I’ve been about six weeks alcohol-free. I’m not really even counting anymore.
You see, I used to be a party girl. Maybe imbibed a little too much. But that was just what we did.
And while I questioned myself many times about my lifestyle, it was my pregnancy that really changed it all. Between carrying life, breastfeeding and the responsibility of another human being. I became a different person. With different priorities.
But even so, it hasn’t been an easy journey.
I remember the first time I drank after giving birth in September 2015. It was Thanksgiving at my best friend’s house. I didn’t have to drive. And I hadn’t seen anyone in what felt like forever.
I got excited. Teeth stained a dark red, almost purple.
After tipping that scale so many times in my past. The one where everything is fun, washing all your worries away with each sip. It was hard to control that line between just enough and too much.
In fact, the more I thought about it. I wasn’t really sure where that point of just enough was. If it had even existed before. Because more always seemed like a good idea. Amiright?
Of course, what followed next was a series of rules crafted through careful analysis of myself and my life. Each one broken in time. Only to be edited.
Was it low quantity. Or low frequency.
And oh…the situational social conundrums. Just wanting to feel normal.
Whatever the fuck that means.
Which brings me to last year. I loosened the reigns on what had been a tight hold. Much in part due to the stress of moving. In a world of so much confusion, it was comforting to sit down with a cocktail. Not to mention the magic dissipation of cares and concerns. Plus, we had a bunch of big events and travel toward the end of the year. In my head, I saw this as a way of cementing and really understanding my drinking by the time these tempting situations came to fruition.
I suppose it worked.
Not in the way I imagined. Like anything ever does. Or should.
Did I succeed in not being hungover and keeping myself within that space of control I desired?
What I did do, was come out of the year with a feeling I didn’t even know I was seeking. The feeling of knowing what balance means for me. And truly being at peace with it. Not just in the theoretical sense. Something that sounds good. That I would tell myself time and time again. Trying to convince myself this was in my best interest.
But truth that flows through my veins into every cell of my body.
Which is where I am today. A place that feels sudden, but really isn’t at all. Knowing that if and when a time comes that I feel like drinking. I will. So far, it hasn’t happened.
Being mindful about who I want to be. And letting that lead the way, instead of mischievous voices that say otherwise.
I know who I am.
It’s someone super different than who I was.
A fact that has inevitably brought about loss along the way. But I’m okay with it. I’d rather be myself than not.
I guess this is growing up.