It’s scary to come to realise you've become reliant on something. It's often the way that once you realise or at least begin to wonder if you're dependent, that it's almost a bit late. I don't mean that in a doom and gloom way, just in a it's hard to unpick and sort yourself out sort of way.
Any form of dependency is hard to overcome but it can be even harder when your reliance is a socially acceptable one like drinking wine. Then, rather than just overcoming something you feel like you're swimming upstream against the tide. It can make you feel you're wrong for wanting to try to change. It can make you feel different and undermine your resolve and self confidence.
I see a lot of jokes online about drinking. I get it, it can be a funny subject, but sometimes for a lot of us, it can also be a little bit too close for comfort. It can feel like we're being laughed at, or worse that we're wrong for being the way we are. It can make us feel we’re maybe over-reacting about our problems. Worst of all, it can perhaps make us feel we're missing out by not drinking.
God knows, I didn't need or want any help in having a reason to drink, but it's almost impossible to miss those triggers when they're everywhere we look. Please don’t think I’m saying people that drink should temper their behaviour for me, because I’m not. However, I do feel something needs to change. I don't like the fact that drinking is advertised as a prime way to relax or to enjoy yourself. It makes it harder for people like me with no off switch to feel like we're part of things. I don't like the whole ‘Mum’ culture of wine either. Again, I know a lot of people, mothers included, enjoy a drink in the evening, but it shouldn't be pushed as a way to soothe the troubles of the day. Otherwise, before long we're drinking more than is good for us, too often and perhaps are beginning to lose touch with our thoughts and emotions and that’s a slippery slope. I know, because I speak from experience.
Once wine, or any other form of alcohol has infiltrated your life and planted it's feet firmly under the table it can be hard to learn to live without it, to cope without it. We begin to rely on the glass of something to help us take the edge off. That's where the trouble really begins. It doesn't happen overnight, it’s slower and cleverer than that. It creeps up on you, one sip at a time so you don't see it coming. Until of course one day you do, and when you do, you have much harder work to find your way back to that peaceful state of equilibrium. But you can. You can learn to live alcohol free without the reliance or something external to keep you calm. I know because I did. Not on the first go or the second and it was hard, don’t get me wrong, but now I can safely say I'm not missing out. I have a clear mind and I know tomorrow I'll remember the things I've said. I won't have to check my phone in a panic to see if I've posted anything that might be embarrassing. I won't wake up with a hangover either. I won't need to make an excuse to go to the shops to buy more wine even though what I had already bought should have lasted me days.
There are so many positives that it can be hard to remember them all at once, I suppose for me the biggest thing is that once I looked on a life without wine as dull and boring. Instead now I see it for what it really is. Freedom.
Take care and thank you as always for reading.