Monday, July 25, 2011

Sober Living


I'm 20 days into my life as a non-drinker*. It's been weird.

One of the reasons I embarked on this experiment is to see if it was possible. Can I go several days without drinking? Then, when I'm at an event where the booze is flowing freely, can I control myself? Happily, the answers to both questions are yes and yes. I'm relieved. I have an addictive personality with shades of alcoholism embedded. I knew that jonesing for a glass of wine "just to take the edge off" would be a possibility.

I have this innate ability to rationalize anything to make it seem positive. I worked out on Saturday so I can have some chicken wings. I crushed it at work today so I deserve a glass of wine. L.E. said another new word today so that deserves a beer or two. The only problem is I can't just quit after one glass of wine. I always want another and another. Next thing you know, the cork on the second bottle is broken,  I'm drunk-texting my friends from high school and starting fights with my husband. I somehow lose control of the situation and I want that to stop.

I'm someone's mom now. And when that someone began mimicking how I put my makeup on in front of the mirror, I became fully aware of the fact that like it or not I'm her role model. What kind of effective role model can I be if I'm living my life in this half-drunk fog lots of the time? I don't ever want her to go through all the things the children of alcoholics go following her mom home from a bar because she refuses to hand over the keys or even worse, bailing her mom out of jail for drunk-driving. I'm fortunate that I didn't have to do this for my mom but I've seen what others go through and it's just not good for anyone. L.E. deserves the very best of me and I can't give that to her if I'm drinking a lot.

I get funny looks from my friends when I tell them I quit drinking. It's pretty much the same look they gave me when I told them I was pregnant with L.E. It's like I told them Hell had frozen over and pigs are flying. It's like I told them I got up at 6 am to go work out. But when I explain it to them more thoroughly, they've been nothing short of understanding and supportive. I'm not out to preach to them or convert them to the sober life. I haven't even challenged T to give up his daily beer although I've noticed he's been cutting back on his own. Most people who know me know about my battle with depression or else they've read this blog. They also know I'm not pushy or preachy in the least. My motto in general is do what works for you, whether it be parenting, Photoshopping or closet-organizing.

Anti-depressants didn't work for me. Gee, ya think it's because I kept drinking? It's not like alcohol is a depressant or anything.

I was afraid I wouldn't be as funny when I'm sober. I think I'm still pretty funny. But I guess I have to let others be the judge of that.

So where does this leave me? I feel really good. Like happy-good. I don't have the crippling black cloud that I usually carry with me. Mildred has barely reared her ugly head.  I'm not sad just for the sake of being sad. I'm sleeping better. I wish I could say there are other reasons besides not drinking but really, I'm just living my life the way I normally do. Things are pretty much the same. It's weird. I actually feel...OK.

Oh. And I'm going to work out at 6 am tomorrow. For reals.


Full disclosure: I did have drinks (beer only) on the following days/events: 
1. GourMelt/Buckbean grilled cheese and beer pairing dinner (It was inevitable)
2. American Century Golf celebrity golf tournament (I had a beer because it was free)
3. Company dinner (Two beers at a Basque restaurant but I successfully avoided the wine on the tables and their famous Picon Punch)
4. Camping (One beer and one spritzer)

**I couldn't find a source for this cartoon. I hope the creators are ok with me using it.


  1. Congratulations on 20 days! I'm so glad you are in a better place. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help out. Seriously.

  2. You have made the right decision. But there are still lots of individuals who cannot cope up the way that you did. They need to go to a sober living environment where they will receive support and attention as they recover. Thanks for this inspiring post.