old with new.
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