Have you ever wondered if you should stop drinking? Ever worried that you are drinking too much…too often?
Here are the 4 ways that I knew that it was time for me to stop drinking. For good.
1: I invented reasons to drink. Every day had a potential holiday or reason to celebrate.
“It’s opening day of baseball! I’ll mix up some margaritas!” (I don’t give a flip about baseball)
“It’s Tuesday! We went to the library!” (Wow. Way to do a thing that everyone else manages to do without drinking)
“We’re going out to dinner tonight! I’ll have a drink (or two) while I’m getting ready!” (Makeup application, whilst drinking isn’t advisable, by the way)
There’s a song by The Postal Service called, “This Place Is A Prison” about addiction. One line that always resonates with me is this:
And i know that it’s not a party if it happens every night
Pretending there’s glamour and candelabra
When you’re drinking by candlelight
2: I wasn’t able to be my best self the day after drinking. I remember my first board meeting, serving on the board of my children’s preschool. I was so honored to be asked to serve as a member, but the night before that first Monday morning meeting, I drank too much and was very hungover the next morning at the meeting. I was so disappointed in myself for letting that happen and for feeling so ill and disgusting. I wanted to be the best mom I could be–and felt that I could make a difference in my kids’ (and other children’s) life, by serving on this board. Too bad I was positively “green around the gills” at that first meeting. This was one of my last bad hangovers. I quit drinking in the weeks following that meeting.
3: My body was screaming at me to stop. The morning after I’d been drinking, I always had intense bladder-infection-like issues. (Possibly TMI) I’d spend half of the morning, sitting on the toilet with a giant jug of ice water in hand, praying to just be able to pee without the horrible burn of a bladder infection. I saw specialist after specialist, who prescribed all manner of drugs and procedures to try and correct my bladder issues. I never told anyone that the problems coincided with my drinking. Clearly, my body did not handle the strain of alcohol on my kidneys or bladder. I haven’t had those issues at all since I stopped drinking.
4: I made up rules and caveats surrounding my drinking. For example: When I awoke in the morning, after an evening of drinking, before I opened my eyes, I’d quiz myself on what jammies I put on before bed. If I could remember which jammies I had put on, then I felt like I must’ve kept my drinking under control the night before. If I couldn’t remember, then I knew a hangover from hell was imminent. I also tried not drinking on certain days of the week. Some weeks I was successful (although, I’d binge to make up for the “lost days” on the other days) but most weeks, I’d come up with an excuse to bend the rules. “Well…we ARE going to eat Italian tonight. How can I NOT have wine with dinner?”
Looking back on it, I was way more entangled in this drinking culture than I sometimes think. I often marvel at how much more headspace I’m afforded now that I don’t carry around all of these rules and constant thoughts about drinking.
If you feel like you might need to quit drinking, know that it’s possible and you’ll never regret it. It was a decision that I made, not only for myself, but for my family as well.