Ode to red wine

i don’t usually post twice in one day. but i’ve been thinking about drinking just about the whole day. it’s like my toddler-brain is having a temper tantrum. and it sounds like this:

“why can’t i ‘take a few days off’ and then restart. other people have done it. relapse is normal. i think i’ll have myself a relapse.  would today be a good day for a relapse? well it’s the weekend, that’s always good. i’d like 2 glasses of red wine. yeah, i think i’d like some glass of wine, i mean, who wouldn’t.  well maybe i should wait until i have 50 days of sobriety (instead of today, day 49) because that would be a nice, round number. better to relapse on a ‘good’ number day.  better not to just fall off the wagon, how about if i plan to fall off. and god i don’t want to regret the relapse, so i’ll plan for it. and anyway, i was really only going to do 30 days and then i extended it to 60/90 and now i’m nearly at 50, so that’s good enough. what was the point of this anyway. this not drinking thing is tiring. i don’t want to post and read blogs any more, but i know that’s just me retreating so that i can have a few glasses of wine. i want it all to fucking stop — all the noise, all of it. i want the magical “i don’t need booze thanks” to fill me from top to bottom. and then i’d like some golden silence. instead of having to work at it. if not, i’m going to pour wine onto it until it shuts up.”

[stomps toddler-like feet, and slams imaginary door]

well that’s special, isn’t it? i’m not drinking tonight. i am baking a chocolate cake (9:32 pm). it’s gigantically hot tonight (40C/105F) so that doesn’t help. i will wake up tomorrow in a better mood, will have my sunday long run, and will get up super early to beat the heat …

here’s my (not yet famous) poem:

Ode to red wine.
fuck you
fuck fuck you
fuck you

~ love, Belle xoxo


I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • I know this post is over three years old, but it made me laugh out loud — both for how much I relate to all of the rationalizations AND for the brilliantly perfect poem. Love it.

    And this is my first sober blog comment. Ever. Thanks to you. 🙂

  • Hi Belle,
    I love the various renditions of “Ode to Wine” I had a good chuckle because that’s how I feel. I haven’t set a date to quit yet but still reading all the blogs. I’m so surprised that there are so many out there that feel exactly the same way! Seriously was I that blind that I’m the only one of 3 people on this planet that have a problem with wine. Wow. I’m all over this web reading blogs now.

    • overndout, you can pick a date far enough into the future that it doesn’t seem interesting, but that your subconscious can start to register anyway. like September 1st or 15th, or whatever. Glad you’re still hanging around absorbing all the good ideas. they’ll make more sense once you’re underway …

  • Belle. Do not listen to those thoughts. Take it from someone who fucked it up at day 31. It’s regretful and sucks and not worth the hangover. You are rock!
    I should have called you,

    • jen, if i can put myself in your shoes, you probably didn’t call because your inner-wolf had already decided to drink, and you didn’t want to be convinced to wait a day … i can relate to those feelings completely. it’s weird how we turn away from help offered, isn’t it…

  • Well done for reaching out and staying strong. Hope you are enjoying your run right now.
    It’s a balancing act for me between being so consumed by sober blogs that I think about not drinking more than is healthy, and not participating as much as i should because it does help me a lot, so I understand your dilemma somewhat.
    Sober life can be a struggle and you’re winning and I hope you draw some strength from that xo

  • I love the raw honesty here Belle. I know I tend toward the sunny & shiny side of the street, but I walked in darkness and depression for so long, I just finally said fuck it. I’m not going to live that way anymore. I’m not going to let vodka, Chardonnay, depression, grief, anger, resentment control me anymore. I can’t change my past and I certainly don’t want to go back. Staying optimistic and sunny is a basic survival tool for me, because I’d rather empower my light than my dark. I hope that makes sense. It’s like the story of the two wolves inside us both fighting for control:

    “An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

    “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

    The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

    The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

    —Enjoy your cake! Sounds delish. And let me know how your run goes. I have 14 on the calendar tomorrow. Check out “Shitlist” by L7 to run to. “Head Like a Hole” by Nine Inch Nails is another good one for a bad mood.
    And yep, relapse is relapse. Planned or not. The wine “wolf” is just fucking with you, don’t feed it and don’t give it control. It’s never satiated.

