for deeply personal reasons, i have decided to make a pact with myself to be dry for one month. i’m giving up drinking. there’s a good chance that i’ll extend that deadline, but only time will tell.
i’m putting it in writing for the world to see because i want this to be and feel real, and not just every other promise i make to myself that i don’t keep. this is real, this is happening. and i’m already anxious about it.
as it stands, i haven’t had a drink in a week, and i haven’t really felt like one, though i can’t say that’s how i was feeling the week before that and the one before that again. you’ve seen the blog posts and funny little comics about moms and their drinking, escaping into the bathroom or for a rare girls night, other moms huddling around the bottle like it’s feeding us or providing warmth on a frigid cold night. what else do we have that we literally cannot share with our kids, lest they be stripped away from us for negligence?
please, this is not me justifying a glass or three of wine, and it’s not me justifying not having a glass or three of wine. it’s a very personal step in a private war, but also my chance to take my solidarity public – there are people in this world who struggle day in and day out with a physical need, an emotional addiction to alcohol, and our society is willing and obliging. if your facebook feed isn’t full of pro-alcohol content you’re a dirty rotten liar and we cannot be friends.
that is an exaggeration, we can be friends but if you’re social media looks anything like mine (which i assume it does because we all carefully curate our social media following, right?) you’ll now be struck by just how much importance is placed on booze and it’s usefulness in getting through [insert innocuous function here].
maybe it’s a horrifying marketing tactic to keep shoving alcohol in our faces, but not everyone is capable of metabolizing the messaging in a healthy way. i can see that and think, that looks tasty, and move on. much in the same way i can walk past the doughnut counter at the grocery store and, though my eyes may linger over those succulent treats, i can walk away, knowing that i may regret not having a doughnut for dessert but i’ll be happier in the long run when my pants still fit the next day. there are people, a lot of people, so many people, that see that content and think, fuck, i need a drink and i need one now. and how many of those can i have before i black out. and how else can i hide my alcoholism from my friends and family so they won’t make me give up this one thing i think i have complete control over?
this post on this blog may be shocking, and it is in no way an admission of a problem relationship with alcohol. it is my attempt to show i stand behind those folks i mentioned above, and on the side of life. we only have one – life, hard as that may be to comprehend. we have one chance, for all we know. and we must make the decision and take those steps now, today, and not next week, or next month, or next year, to make this life worth living.
new year’s eve is just around the corner. i should probably wait and make this a resolution, right? jump on the dry-january bangdwagon? no, this can’t wait. no more excuses. i’ve got to do it now.
i can’t say it’s not going to be a challenge, this is going to be hard as f*ck. i’m a living stress ball and i use wine to unwine-d (sorry), but we’re also visiting family and friends over the holidays and the drinks will be a plenty. my birthday is following shortly after, and that’s an event that – baring the one where i was pregnant – i normally spend with at least a bottle of wine on hand.
the longer i put it off, the less likely it’s going to happen, and it needs to happen, because it will send a message. to me, to everyone else. take charge, take control of your life and your destiny. i’ve watched too many people throw it all away in the name of a disease that breeds selfishness, resentment and contempt. it has to be now. it has to be now, or it’s never.
i have to take this step towards change to prove to myself that i can do it, but also to prove that it can be done. if you’re struggling with your own addiction, or with the addiction of a loved one, please reach out. i stand in solidarity with addicts, but i stand with their families and friends, the ones who lose sleep and hair and weight, worrying about people they can only watch slowly destroy themselves. i’m here for you, and when you talk about it, you’ll feel better.
quit with me. let’s do this together.