I never really intended to be the ‘sober one’.
I never ever thought that I would choose to go alcohol free, just as an experiment. As an opportunity to observe myself without it.
I started drinking when I was 15 years old.
Back then, there was this service called “Ring a Drink”. You’d call up, order what you wanted and they would turn up at your door and magically, you would be with booze. Like pizza delivery only alcohol.
Needless to say, that service didn’t last long. Not surprising if they dropped off alcohol to me and my friend at 15 years old! And in case you are curious, it was Midori. And I still shiver up and down my spine when I think of drinking that green juice.
We were at my neighbours house. She had gone to her boyfriends house and said that we could ‘hang’ there for the night. We did more than hang. I can still remember opening the door to the young ‘Midori Man’, making the cash exchange, and closing the door in utter excitement and disbelief we had the juice.
So, like all responsible 15 year olds, we drank the Midori with lemonade. We drank until, we couldn’t drink any more and the green juice induced reverse peristalsis.
That juice. Oh that juice. My face was as green as the drink itself.
And if we hadn’t learnt our lesson then, you would think the drive up mount Tamborine the next day would have solved all our drinking issues…oh, those winding roads. I think I have post traumatic stress because I feel like I want to spew right now!
Breathe in breathe out and focus on something else.
That was where it began.
My relationship started there, on that ‘hang out’ night.
When I reflect, alcohol has been such an awesome friend. An intimate partner even.
My beautiful friend Alc has supported me when I was feeling anxious. A few deep kisses and I felt calm, and relaxed and chilled. Happy even.
I would sometimes dream longingly of it’s figure and of it’s cold refreshing embrace on a hot and steamy day. So sexy.
Alc would be with me to ‘take the edge off’ at the end of the day, particularly when I was stressed or overwhelmed or tired. I would seek out Alc to allow me to relax. To chill. Ta calm. Never talking back. Never arguing with me. Never rejecting me. Always there to help me feel better. Always.
Alc made it easy for me to fit in, to loosen up, to connect with others.
But there have been plenty of times when I have wanted to break up with Alc. Plenty. The times when I just couldn’t say no to the charm and body numbing sensation that Alc offered.
The mornings when I said, “I am done with you. You and me are not a good match. Look what happens to me. We have to break up”.
And we would, for a while. Until next I was feeling…well, until next I was feeling. Feeling uncomfortable maybe, or anxious, or excited, or lonely, or frustrated.
Alc became the friend that had ‘helped’ me though the worst of times and the best of times.
And yet, somewhere in me, I knew that there was nothing helpful about our relationship.
A few months ago, after a few years of really poor health and other unpredicted stuff, I embarked on Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy You 21 Day Anti-Inflamatory Way. No wheat. No meat. No animal products. No coffee. No alcohol. And I know, some of you would say, NO FUN.
But when CSY came along, I started to have ‘different’ feelings toward my relationship with Alc. Here is the letter I wrote to my new friend CSY, when I was well acquainted….
R E F L E C T I O N : DEAR CRAZY SEXY YOU…
Since you came along, things are changing.
It seems that you are providing me the opportunity to explore a few of my relationships. I am thinking of breaking up with someone to be with you. I know. That might be a bit forward. I hope you don’t think I am moving too fast. But since you came along I am re-examining a few of my relationships.
Relationships with food. Relationships with perfection. Relationships with friends. But mostly, since you came along, I turned my back on alcohol.
I haven’t missed him since you came into my life. I have noticed though, I have been a bit of a user over the years. Using alcohol to prop me up at social events. To take the edge off at the end of the day. To just switch off ‘serious’ me and switch on ‘light and hilarious’ me.
Before you came along, I tried a few times having a ‘break’ from my relationship with alcohol. I guess, really knowing deep down that my relationship wasn’t really healthy…but just not willing to admit it.
Conveniently, each time though, I have had an ‘excuse’ to be on a break. And it seemed that alcohol didn’t miss me too much. Alcohol was still getting a lot of attention in other places.
The times I tried to break up with alcohol, I had good excuses.
“Jen, you and alcohol on a ‘break’ are you? When I wouldn’t be drinking as usual.
“Oh I’m just detoxing” I would say.
“Oh I am pregnant”…well, I wouldn’t say that so much as people would just know…right 😉
“Um, no, thanks I am breast feeding”.
But I have never decided break up with alcohol, like for a long time just because I don’t think I have a healthy relationship with it.
And as my husband and I discussed it this week, we both noticed that perhaps our relationship with alcohol was a little on the dysfunctional side.
Just the focus on it. What we would drink on the weekends. What wine to have a dinner. What time is appropriate to have a drink. And at every gathering we would be drinking. EVERY time.
I would have never have said that I had a dysfunctional relationship with alcohol until you came along. Until you asked me to have a good look at how I treat myself. How I nourish myself. How I nurture myself. How I move. How I eat. How I talk to myself.
You asked me to see if I could love myself and fill my vessel with life sustaining stuff. You reminded me that my body is a temple, and what I bring in to it matters.
So, this is a letter to say thank you. Thank you for reminding me how to love myself and how important I am and what I put in my body is really vital. And I have been reminded, that if it isn’t nourishing, I am not nourishing or nourished.
I have decided to let alcohol go for the rest of the year. “It’s not you, it’s me”.
The rest of the year gives me lots of social events, usual Christmas stresses. I want to see who I am without it. Through all that time.
I know when I tell alcohol we are breaking up, it might get messy…but I am ready. And maybe we might re-comit, but if we do, it’s on different terms. I think I will write a letter though. Not sure I can look alcohol in the face just yet…..
Thank you crazy sexy you. I love you.
ANYWAY, it has been 7 weeks since I have had a drink. And honestly, I don’t think alcohol has missed me at all. Seems Alc has simply moved on. I saw the intimacy recently with others. SO, I’m not feeling so bad.
The plan is to hook through to 2018 without at drink.
And I am not doing it so that on the first of January I can binge my bazookas off. I am doing it to really understand my relationship with Alc. And really see what it is like to have broken up for an extended time. To see if I can thrive. Just to see.
To see if I can get through the ‘silly’ season. A season I have never embarked on without the support of Alc. Not since I was very, very young! That is SILLY y’all. SO silly.
That is where I am. Dancing at parties without you by my side Alc. Making real connections, not numbed out and lubricated connections. And honestly, I have never felt more free!
I still love that others can have a healthy relationship with Alc. I really do. I am not on my high horse and judging those who love to drink. Their life. Their body. Their way.
Me…well, I am still exploring if we can even be friends…..