I gave up drinking for Lent. This might not seem like a big deal, but oh, believe me, it is. I mean, I have FIVE kids, three of them still need pull ups, my husband is two weeks from opening night of Annie, and I VOLUNTARILY PUT DOWN THE WINE. There are some of you who are still thinking, “Yeah, so what?”
This post is for the others.
Full disclosure: I actually did have one drink Saturday night, that’s why it took me eight days to get seven days sober. More on that later.
Some thoughts so far
- Oh.My.God. I haven’t touched a glass of wine in eight days. That’s a fifteen year record. Let that sink in. Remember, I have an eleven year old. So, basically, I’ve done less drinking this week than I ever have through any of my pregnancies. I got that one out of the way first because it’s the most shameful. But I don’t believe in shame. Also, all of my kids are fine. Better than fine. So it’s easy for me to admit. But it still says something, right?
- I’ve never stopped drinking before because I was scared I wouldn’t be able to do it. Well, that and why in the name of banana would I want to do that to myself? But mostly, it’s because on that list of How to Tell if You Are or Aren’t… there’s that question about “Have you ever tried unsuccessfully to stop drinking?” If I never tried, I’d never have to answer that question. Hello, work around.
- The first couple days were brutal. Last Monday, I started thinking about wine at like, 9 o’clock in the morning. And I might be pretty bad, but I’ve never started drinking that early. It reminded me of being on a diet in high school when I suddenly had fantasies about putting ice cream on my breakfast cereal. The thing I was trying not to consume, consumed me.
- Once I got through the first three days, it got much easier. I tend to stick with the horse I rode in on. If I start my day with a cup of coffee, I’ll keep the cup filled until the pot is empty. If I start the evening with a glass of wine, the same rule applies. It’s mindless drinking. But I discovered cranberry spritzers (lime seltzer with a shot of cranberry juice and a slice of lime) and Tazo Passion tea. These are healthier horses, and I like them just as well. Ok, almost as well.
- I’ve been using wine as an expedited version of self-care. This is my big revelation. I really had no idea. But now it makes perfect sense. I mean, why spend an hour going for a walk, or taking a bath when you can multi-task and sip a glass a wine while doing those damn dishes? As soon as I put the wine glass down I found myself giving in to Over.It. sooner. I started taking more breaks, which is to say, I started taking breaks. I read three novels over the snow days/weekend (mostly with toddlers in my lap), and all before 11pm, I walked in the park, I sat in the Jacuzzi twice. Unheard of.
- I might be the tiniest bit powerless over free fancy cocktails with lovely names. My one drink Saturday night was a Paper Airplane. God, it was good. But, SHOCKER, one was enough.
So that’s where I am so far. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, I’ll be here sipping spritzers in my bathtub.