Me & Wine. An Update.
It’s been 5 months since I changed my relationship status with wine, and shit, has life changed. If you did not catch my original post titled Women, Wine, and What Nobody is Talking About, then I suggest reading it before reading this one. It will give you the backstory on why I decided to explore my relationship with alcohol. The cliff notes version is: I was drinking way more than I was comfortable with. And I was afraid to change. But I did change. And it was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life.
Now, let me preface this with saying I have not stopped drinking completely. I did abstain for a while, as a reset for both my mind and my body. In fact, during that period, I was 85% convinced I might never drink again. And I was fine with that. But as weeks and months went on, and I had enough time away from my sometimes toxic relationship with my beloved wine, I started to look at it – and myself – in a very different light.
Break Up to Make Up
I felt so amazing during my wine-cation, that it took me a good 3 months before I even had the desire to go out to dinner and order a glass of wine. And I will be honest, when I did, I felt a little guilty. I felt scared that I was slipping back into old patterns. It was kind of like calling your ex again, hoping that you could share a romantic meal and reminisce about old times, but you wind up getting into a fight, having bad sex and feeling gross the next day.
The first time I sipped my wine in a restaurant, I hated it. And I was pissed. Why wasn’t I into drinking? My goal was to shift my relationship so that I could go out and enjoy a social drink from time to time, and now it sucked. I wanted to go back to my carefree days of sipping a glass of red with a delicious meal, and enjoying that warm buzz that allowed me to forget the stresses of the day. It wasn’t happening.
I went out again, and this time ordered a glass of champagne. Same deal. Not into it.
Rather than getting myself into a tizzy, I reframed things. Being so aware of the way I felt around alcohol is a blessing I don’t think many have. Sadly, many people drink with reckless abandon, never even taking the time to explore why. I was still in the process. I wasn’t going to pressure myself to enjoy something that I wasn’t ready to enjoy yet.
Finding My Stride
About a month later, I saw my friend and client Andrea Crowder post a photo of her new wine glasses on Facebook. They were absolutely stunning, so I ran to Crate & Barrel that afternoon and picked up a set. I grabbed a bottle of my favorite Pinot Noir, on the way home, lit my candles, and gave it another try. This time, I can honestly say I enjoyed one glass of wine – like truly enjoyed it. I think that was the moment I realized things had really changed for me. The act of indulging in that beautiful glass of wine felt more like art to me than a quick fix to get buzzed and forget the day. I savored each sip and I admired my new glass.
Since then, I’ve been enjoying a few glasses of wine each weekend. I have it when I feel like having it, because I want to truly enjoy the taste of it, with a meal or over a great conversation. I don’t salivate at 4 PM on a Friday like I used to, anxiously waiting to crack open the bottle. There are some weekends I don’t drink at all. I’ve definitely overindulged a night or two since then. But the thing of it is – it’s not a thing anymore. I am no longer waking up with guilt, with a hangover, or with that horrible feeling of not being in control. I have truly mastered my relationship with alcohol and I am forever grateful for that. I have continued to lose weight in a healthy way (I’m down 25 pounds total since November). I continue to become a better athlete. I continue to feel more creative, inspired, energized, and passionate.
This experiment has been not just a game changer for me – but a life saver. I am sure that I am a better woman for it. And I feel extremely lucky that I was able to do this alone.
If you’re looking for some help, or you’re “sober curious,” you should check out my friend Biet’s event in New York City this Thursday called Club Soda. I will be out of town or I’d be there. And I’m hoping she does another one soon.
If there are any negative habits in your life that you feel are stifling you from being your best self, I strongly encourage you explore them, without judgement. I could not have done this if I was angry with myself, or hated myself. I had to do this from a place of love. I had to do this with no expectation. I had to do this because I knew I deserved more. And you do, too.
With love (and an occasional glass of red wine),