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Women looking meloncholy with a glass of wine

I have been toying with this post for a few weeks. I seem to have had a block when it comes to this topic because I am unsure of how to approach it.

Alcohol consumption is something that has always been a large part of my life. I grew up watching my parents and extended family spend the weekends playing games and hanging out together with their drinks never too far from their grasp. Of course, as I grew up, I associated social drinking to be the main source of fun and as an adolescent I began my own journey with alcohol.

I am now 42 years old and questioning why alcohol is so prevalent in our society when we know that it is poison to our bodies and our minds.

My binge drinking began very young, about the age of 15. I was never considered a popular kid. I struggled with self-esteem issues and wanted to make friends, so when I was offered a chance to hang out with cooler kids and drink on the weekends, I wouldn't dare say no.

All of a sudden I was a different person. I wasn't shy... I was funny, people were laughing at my jokes, I was more daring, my confidence seemed to shoot through the roof and people were responding to me.

Then on Monday at school we would talk and carry on about how silly and fun Friday night was and how sick we were saturday and how long it took us to recover. I was slowly becoming one of the in-crowd, making friends and it was all because of alcohol! Or so I believed.

The same cycle repeated itself at university. I knew what worked for me so all I had to do was find my crowd who liked to party on the weekends.

I do have to say that although my friendships may have began as a mutual fondness for the drink, they did grow beyond this into more than just drinking buddies. I am still friends with many of these people today.

I did recognize the pattern but I didn't see the problem with it until it become something that I began to lose control over in my late thirties.

It became a constant question of, “Why?”

“Why can't I go more than a couple of nights without a bottle of wine?”

“Why can't I stop at one or 2 glasses?”

“Why do I enjoy drinking alone so much?”

“Why do I feel so fearful when I think about quitting?”

“Do I have a problem with alcohol?”

There are so many reasons that I wanted to son, my want to begin my own business, my health, but as much as I wanted to, it seemed impossible to find the strength in myself to stop. And, this is from someone who had already quit smoking, which is supposedly harder. So, why couldn't I stop this?

Thus began my sober January 2024.

I decided that after disappointing myself for years and breaking every promise I made to myself about quitting drinking, this time I was to just going to do it. And I did. And I didn't die and I didn't kill anyone. And I began to trust myself a little more.

I wish I could tell you it was easy but it wasn't.

It took some staying in the house, eating extra sugar, avoiding social gatherings that may involve alcohol, asking my fiance to refrain from bringing beer or wine into the house from now until tbd. It all helped. And after 30 days with no alcohol I felt.....amazing.

I was sleeping better, my gut was healing, my kidney numbers weren't fluctuating (I have CKD), and I felt good waking up in the morning. Everything that people say about staying sober is absolutely true. My blood pressure lowered and I didn't wake up dehydrated with a racing heart, which was probably my favourite thing.

Now, I wish I could tell you that I remained completely alcohol free but I have not.

I have had some wine twice at my parents house when a group of us were playing darts.

I don't condone this for anyone who believes that their drinking could possibly become out of control again. I feel confident that it won't become an issue and in today's society I believe that sometimes, socially, alcohol can serve a purpose. I know a lot won't agree with me and that's OK.

I am a firm believer that there is no one size fits all in life. Everyone has to do what's best for them and what is the healthiest thing for them at this particular moment in time. Life is short and we all want to live our best lives. I'm here to openly talk about what that you could look like so don't hesitate to leave a message or shoot me an email!



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