March 04, 2018

Contrary to Popular Belief, Wine Does NOT Solve Everything

I'm in constant struggle with balance, and the pressure I put on myself is horrific.

Sometimes I ask friends for help. The world has opened up to me since I got sober and I have more friends than I can count. Some of these friends are drinkers, however, and I don’t always appreciate the response when I let it slip that I’m having a hard time.

“Just have a glass of wine! Wine solves everything!”

I beg to differ.

Wine does not solve alcoholism or a drinking problem.

Don’t get me wrong. I know that it’s not your responsibility to remember I don’t drink. It’s not like I’m talking about it all the time or wearing t-shirt that says “I Can't Drink Wine.” It doesn’t make me mad so much as it makes me wish I was a “normal” drinker, and could have just one.

That I can't even fathom. I can count on one hand the times I've had "one glass" of anything alcoholic without spiraling into cyclical disaster.

It has been many years since I’ve had a drink, and I still remember that feeling of instant relief. Unfortunately for me and those I drink with, it doesn’t take long for that relief to turn into “fuck it.” That’s what keeps me sober today. I’m not willing to go to that place anymore, because it no longer fits with my life. I have too many wonderful things going on, and “fuck it” is not an option.

I’ll be honest though, sometimes I do wish you’d remember my recovery. It’s been a difficult road, and as a friend, I want you to celebrate my miraculous survival. I understand it’s not necessarily as important to you, because maybe you’ve only known me sober. It's not awesome when you joke and say things like, “I’d love to get drunk with you. You’re probably a really fun drunk-friend.” 

Yes, it’s true. I am a really funny, charming drunk-friend; for at least the first twenty minutes. What may not be as amusing is my "accidentally" making a pass at and/or sleeping with your spouse; because I quickly disregard boundaries and rules when I drink.

I’m aware my sobriety is not national news or even the most important thing about me. I suppose the longer I’ve stayed sober, the less I talk about. I might even be stoked it's not on your mind, because that means you're unaware of how it's affecting you. 

Thanks to the work I’ve done on myself, a drink is not the first thing I think about when I’m stressed out or upset. If you knew me drinking, you’d know what a miracle that is.

Sometimes I get into a funk. Often I'm stressed over problems that may never even happen, but I promise you a glass of wine will only make it worse for me -- not better. And even though I know that, it doesn’t stop me from being a little jealous of your ability to have that glass after a tough day; while I have to pray or meditate in some awkward yoga pose for less than instant gratification.

So, the next time some mother lets it sneak out that she's struggling, please try to keep in mind that some of us don't have the luxury of disappearing into a glass of wine. Some of us don't need to be reminded of the lie that we can probably have "just one."  

Self-care doesn't have to mean drinking, and there are so many other amazing suggestions to give a struggling mom

It's okay to suggest taking a yoga class, getting a massage, resting in a hot bath, or even a childless mom-day with friends. 

Those things have never gotten me in trouble.


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