I never could’ve imagined that sentence having the impact that it has. But here we are. Almost three years ago, I announced on New Year’s Eve that I was going to give up drinking alcohol as my resolution. Anyone close to me knows that not only do I never keep my resolutions, I had also vowed to give up alcohol every Sunday morning for the past ten years!
Bad day at work? Let’s grab a few beers. Great day at work? How about a few more! Survived another year of parenting? Let’s have a bar crawl. No joke, alcohol seemed to be my go-to whenever anything of any sort of importance happened.
So what made this time different? I came to the realization that I did indeed have a problem. Not only was I unable to just have one, but I was also a complete monster when under the influence. Any issue I had with my husband was suddenly the size of Texas, and my ability to function for the following three days was embarrassingly low. My once minor headache problem had evolved into daily migraines, and I just didn’t like the person I was when I consumed alcohol.
There are nights in my past that caused me immense regret due to alcohol consumption, and I am no longer willing to (potentially) repeat any of them.
I never want another risk of an OWI, and I’ll never be violently ill from mixing beer with liquor. The beer belly I once joked about is now 100% made of food and baby weight. My big kids hardly remember their mom ever drinking, and the baby will never see it happen.
I regularly avoid Mom’s Night Out events because I see the uncomfortable look people give when I turn down a drink. More often than not, I’ve been questioned if I’m pregnant or the designated driver for the night. When I tell them I just do not drink anymore, it’s awkward, and then the conversation typically ends. I can assure you, this was never a stunt to make anyone else feel uncomfortable. And seriously, if this girl did drink, it would most likely be a lot more uncomfortable than my rejection of your offered cocktail!
What I think people do not understand is that those of us who are sober are not judging those of you who drink.
I didn’t quit to make you feel inferior and I certainly cannot cast stones, as I was in your shoes less than three years ago. Trust me when I say, alcohol took me to rock bottom. The lowest lows of my life occurred when I was drinking. You reach a point in your life when you’re content with being in the dirt or you decide to start eliminating the things holding you down.
So, as we head into another hectic holiday season and fellow mamas begin a nightly ritual of winding down with a glass of wine, I will hold up my flavored water as a toast and pray for an ounce of sanity no longer found in the top, middle, or bottom of the bottle.
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