“That’s the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.”
– Charles Bukowski
I have been making lists in my mind thinking about what my biggest weakness is. Funny enough I came up with millions of them. But one came to the forefront. Alcohol. I’ve come to realize that alcohol is a trigger to many of my other weaknesses.
Here is an example of how the cycle works:
I am tired, kids are overwhelming. I have a glass of wine after they go to bed (or before depends). It tastes good. I feel calmer. I have another. Then I loose my ability to control my food cravings. I eat anything that I can find that is not good for me. I try to keep my house pretty clean of “bad food” but every time I drink I think “I should post on facebook that I would give $20 to anyone who will bring me cheesecake right now”. I don’t but I proceed to eat everything I can that makes me feel good (and it isn’t salad). Usually it goes like this (or any combination of these)… toast with butter, peanut butter AND honey, chocolate chips, crackers, cereal. Of course, if there is “bad” food I have been storing, it will be the first to go. I am not eating because I am hungry. I call it “filling the void”. The following day I wake up groggy, bloated and full of regret. How did that happen? I was doing so well. It all comes back to that
lovely dreaded glass of wine. Depending on the amount of alcohol consumed, there is a period of time after consumption where I feel depressed. I call those my “Eeyore days”. “Oh Bother… life is so hard. The kids are overwhelming. I can’t get anything done.”
The problem with not drinking alcohol is two fold.
1) Drinking makes me fun (or at least that’s they tell me)
Ever since I was
15 an adult, alcohol has been the centre of my social life. Party’s, good times, celebrations, life events… for goodness sake my BABY SHOWER I served alcohol so it wouldn’t be BORING (I didn’t drink while I was pregnant that day). I always wondered how people who didn’t drink had fun. It brings out my fun side, my crazy side and takes away my socially awkward shyness that I experience in a dry state. The downside is that is also makes me lose my inhibitions about food, and how to behave. I do things and say things I shouldn’t say.
2) My friends and family (and I love you all)
Since I like to drink, I surround myself with people who also like to drink. I dread telling them that I won’t be drinking. Their reaction is always the same. “Really??? Come on Mia, life is too short”. Saying “I’m not going to drink” to my friends is probably worse then
“I am a cannibal” or “eat my snots”… I don’t know but it is devastating. They look at me like I have been possessed by the devil.
I do not believe I am an alcoholic by definition. I can drink one glass and stop, most of the time, but not all the time. However, if someone is a “social smoker” and only smokes once in a while, wouldn’t you still think they have a problem? It is a problem when you are addicted to the feeling alcohol gives you, the confidence it brings and the comfort it brings when you have a hard day… but that is the weakness of it.
They say (I don’t know who “they” are, scientist maybe, but go with it) that it takes 21 days to break a habit. I have decided to go alcohol free for the month of May. I will not fail, and if I do, this is a good indication that alcohol is more then a “bad habit”. I’m sorry for all my friends who celebrate birthday’s in May, or for anyone that is disappointed that I won’t be drinking. My promise to you is that at any social occasion I will ACT AS DRUNK AS POSSIBLE for your entertainment… but without the added side effects of alcohol.
I have a big race at the end of the month. I have worked SO HARD to get where I am in my training at the gym, and with eating well and fueling my body. I will not let alcohol lead me off the path.
Life is short, and I love wine but it is a crutch. I can be fun without it. I have
lots some friends who don’t drink and they are fun. Come to think of it… I used to think I wouldn’t be fun if I didn’t smoke when I drank… and that was total bullshit.
So here goes nothing…