Cheers to Not Drinking for a Month



I thought I would be writing a grand summary of life with no booze. But I don't have that much to give right now. I did not drink for 31 days. And it was interesting - in the way that life is always interesting. It was a little bit different but not so much. And that is okay. No huge realizations, no big philosophy.

People ask me how it feels. If I feel different. Physically and mentally. Not that much to be honest. I stayed inside more - I went out less. Is that because of wine? I think it is because it is fall now and it is cold and I want to cocoon. I think it is because we are growing up a little and less friends even do things during the week. I might have stayed in just as much anyway. Maybe I cried more, was confused more. Is that because of wine? I don't think so. I think it is because a lot is going on now, and it is good but also complicated. These are weird weeks, with things going in a lot of directions, and even more things that are out of my hands. I would have cried just the same.

I think I use wine for comfort sometimes. I use it as a tool. A coping mechanism if you wish. It is easy to be hard on yourself about these things. About "self-medicating". I am learning to be okay with it, as long as I still feel the feelings and go through it instead of ignoring it. With or without wine - I cope anyway. Was it different now? No, I just sought comfort elsewhere: in bath tubs, in his arms, in muesli and tv-shows. Healing has many faces, and a glass of wine here and there can be one of them. So I will  wind down at the end of the day with a glass of wine from time to time. Cause that is how I come home sometimes. How I give my grip a signal that it can loosen up a little.

A little is okay. Being extreme is easy, it's the balance that is hard. This month has been great in the sense that it helped me see my patterns. When do I crave it and when do I not? When do I really miss it? When do I even forget how much I like it? One thing I know for sure - that I had to learn the hard way, is that extreme doesn't do it for me. It is dangerous, and has me going too far too soon. It also makes the world a lot smaller and I like room to play. But freedom on the other hand, can also complicate things. Extreme is clear; it is all or nothing, it is a ready-made answer. It is the freedom that asks you to be responsible, that wants you to check in, to stay present in order to deal with life. It is freedom that wants you to redefine what feels good as you go along, that demands you to stay awake. Being extreme is easy, cutting out wine forever would be easy. But the balance of allowing and being able to choose is more interesting. And that to me, is worth more than gold.

Wine is not that special. It is not liquid gold. It does not make it life easier or harder (for me, right now). It does not fix anything, but it also doesn't mess me up. It is neutral. It does not make me nearly as happy as the puppy that my sister brought home yesterday. It's just wine - and that is all I wanted this month to be about. That I can come through for myself and show up.

Wine is not that special, but damn, it tastes good. That was my first thought when sipping that first glass of wine yesterday while having lunch with the best of friends . And yes the wine was good, but here is what was better:  seeing her and having the time to talk for hours, having even more time to watch a documentary on surfing dolphins and fish that can change their gender while taking a nap in bed.