How long can you go without taking a sip of alcohol?
Before you answer that question…let’s be clear. NOT A SIP OF ALCOHOL. Not a little tasty taste at the grocery store for wine tasting day. Not even rubbing alcohol on an open wound. I’m serious. How long could you go?
I recently went 7 weeks, and I would like to tell you that it was great. That I felt refreshed, well rested, and energized. I would like to tell you that, but I can’t. Because it fucking sucked. It sucked more than anything has ever sucked before it. It sucked more than getting a bad cut from a hairdresser. It sucked even more than getting your period on the first day of a vacation. And we all know how much that sucks.
It sucked because of my relationship with alcohol. I would like to tell you that I have a stable and healthy one, but maybe I don’t. It’s something I started to examine when I realized how miserable I was without it. When I realized that I was turning down party invitations, because I didn’t want to be at a party without my wine or vodka. Or a combination of the two if it’s a really good party. (or shots….aka, the nectar of the Gods). But was it that I didn’t want to be at a party without booze, or I COULDN’T be at a party without booze? That’s the million dollar question. The answer? Both.
Listen, we all love that person who can go to a party and not have a drop of alcohol. We love that person, because they’re probably the one that’s going to end up driving your sorry ass home at the end of the night. That person is fucking awesome. That person has saved lives.
But I don’t want to be that person.
It’s not an easy thing to go into the psychology of why you like booze. I feel like it’s pretty obvious. Booze makes you feel good. Booze makes you funnier. Booze makes you prettier. Booze makes you say the things you wish you could say sober. Oh and booze also makes you say the things you wish you could say sober…but PROBABLY SHOULD NEVER FUCKING SAY. Oh booze, you are a little shit disturber aren’t you?
I decided to stop drinking because I needed to lose weight. Now just to be clear, I don’t drink during the week. I keep very early hours because of my job in radio, and i learned a long time ago that going into work with a fuzzy head equals shitty radio. So it was an easy decision. I like to crack a bottle of Pinot Noir open on weekends. Usually share a bottle with the husband, sometimes more. If I go out with the girls, definitely more. Things have been known to get messy with the girls, on more than one occasion. Also, when I was in college, I invented binge drinking. But that was college. Oh and maybe every single vacation I’ve ever been on.
So back to the weight loss. if you’re trying to drop a few pounds, you know that Monday can be tough. You start trying to delete the mistakes of the weekend. And that’s what was happening to me. I’ve joked that I’ve been on a diet for 35 years. I’m actually not lying. I dieted Monday to Friday…and then undid that good work with empty wine calories. Those glorious empty calories. It actually became a vicious cycle or gaining and losing the same 2 pounds. And I was just sick of doing it. I was sick of going on vacation and feeling shitty about myself because the dress or the bathing suit I was wearing didn’t fit properly. And then the feeling of self loathing because I squandered an opportunity to take off the weight leading up to it. Also another vicious cycle.
So 7 weeks ago, I said fuck it. Why 7 weeks? Well i had a big gala that I had committed to and i just knew that I wouldn’t be able to get through it without at least one glass. But I knew that I would have to make it through Thanksgiving, which is the true test. Big family dinner, the stress of cooking and a long weekend….it’s the perfect wine storm, no?
Well, I’m here to tell you that I made it. Once I made it through Thanksgiving, I knew I was going to make this booze hiatus my bitch. And I did. One big giant miserable bitch.
And the truth is this. When Mondays rolled around, I may have been just a little more miserable than usual. And I finally realized it was because I wasn’t letting off any steam. I was avoiding social situations because I knew I would only create a swath of misery around me. Who wants to be around sober Sandra? Not even Sandra did. Not a good sign.
So I made it. I hated every second of it. But i did manage to lose 10 lbs. Every single one of them was earned.
So if you have made it to the end of this post, and was hoping that I would impart some kind of great wisdom about my journey, you might be disappointed. If you also question your relationship with alcohol, I don’t have the answers. But I do believe it was Homer Simpson who once said (yes, I’m about to quote Homer Simpson, so gather round) ” To alcohol! The cause of….and solution to….all of life’s problems”.
Now someone get me a round of shots. I’m buying.
(the official end of my 7 week booze hiatus….aka, the greatest moment of my life)