15 minute posts,  Life Lessons,  Moody Blues,  spilling my guts

Coping Mechanisms

As if life during quarantine wasn’t hard enough, I’ve decided to quit drinking. I hate to talk about such things because it usually sets me up for failure and then I feel like an ass mixing up a beautiful Brendarita on a happy festive afternoon. I’ve never thought I seriously had a drinking problem but I do have a problem *thinking about drinking* so I’ve come to the conclusion that for me, that is enough of a problem. I’m tired of feeling bad about it. Sober Brenda hates Drunk Brenda and Drunk Brenda hates Sober Brenda.  I know it’s controversial and lots of people drink without any problems. I drink without any problems too, except the self-hate the next morning. I don’t even get hangovers. I get guilt-overs.

I don’t know if I’ll be successful. I’ve tried lots of times before and never really lasted more than a few days. But it is what I want to do right now. I figure I don’t have much to lose blogging about it. You’ll still love me if I fail. And if I fail it doesn’t mean I’m a falling down drunk. I just want to practice self control and stop feeling bad in the mornings. It’s all part of the mental health journey, I guess.

Moving on to the worries: Will I be un-fun now? What will I do to pass the time when we are relaxing watching a show on tv at night? That is what Payam and I do. We sip and watch tv and talk. It’s one of our favorite things. So now I’ll sit and watch and drink tea and probably be way too high maintenance with my hamster brain worrying problem. I expect it to be hard. I’ve subscribed to some online programs. I think they will help me through the hard parts. What about camping without wine next week? That’s going to be a drag. Will I steep tea on the campfire? Just go to bed early all the time?


  • Brook

    Long time lurker here – I quit drinking about 2 months ago and it has been such a good thing for my mental health. It sounds like we have similar issues of thinking about drinking. Anytime I’ve tried to cut back or quit, all I think about is drinking. I read parts of the book “quit like a woman” and while a lot of it didn’t resonate with me – the author’s equation of drinking to smoking struck a chord. I dont smoke because of the negative health benefits and there are quite a few negative health benefits to drinking. For me, a light bulb went off. I dont obsess about not smoking (to be fair, I have never been a social smoker and I’ve been a social drinker for about 20 years now) I just don’t do it. Now, for now, I dont obsess about drinking, I just don’t do it. Not sure how long I will not drink but thinking of going 3 months (until my 40th bday in August). Hope this helps! Whatever you decide, I hope it feels right for you.

    • SAJ

      Thank you. Truly. I’m seeing there are more and more non-alcoholics who are choosing not to drink for various mental health reasons. I think this feels right for me right now. :) I know it’s going to be hard though.

  • Elaine C. B.

    Good luck! As you say, we will still love you if you fail. And then you can try again. I predict you will start going down the rabbit hole of mocktails! If you like bubblies, I recommend Tost. It’s tea and juice and we always have it as an option at parties and especially Thanksgiving . https://food52.com/shop/products/4997-tost-non-alcoholic-sparkling-beverage-6-or-12-pack?sku=13950&gclid=CjwKCAjwjLD4BRAiEiwAg5NBFnwptNQBbuZQMV9VYJjofe06wg7A2by6drE7lo8RJBulEr_5EOCr9RoCJhgQAvD_BwE

  • Jenny

    I so completely feel your pain. I quit drinking 60 days ago after deciding that my quarantine wine consumption was getting out of control (and that my drinking had been over the top for a long time, though, like you, I was never a falling-down drunk or anything).

    The first few weeks were hard, because it’s hard to break a habit, and sipping wine while reading at night was my happy habit, my “me” time. All I can say is that I took it one day at a time and tried to be kind to myself. I also allowed myself special desserts, and that helped some.

    I still worry that going to restaurants won’t be fun, or going on vacation or celebrating holidays. But it has been great not waking up in the morning and immediately hating myself. And exercising self-control in this one area gives me hope that I can extend that control to other areas (i.e., eating) in the future.

    Sorry for the super-long comment! I just really feel for you and wish you all the best. You can do it, and you are awesome!

  • Gingermog

    Wishing you well with your goal to drink less. I didn’t comment earlier as I didn’t want to come over as smug. The only reason I don’t drink much these days is that I live with a practically tee tottaler. None of Matt’s family drink much. A bottle of prosecco or sparkling cider gets opened at a family gathering or a special occasion and there’s a little glass for the adults who wish. Normally if there’s another glassful left in the bottle, I’m the one to finish it else it would go flat.

    I can well imagine how nice it would be to to finish the evening with a few glasses of wine, prosecco, gin and tonic etc to wind down and relax, but its very rare around here. I have full respect for people who realise they need to curb their drinking and reign it in, as its such a pleasurable, easy social past time. Best of luck, I’m routing for you. xxx

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