for today, this is easier

last night I had flashes of “I’d like a drink to take the edge off” or i was remembering how i routinely would say to my husband: “when you’re out, can you pick up some wine?” I wasn’t really craving last night, it was more like a habit, an automatic response.

maybe it’s the time of day, 7:30 pm, we hadn’t eaten dinner yet.  and I imagined an evening WITH wine through rose-colored glasses. Candles, dinner with my husband, we laugh at the table, a few glasses of wine.

And yet, here’s what really would have happened: we’d eat in the office in front of the computer, watching “X-Country Has Talent,” and i’d have 3 glasses of wine + a shot of grande marnier.  Then, inevitably, I’d get really sensitive and nothing husband would say would be right, and we’d go to bed (late) on opposite sides of the king sized bed. I’d toss and turn all night, hot, nauseous, wake too early, drag myself out of bed to work. all day i’d feel like I was pushing a truck uphill, and it’s threatening to roll back down on me.

now when I write it out like that, i have to tell you that the night with wine still seems like a pretty good trade off. and it would be, if it was now and then.  but 7 out of 7 nights a week? not so much.

i’ve tried restricting my alcohol intake before, doing something more ‘moderate.’

and how do I feel when I alternate days… drink one, rest one?

Truthfully, I feel completely irritated the entire day off, and then I usually just give up at about 8 pm and go and get some wine.  then we finish that bottle and whatever else we can scrounge up.  then i plan to quit drinking for 30 days (again), but there’s some event coming up (no matter how big or small) and I have to wait till that event is over until I can go dry again.  So then another three weeks might pass, or 8 or 10 weeks.  with wine 7 nights out of 7, 3-4 glasses a night every night.

so now today is Day 11 for me, and i have to say that this is EASIER. who wants all that angst, all that thinking, all that managing, all that trying-to-control shit.

this way, i only have to have one thought:  I’m not drinking today.  that’s all i have to do today.  I don’t have to manage the liquor supply, i don’t have to get bitchy with my husband, i don’t have to feel tired all day.  I don’t have to drink the special cooking wine that i needed for a special cake and then run around frantically, standing in line at the specialty wine store, trying to replace it.

for today, this is easier.  i’m tired of thinking about drinking.  and so today, i’m going to think about decluttering my office instead 🙂

I hate drunkenness

I’ve stopped drinking a few times, for a few days at a time.  I often have to take clients out to eat as part of my job, and i can go for dinner, be a good entertainer, and not drink at all. For a few days.

The longest i’ve ever stopped before was 9 days, a few months ago. I remember I thought I’d try 30-days alcohol free, and I made it 9 days. then i drank for several days, then i took another 6 days off. But that’s it.

I read yesterday that the more times you try to quit, the closer you may be to really giving it up. Maybe we need to practice quitting …

Other than these two recent and brief attempts at more than a week sober, i’ve been drinking daily for about 3 years. Before that, for the previous 15 years, it was 6 out of 7 nights per week (i used to take one night off a week; recently, not so much).

I never set out to get blotto. In fact I hate drunkenness. I always leave parties when the disorderly behavior starts. If someone throws up from drinking too much, I’m thoroughly disgusted. I’d never do that, I say to myself. I’d never let THAT happen to ME.

On the other hand, I am beyond tipsy most evenings, whether we’re home playing cards or out in restaurants with clients. My version of tipsy is enough to feel fuzzy, but not so much that i fall over.

And lots of nights at 4 am, when i wake for no reason, hot and irritated … and lots of mornings when i wake dehydrated and miserable, i say “ok, this is enough.”

What was the turning point this time? We were on vacation last month, and I was overdoing it. I was actually looking forward to coming home so that I could stop drinking so much. And so often.

As usual, I was cruising the ‘sober’ literature online.  I read something about Dry July, and figured “I can do that. I can take a whole month off. How hard can it be? Harder than running a marathon?”

I’m 9 days into July, and now I realize it’s irritatingly hard. I started this blog on day 7 when I realized that I was about to bail on my 30-day plan (again). I wondered if asking the (online) universe for help would help.

So why is it so irritatingly hard to quit drinking? Why don’t my higher level goals just automatically overrule the noise in my head when faced with this challenge? I mean, I don’t speed on the highway, even if it’s fun and exhilarating and will get me there faster, because my higher level goals can say quite firmly “that’ll get you killed” – and i listen …


miserably giving up drinking

I’ve never been a fall-down drunk. I’ve only been completely hammered twice in my life. I’ve never been sick from drinking. and i was very proud of this. I’ve been a good girl, a high functioning girl. I never drink too much… maybe 3 glasses of wine in an evening, perhaps 4. I never finish a bottle myself. On vacation, i might have beer with lunch, 2 pints. then have a nap. then get up and have dinner and share a bottle of wine with my husband. then have a nightcap (cointreau, grand marnier).

I never wanted to be hammered, i just wanted a buzz, to relax.

the problem is that most normal working days, i wake up feeling like a bag of shit. I go for a run, have a healthy lunch, drink tea all afternoon. Then at 6 pm i start with the wine again. never more than 3 glasses. never more than 4 glasses.  or a beer + 3 + nightcap. Every single night, night after night. On weekends and on vacation i just start earlier in the day.

i never want one glass of wine.  i want three and a shot of cointreau.

i have about 15 pounds to lose, i have some vacation debt to pay down and drinking doesn’t help achieve either.

i am cranky with my husband when i’ve had even one drink. I’m more likely to cry, get into an argument, and go to bed unhappy on evenings that include wine.

and most of all, i hate that i can’t keep a promise to myself to reduce, skip days, and have only one glass.

oh red wine, you call to me. i see you in the store window. i see other people drinking you on the restaurant patios in the sun.

oh red wine. you fucker. as soon as the bottle is opened you start calling to me. “drink me. drink me now. make sure you get more than you give your husband, make sure you top up your glass first before his, make sure you send him out to buy more before the store closes.”