    • thanks for this. i agree with the sunny outlook, it’s really the only way through. except on sucky hot weekend evenings when the wine wolf shows up. good image, i’m keeping that idea of the wolf in the forefront. i’ll feel better after my run tomorrow a.m.
      and i think i’ll start a new puzzle on the dining room table …

  • Red wine is a fucker
    It really is a fuck
    It treats us mean
    And keeps us keen
    And tries to fuck us up

    But I can beat that shit
    It’s my life, not yours dick!
    So piss off now
    I’ll show you how
    I’m living without it

  • And PS again its a very good question you ask. Is a planned relapse really a relapse? One I have asked myself many times.

  • Yes I am doing absolutely fine too. Hardly ever think of the stuff. Thats why I am sitting here at 9.37pm hoping someone will post. : ) Surely our minds WILL just get sick and tired of this subject? Surely surely?

  • Sounds like you have a bit of “rapid brain syndrome” going on there. I hope when you read this, it is morning, and you feel extra proud for getting through a craving kind of evening.
    I have also realized that reading about others’ relapses has allowed me to entertain the thought of it, or to minimize it and begin to normalize it. Then my rational brain kicks in a bit and reminds me that I can make that decision on Aug.31 AND when I reread some of these posts, everyone is miserable that they did it. Not one person has been happy with their relapse or said that it didn’t really affect them, that they just went right back to not drinking with no problem or regret.
    Our brains (and our conditioning) need to take a break and stop trying to trick us…sly fox…evil wolf…red wine – they’re all one in the same. You are so much smarter than all of them combined!!!

  • “The one you feed” is absolutely true too. I used to come home from work tired of standing all day dealing with customers and playing with retail stock. I would be cranky and as I walked in the door my husband would look up with a big grin and say, “Hi, Smiley, Welcome home!” I had no choice but to smile back. Used to flippin’ amaze me every time it happened and yet it did, over and over and over.

    Relapsing always made me feel worse cuz not only was I hung over (again, dammit) but sad and disappointed in myself and pissed that I had no willpower. Then I had to look my friends, family and supporters in the face and apologize. Sukked.

    Hang in there, Belle, you’re doing really well. We’re all pulling for you. Anything I can send snail mail that would help? A sentimental bookmark? A pressed flower? Sachet for your sock drawer?

      • I do not blog, Belle, I sew, rock babies, read other blogs, sleep a lot, play cribbage on ipad, solitaire and put together jigsaw puzzles. Lately I have been making quilts as tho possessed by a creative spurt I never knew I had. I do have a Facebook page on which I post pictures of my quilts (Lynda Halliger Otvos) and make cryptic comments supporting my progressive views. If you are on FB I would love to be friends with you and exchange greetings…

        That said, I love your blog and am very glad to be part of the group with whom you are travelling this journey of sobriety. Quitting was by far the best decision of my life, and I am grateful every day for the strength to sustain sober living. It is a joy to be here with you as you begin this new life and I am so glad you are maintaining.

  • And it must be annoying to have someone like me who is nearing 1 year whining and moaning about how glum she feels that she can’t have a glass of red wine to relax. Please know these gritty phases come much less often for me.. much much less. and this latest one came after a long long period of just being sober and not finding it tricky or being overly obsessed by it. Just trucking along living quite happily and not obsessing. I did at first, like you guys, but it does ease up and flow along more steadily and smoothly, I promise. And every morning .. EVERY MORNING .. look in the mirror point your finger at yourself and say ‘yay you’. xxx

    • quite the opposite, when i hear you feeling glum, it reminds me that i’m not alone in finding it periodically irritating. i sometimes think everyone else is either (a) sunny and fine, (b) relapsing, or (c) planning to relapse so they’re not hanging around any more… i’d like a period of not obsessing. i even toyed with stopping blogging so i could stop thinking, but then decided that that was probably just preparing to relapse in sheep’s clothing …

  • Ode to white wine

    There…now we both feel better. Wish I was closer so I could have some of that cake.

    Stay strong.