I knew my life was off track and that I drank a bit too much, but I didn’t put the two things together.
In the same way that I’m 5’8″ and I have blue eyes, both things were true but not related. And certainly not causal.
I knew my life was off track. My career was stalled. My marriage ended. And the caliber of the guys I dated was declining faster than I could believe.
And I definitely drank. More about that below.
I’ve since learned that there are five qualities of my drinking that should have alerted me to the facts that my drinking was a problem and that my drinking was the reason my life was off track.
Are these true for you? If so, your drinking is more of a problem in your life than you think.
- You drink more than you want when you start drinking.
But not every time. That’s what gets confusing.
Once I started drinking, I simply didn’t have an “off” switch. As soon as I started feeling the buzz, I wanted more. MORE WINE was all I could think about. I’d keep my eye on the waiter who was pouring the wine. I’d know I’d stop at the bar before heading up to my hotel room. And I only bought a limited quantity of booze so I wouldn’t be ABLE to keep going after a certain point.
I have since been taught that normal people NEVER have that craving. Never? Really? Seems highly unlikely.
It’s worth at least asking some of the people you know who don’t drink very much if they ever get that desire for more, more, more.
And it’s worth asking yourself if you do have this experience. At least some of the time.
- You do things when drinking that you would never do sober.
Ugh. Where to start?
Endangering my safety when driving after a few glasses of wine.
Engaging with men who were wildly inappropriate.
Falling down on a dance floor when dancing with a client. (I still cringe over this one.)
Humiliating. Embarrassing. Dangerous.
- Your emotions are all over the place the day after you drink.
Do you have days that are like this?
I wake up feeling like crap. Depressed. Then anxious as I try to reconstruct the night before. Then remorseful and humiliated. Then begging someone to forgive me.
Pretending it was all a big joke. That I’m fine. That I MEANT to be that way.
More anxiety. More remorse.
And of course, I needed to take the edge off of that roller coaster by the time the workday was done.
- When you wake up, your first thought is “Shit! I did it again.”
And not in the cute, Britney Spears pop-song way.
One of my sober friends told me that the first thought she had every day was “Fuck!”
Sets up a certain kind of day, doesn’t it?
- You end up drinking when you promised yourself you wouldn’t.
I always thought it was the 5th glass of wine (or second bottle) that got me in trouble: hungover, anxious, and remorseful.
Because of what I wrote about above (the absence of an off switch and a craving for more), it’s the first drink that got me in trouble.
As my friend Paul says, “It’s not the caboose that kills you.”
How many times have you told yourself you aren’t going to do that again, only to start the cycle all over?
This is what the final straw looked like for me:
I threw myself a super-fancy birthday party that I absolutely could not afford. Friends flew in from all over. So I promised myself I would drink Diet Coke.
Wouldn’t you know it? Someone offered me a drink one too many times (damn them, anyway!), and I ended up not remembering the rest of the evening.
I had experienced the phenomenon of waking up saying “never again.” Only to be drinking by 5 pm the same day. I believed that I had changed my mind.
But this experience landed differently with me.
Probably because it was so important to me to be present with my friends. And because the time between saying “never again” and being drunk was so short.
It was enough for me to be done.
If you’re ready to be done too, I’d love to welcome you inside the Juicy AF Community.
This community of professional, kickass women (no men allowed) is a place where you can shed the façade of having your shit together all of the time… So we can stop drinking together and start living rich, alcohol-free lives we love. Lives full of abundant health, beauty, money, love, and adventure. And ones where we finally feel comfortable and good about ourselves!