Whether you think you can or can’t … you are right.

i finally had a drinking dream.

in my dream, i had driven across the country to visit my family. (in real life, i have done this several times.) in the dream, i had ‘arrived’ at my destination, the end of the road, the place with history and family and sunshine (it was sunny in the dream).

in the dream, i had one beer, a local beer, something i used craved when away.

and later that afternoon, in the dream, i realized that the one beer had awakened the wolf voice, and that i now had a tight pinched feeling in my head, a deep craving and hunger for more beer. Lots more of it.  and I knew that it was just like when i FIRST quit drinking, and that by having one beer i was going to have feel those withdrawal symptoms again, the (thankfully brief) angst of quitting was going to start all over again. (at least, even when dreaming, i realized that even one beer = quitting again …  rather than 1 beer = hey let’s have a kegger).

in the dream, i regretted the beer — because it meant i’d have to feel shitty and struggle to quit again.

that feeling of angst, feeling shitty, starting over, i’m thankful to say are NOT a part of my regular, waking life and haven’t been for 140 days <sigh of relief>.

This past week I attended a Beaujolais Nouveau wine dinner, and the woman beside me was frankly shocked that i’d go to a wine event and not drink wine. I told her that the first 30 days of quitting were a bit of a struggle, and that i wasn’t sure i was making the right decision, but that thankfully each month since has been easier, and that now at 4+ months i’m quite happy with my life, and i think that life without wine is not only ‘good’ but ‘better’.

She looked at me vacantly and said “but what about cheese?”


She said, “I have to have some wine when I eat cheese.”

I was pretty surprised at her thought process.  cuz having deep associations like THAT is what prevents everyone from making changes and moving forward (not just about wine but about everything).  Really? You really and truly can’t eat cheese without consuming booze? Seriously? I wonder how many other false associations she has (we have) that keep her locked in place.  how unfortunate to think like that, when in fact everything is open to change. Every character trait that we brush off as “I’m just like that” can be adapted and tweaked and improved. All of our personal “rules” we assume are written in stone are in fact written in jell-o.  come on now.  cheese with wine is the reason you couldn’t every contemplate quitting drinking? What about weddings? Apparently they can done without champagne, who knew!

I smiled and said that i felt quite proud of myself for the ‘self-discipline challenge’ and that my life was vastly improved since quitting — for all sorts of reasons.  Better sleep, I’ve lost weight, I run more, and i feeeeel muuuuch better.  a ton better. and she’s sort of shaking her head, saying “well i could never do that.”

Whether you think you can or can’t … you are right.

I wonder what other bits of my own life I still believe are written in stone that could be tweaked, improved, changed… You?


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

  • This post made me literally LOL. I think I’ve probably said the same thing at some point. I need wine and bread with cheese. The just seem to be paired in my mind. Which is stupid, really. I also associate wine with pasta and Indian food. But I’ve gotten over those ones so I’m sure I can conquer the cheese!

    I know this post was from several years ago, but I thank you for putting it all out there. Reading your words has helped me these past few days as I relate to a lot of what you’ve written. I’m on day 11 and am writing, mostly as a way to work through my thoughts. But you’re the reason I thought that would help me…and it is. So thank you. So much.

  • Just wanted to say I love your blog and am finding it inspiring. The cheese (?) part really made me laugh. Oh the many ways we can find to delude yourself. Of course it makes perfect sense to feel you couldn’t possibly quit drinking wine because how on earth would you eat cheese. Uh huh.

  • Saying you “have to” have wine when you eat cheese is like admitting you are the fanciest asshole of all time.


  • So we can never eat cheese again, huh ~!~ That’s so rich with metaphor and deep meaning that i can barely write about it… You are a wonderful ambassador for the life without alcohol and I am so glad to have met you.

    I did actually start blogging, you were part of why, Belle. I can be found at LyndaLand.blogspot.com mostly sewing stuff but the occasional philosophical post will find its way there as time passes and I get more comfortable writing aloud.

    • i’ve looked at your beautiful blog with all the lovely photos and quilting bits. you’re so talented (and you’re clearly having a LOT of fun). (i also thought that my friend’s comment about cheese was loaded on so many levels – like what other rigid thoughts does she have that keep her stuck in so many other ways …)

  • You are so right! This is the week that something in my mind it all changed! I finally think I can quit instead of I can’t. It has truly been an amazing week. I truly believe in me and my life is going to be “better” because of it! I am actually able to look at myself in the mirror again;) oh I love it! Day 6 for me!

    • you’re doing so great, day 6 rocks! you made me think of this quote from the Rob Lowe autobiography: “you can be the type of celebrity who goes into and out of rehab, or you can get sober and stay sober. the choice is up to you.” i want to be the type who only has to do it once. you?

  • The only thing better than her comment was your post about it! i laughed out loud, thank you for that. i live in a country where Beaujolais Nouveau is all the rage and took part in many festivities myself. Now i look back on it in fondness, like thinking about stupid mistakes i made and beliefs i had as a toddler.

    And i know that feeling about the drunk dream so well. A couple months ago i dreamed someone in my entourage spiked a drink to purposefully get me to fall off the wagon. It took me weeks to shake the fear / suspicion that someone would actually do it!