We were four months into the pandemic, I was completely exhausted and there was no end in sight to life returning to normal any time soon. My patience level was low as my plate stacked higher and higher each day. Work, motherhood, my marriage, my relationship with myself, and let’s not forget, maintaining our household and working as a short-order chef for our family of four day in and day out…something HAD to give. And that something was alcohol.
I had been sober curious but never gave up alcohol all together until I snapped at my toddler while slightly hungover from a glass of wine, I decided then and there that I would quit drinking cold turkey. I should note that I wasn’t heavily drinking, but my drinking was consistent; I’d have a glass of wine with my favorite pasta, a cocktail to take the edge off a long pandemic day, a cold beer on our summer evening walks, etc.
I stuck with it for four months, never once slipping. To be honest, it was very hard at first. The alcohol cravings were real, especially at the end of a long pandemic day. But overtime they subsided, and truthfully, I stopped craving and/or thinking about it. By week three, I felt a renewed sense of energy. I woke up ready to go, not sluggish or hoping to close my eyes for a few more minutes. I was drastically less irritable, my mind less foggy and my capacity for everything, including a world crisis, just seemed to expand. I could feel the impact in spades.
I broke it as I was closing in on month five simply because I wanted a beer with sushi. It wasn’t premeditated and it wasn’t because I hit some goal, I simply wanted the pairing. And now, I have a drink here or there – on special occasions like champagne on New Year’s Eve or a social distanced setting or if I really want a glass of wine – but it’s rare. I’m more addicted to feeling good than I am interested in a drink. And let me tell you, when I’m not drinking, I feel SO good! I’ve realized that it’s simply not worth being anything less than the best possible version of myself every day – especially right now.
As for the future, I look forward to the day when there’s room for casual drinking again but until then, this is working for me. Sparkling water with lime, please!