So my last blog post, a “Dear John” letter to wine, attracted a bunch of new blog followers and a few questions from those who know me–What happened? Are you okay?
Yes, I’m great now, actually.
I’m writing this to give you all the scoop and it is probably the most honest blog post I’ve ever written.
When something isn’t working in your life, you need to either fix it or get rid of it. The most important thing if you want to live more creatively is knowing when something isn’t working, throwing it out and starting anew.
I did that recently. I got rid of wine.
Well, all alcohol actually, but wine in particular (beer makes me burpy).
However, it was time to face the fact that since I had my gastric bypass surgery and as I get older, wine now hits me like a ton a bricks. The problem is, one or two glasses hits me so hard that bad judgment tells me to have another.
I don’t “need” to drink. I don’t need to buy a bottle on the way home after a bad day at work to comfort me (isn’t that what pasta is for?). I can go days and weeks without it and not think about it at all. I don’t keep alcohol in my house but buy as I go. And truthfully, I’d rather drink a bottle of wine in celebration with a friend than by myself while moping.
However, I did work in an alcohol rehab for five years during high school and college, and I’ve learned a thing or two: you don’t have to be addicted to alcohol to abuse alcohol. More and more studies are finding that the average professional woman “abuses” alcohol by drinking a glass of wine 3 to 4 times a week! (I know I’ve freaked a couple of you out, but keep reading.) More importantly, I found out something new; increased alcohol use is one of the most common “after effects” for gastric bypass surgery patients. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out why—we can’t have most of our comfort foods anymore but alcohol slides down our tiny stomachs pretty easily.
Anyway, in the last few years, I’ve had some less-than-stellar moments post-wine: headaches, hangovers, stupid things said, stupid risks taken—all the things that so many of my friends thought were so normal in college, but I didn’t really like having them happen in my 30s. And now I’m in my 40s. So it was all pretty much becoming a pain in the ass.
Recently, after some wine, things were said and done to someone that was important to me, damaging the relationship irrevocably. I didn’t even realize it was happening as it did but obviously I am left with a lot of regrets. I don’t necessarily believe that people speak the uncensored truth when they’ve had too much to drink (and I bet many men who’ve uttered the words “I love you” after knocking back a few know what I mean). In fact, I think alcohol makes people less of themselves and more likely to spout bullshit under the influence.
But, anyway, wine played a part in hurting a personal relationship, and that’s never a good thing.
That’s when I realized—one glass of wine is warm and relaxing and celebratory, and any more than that for me and no good can come of it. I don’t ever want to be in a situation again that results in a stupid conversation due to one too many glasses. It’s not worth it. Neither is the headache, the weight gain, the health risks and the lethargy that wine produces in me.
So the wine is gone. I’ve been taking my vitamins and eating tons of salad and lean protein and working out and making time to read good books, write some stories. My new “celebratory” drinks are lemon ginger green tea and sugar-free raspberry Italian sodas. Already, I feel great, have more energy, get better and more sleep, and have peace of mind. This is how I want to feel, so breaking this bad habit was a good decision.
I also have regret. And that probably won’t go away, except I can take comfort in the fact that a little bit of wine made me realize things about myself as well as the other person.
So that’s the story. It’s no biggie. Next time we’ll talk about something fun. I know how many of you are waiting on my love letter to Pinterest!
*Please refer to the “footnote” posted to this entry on March 23, 2012 for a change of mind.