That it exists doesn’t mean i need to have it in me

A penpal asked me by email how I managed to buy and serve wine to clients without actually drinking any myself.  What’s interesting is that I’d just posted this comment on Amy’s High Five yesterday:

I am 211 days sober. this evening my husband poured a large glass of liqueur to use in a photo shoot. the smell. was lovely. i asked him if he was going to drink it, he said no. He used a funnel to put it back in the bottle. i knew it wasn’t for me. it might be for other people, but it’s not for me. That it exists doesn’t mean i need to have it in me. i like who i am now, i like that i can see this very clearly. It seems simple, but my mantra is “that’s not for me.”

I told Lilly that I don’t feel tempted when pouring wine for a client.  But perhaps my situation is unusual.  I don’t really want to smell the wine or taste it, because that *might* wake up my wolfie voice, so i don’t even go there. But i can pour it for her or him or them.

As I wrote more, i realized that i have this same thought pattern about other things in my life (here’s some of the text):

I’m personally not that interested in being in places where the sole purpose is to drink heavily.  I can, and have, gone ‘for drinks’ but I have a tea or mineral water, and then I leave after one drink.  if they’re continuing onwards, I’m done now.  It’s not for me.

And maybe they are drinking because they’ve never made a choice about what’s best for them, what’s right for them … they’re doing something on autopilot.

Me, I’m driving my car.  I’m on ‘manual’ not ‘automatic’. I get to choose where my car/life goes. Me. It’s me choosing.  that means that I make decisions that are different from other people’s … including not having kids!  MOST people have children. MOST people have a baby alarm that screams at them until they pop out a kid.  MOST people probably don’t even stop to think if it’s what they want, they’re on some kind of autopilot that says “it must be baby time now.” 

I also don’t have a television because I realized 8 or 9 years ago that it wasn’t good for me. too much time wasted watching the weirdest levels of complete garbage … when I met my husband, it was quite a discussion point about whether or not we’d have a TV… we had one for a while, without cable, and now we don’t.  Except when we got to hotel and then it’s a big treat!

I think this all makes me unusual.  I’m quite comfortable making decisions that make me a little bit different from everybody else IF the decisions are better for me (these are all personal decisions).  No TV is better for me.  No kids is better for me.  No booze is better for me.  Lots of sleep (10 hrs) is better for me.  Running 5 days a week is better for me.  Yes, these are not the same decisions that everyone makes.  But they’re better FOR ME.  And i’m the one making decisions for me.

Maybe now I see that stopping drinking is another one of those decisions.   And that somehow makes it even easier to “not” drink the wine when I pour it for a client.  It’s not for me.

Does this make any sense?

has there never been a Love painting before? this is the first i think!
all you need is love.
love is love.
link >


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

  • It makes perfect sense. It is, in fact, very sensible, and we should all do all of our lives – mindfully, deliberately, what’s right for us, regardless of what everyone else is up to, or why. Autopilots are for planes.

  • it does make perfect sense to me! I’ve been an outsider my whole childhood, and even worse while teenage years … but it’s never been a real choice. now with having quit drinking, it feels actually rebellious enough to NOT do what “the world” is expecting from me that it’s like making myself somehow special in a good way. without the occasional bits of gloating, of course 😉
    and it’s still a miracle for me to discover how much you can learn about yourself and other people when you’re not sitting in these separating fishbowls of alcohol …

  • It really does become empowering to make those decisions for yourself even when ‘the crowd’ is doing the opposite. Not only is alcohol not FOR me, I don’t want or need it in the life I am creating for myself. And that is where I wanted to be. And yes, it took me awhile to get HERE:)

  • I love your analogy of “it must be baby time 😂” – I find that very interesting as someone who never went through that ; but did have 4 of my own 😳🥴
    And yes I totally agree with the sentiment of making decisions which are best for me (Whatever others might think)… although sometimes that’s easier said than done 🙂

  • “Me, I’m driving my car. I’m on ‘manual’ not ‘automatic’. I get to choose where my car/life goes. Me. It’s me choosing. that means that I make decisions that are different from other people’s … ”

    I love every word of this.

  • For me it was eerily similar, but more along the lines of “If i can think it, i should do it.” Dangerous philosophy that got me in more trouble than i’m worth.

  • I love this and I’d like to LIKE all the comments. (I could add more but I don’t like trying to type on my iPad and I’m having a mini computer hiatus.

    Also, I agree: all this and more makes you a glittery star indeed.

  • Alcohol turns me into a person I don’t want to be. Smelling it turns on my Wolfie Voice; why do I want that ?~! I don’t so I stay away from places where the smell can be detected. I choose what’s best for me; others for themselves. Judging others’ choices is not my department; taking care of Lynda is my job.

    Thank you for your blatant honesty and candidness.

  • Great post! It seems better to make life simpler. I ve stopped drinking again. Day number 7 for me, yay. I hope you are doing well. Jenna –

    • how super, day 7! i think day 9 was my “I can never get there” day… if we told you it gets easier, would you believe us? day 7 is time for a reward! flowers, bath gel, nail polish, new oven mitts …

    • is it odd to eliminate things that we know aren’t good for us? if every time i ate strawberries i broke out in hives, i wouldn’t continue to eat them. And every time i have cable tv, i end up watching HOURS of complete asinine junk (clean sweep, dieting shows, midget shows, wedding shows, i have 17 children shows, etc.).

  • Makes total sense to me, too! Though, it’s much easier for me to say, “Jager is not for me” and “Beer is not for me” than “Red wine is not for me.” And, the more I linger on things (work things, bank things, man things, baby things), the more I want red wine to be for me. I’m not sure. Right now, though, I have work to distract me, and that’ll pull me through to the next node, at which point I’ll have to revisit the ?. You are my sober-sphere superstar. With glitter!

    • i wonder, though, how long you have to say “red wine isn’t for me” before your brain starts to believe it. if even through straight repetition it gets easier. sort of like counting days. today i’ll say “red wine isn’t for me cuz i like who i am now” and then when i get to the next node i’ll revisit. works for me! i swear, that’s exactly what i’m doing, going node to node, but so far it actually fucking works! (and nothing had worked before this!) with love and glitter, hugs from me.

      • Yes. I don’t know how long it’s going to take me; I’ve been having major pangs recently (to escape, have fun; whining in my head about it)…but, I’ve *almost* committed to 6 months (sigh; yes, my brain still thinks red wine is for me), and that helps. It really does. So, glitter and hugs all around, and really, isn’t that all we need? Oh, wait: glitter, hugs, unicorns, and pom poms, THAT’S all we need. (add unicorns holding pom poms and I think I can commit to a year)