time for a break

I love beer and wine. Love them. I’m an enormous fan of drinking a beer while cooking dinner on a Friday night. I love sitting on our patio in this ridiculous Israel heat with a glass of ice cold white wine. I also love sitting in bed with a glass of red and a good knitting project. All of this is freaking awesome.

The problem? Well, I love doing all of these things in the same night. And it used to just be Friday night, but lately I’ve been doing the whole “but it’s the only Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday/Sunday in the week so why not enjoy it” type thing. Which has led to an expensive and probably not so great for my health type of habit.

I’ve been here before. When A. was in K-town back in 2008/2009, my alcohol consumption skyrocketed to a ridiculous daily level. Drinking is how I manage depression and stress, see, and I had high levels of both during that time. Then, in 2012, I encountered similar stress and depression related to not really fitting in with the whole stay-at-home-mum gig. So I upped my consumption again, often hiding said consumption by drinking alone, before A. came home from work. Good (bad) times.

In both of the previous instances, I coincidentally got pregnant, which put an easy (ok not easy) end to the problem. Drinking while pregnant wasn’t possible what with the vomiting, and the obvious issue of potentially ruining my child’s brain. Mischief managed.

But I have no plans to get pregnant right now (or ever again) so I’m going to have to just…well, just stop. Stop using booze as a way to manage my end of day, the-children-are-driving-me-crazy, want-to-pull-my-hair-out stress. Stop requiring alcohol whenever I’m knitting (I don’t even know how this became a thing, honestly). Just stop. Which sounds like it should be easy….but….well….it’s not. Super really not easy. Quitting smoking was hard. Quitting an addiction to self-destructive behaviour and relationships was harder still. But alcohol? Yikes.

Still, it must be done. I’ve been test driving the idea a bit – for example, I went to a wedding a couple of weeks ago and managed to only have two beverages, which is a super big deal for me. Before that, I went to a party with A. and drank Sprite the whole time. It was unbelievably nerve-wracking, having to socialize without lubricant, but my gods that’s saying something isn’t it? I need to conquer this.

Now, I’m not stopping forever. But I think a two week goal is realistic at present, with the potential for extension. I need to reset my relationship with this particular pleasure. And in my head, I suspect I’ll adopt the same attitude I have with other vices I’ve quit/cut back on. Which is this: every day, wake up and say “Today I’m not going to drink. I might tomorrow, but just for this one day, I’m not going to.” I found this attitude to be most helpful when I quit smoking, for example. It places as little pressure as possible on me, and is a more realistic approach because let’s face it, I might smoke again. Who’s to say? I can tell you that I won’t smoke today though. Which is awesome all by itself.

Right, so here we go. Sober Ezmy will hopefully be just as awesome as Tipsy Ezmy…

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