I was going through my Google Plus Photo account the other day when Google suggested to me to rediscover this day – which is basically their version of TimeHop or Facebook’s Memories. What pictures did Google want to show me?
It was a selfie I’d taken of me drinking some wine while my child screamed at my feet. It’s pretty much the best selfie ever. And it just really epitomizes one of the main reasons why I have come to love wine so much. It relaxes me. It’s a little escape from the chaos surrounding me. It’s a me thing I do. For me – when most of my life is about being a Mom.
I got to thinking while looking through those pictures about how it must have been around that day exactly that I’d started drinking wine as part of a lifestyle habit. And it occured to me that it was my Wine-aversary! So, then being me – I began to self reflect on why I began walking down this wine road, and just about my relationship with alcohol in general. Lucky you guys – you get to hear all those rambling thoughts!
Prior to making drinking wine a regular part of my life – I abstained from alcohol except for in social settings. I had this thing about alcohol being in the fridge at home. That wine I’m drinking in that picture? It was a bottle I’d won during dirty santa on the Christmas Eve prior. That bottle of wine sat in my fridge for over a month. I remember thinking that I was going to save it for a special occasion. I had it in my mind that I needed a valid reason to drink.
But, one day something changed. I honestly can’t remember exactly what happened that day. I do remember that I was in the throws of raising two babies , and in general it just wasn’t a great time for me personally. What WAS going on that had really boosted my confidence and given me a sense of self purpose? This blog. We posted our first post on February 2, 2017, and it’s been a year now that I’ve had this blog and wine as part of my life on the regular. I have to say, that things around here are better for it.
I’ve seen alcoholism in people that are close to me. I’ve lived around alcoholism. The thing is – I’ve been scared of alcoholism my entire life. I’ve always been so highly aware of how much I drink and where I drink and with whom I drink and why I drink. I didn’t have a cocktail at lunch or dinner on a weekday. I never ever ever drank to soothe myself after a rough day or help get through a tough time. Alcoholism or alcohol abuse are dirty words. And they should be. I have personally seen the ugly things people do under the influence of this nasty addiction. I’d spent 31 years trying to prevent myself from becoming addicted. I’d also spent 31 years developing another form of an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.
I feared it. I was letting it control my life.
When you’ve swum head deep in the depths of alcoholism alongside a loved one – you can’t help but fear drowning yourself. When you’ve seen the way alcohol abuse wreaks havoc on and in the life and health of someone you hold dear – you can’t help but try to avoid it all costs.
That’s a dangerous way to live life though. Consumed by fear of something that you haven’t even tried out for yourself. When you make NOT DRINKING such a big part of your personality – you’re already giving alcohol power over yourself.
And so, I threw caution to the wind. It was Wednesday. My children were a hot mess. Who knows what else was going on. But I had some wine. There were nights (and still are) that I’ll drink an entire bottle. Did you just gasp? Are you appalled that I can drink a whole bottle of wine on a Wednesday night and still manage to take care of my children as they wake FIFTEEN MILLION times throughout the night and then make my way to work where I function at a high level? I know I would have gasped a year ago if someone told me I’d do those things.
I don’t hide the fact that I drink on a fairly regular basis from children. I don’t hide it from my family. I don’t hide it from my friends. I certainly don’t hide it on social media. I mean. Rhonda and I get on Facebook Live every week and drink wine and argue about what is the proper way to count on our fingers. So. There’s that.
I started drinking regularly – and now alcohol no longer has control over me. It’s just another regular part of my life. In fact, I’m more addicted to my daily dose of Starbucks than I am to wine. Ask me to choose between giving up coffee or hugs from kids….I may actually take a moment to pause and consider the consequences of each choice equally. 😉
Do I need wine? Nah. Do I enjoy wine? Hell yesss.
And honestly, drinking it is still a social thing. We’ve brought our social lives into our homes on a daily basis through things like Facebook and Snapchat and Blogs. So – I can drink and chat with my friends from within the comfort of my own home. By myself – but not. Introvert dreams. 🙂
I want my children to see and experience a healthy relationship with alcohol through me. I want them to be cautious. Obviously. I just don’t want them to fear it so much that that fear starts to control them. I don’t want them to see a mom who never drinks at home or during a meal in a restaurant – but she’ll go out with her friends on a Friday night and come stumbling home and unable to function for the entire next day because she doesn’t know how to control herself when she does actually allow herself to drink. I don’t want for their view of me to become two sided – the drinking me and the non drinking me. Because – we’re the same person.
Drinking doesn’t have to be a THING. You can’t let it control you on either end of the spectrum. You can’t fear what might happen so much so that you sabotage yourself during rare nights of binge drinking but feel better about yourself just because you don’t keep beer in the fridge. You also can’t let alcohol become a necessary part of your life. You shouldn’t depend upon the way it makes you feel to make you happy or satisfied or content.
You should know your limits though. You should be cautious. You should be aware of the way it is affecting your life. Your sense of well being. Your state of mind. Your body. Your health. Your relationships. That affect should be positive. Most importantly, it shouldn’t ever ever hold you prisoner: in any way.
So, anyway CHEERS and Happy Wine-Aversary to me. 🙂