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Will I Survive Giving Up Wine for a Month? NO!

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A couple of weeks ago, I vowed to try and not drink wine for a month. I failed miserably. In fact, I didn't make it past day three!

woman holding a wine glass

Radical Mommy: I love wine! It's as simple as that. I love the way it looks, I love the way it smells, and most of all, I love the way it tastes. I love it so much that most nights I drink at least 2 glasses of it -- on some nights, I drink even more.

Well, a few weeks ago, I thought I would swear off the nectar of the gods for 30 long, long, long days. I wanted to see if teetotalism would improve the quality of my, and my family's, lives. To put it bluntly, it didn't.

Day One of my no-wine experiment started with great promise. I was confident that it would be a breeze and that my engagement with and enjoyment of my life would skyrocket to such heights that I would swear off of it forever.

That night when I got home from work, instead of pouring a lovely glass of wine, I opted for fizzy water -- no problem. For what was left of the evening, I just relaxed with my husband and son. My son and I talked a lot, read some books together, and then we all went to bed at about 8:30 PM.

On Day Two of the experiment, I didn't feel like having a drink either. I got home and once again just relaxed with my family. My son and I normally talk and interact with each other a lot when I get home, except normally I'm drinking a glass of wine while doing it. I didn't drink and it was great -- I felt slightly more connected and more relaxed. I liked it.

On Day Three, the worm turned. I had the best of intentions, but when I got home my husband proudly announced (I hadn't informed him of my "experiment," so he thought he was doing something nice for me), "I've got a surprise for you -- I bought you a bottle of wine from your favorite place in Italy." At first, I said, "No thanks, I don't feel like drinking." But then I thought about it for a minute and decided that actually, I did feel like having a glass of wine. And indeed my husband and I had a glass of wine.

I think that for me, drinking wine symbolizes a sort of "changing of the guard." It symbolizes that I'm no longer in "work mode," instead I'm in "family mode," which is more relaxed. In my personal life, I am very shy and pretty reclusive, and at work I like to think of myself as a take-the-bull-by-the-horns kind of gal. When I get home at night, I have to make a concerted effort not to take my husband and son by the horns, so to speak. I have to make a concerted effort to be a wife and a mother and my wine helps me unwind and ease into my family life.

For about a second, I felt bad about not being able to complete 30 days of abstinence -- but then that went away and I poured myself another glass.


next: Potty Train Your Newborn?!
14 comments so far | Post a comment now
Amy June 9, 2009, 9:16 AM

Hmmm. I wonder how many people are going to call you an alcoholic..ha ha I totally agree. I could go without my wine, I just don’t want to and I have a glass every night! (sometimes more if it’s that kind of night!)

jennifer June 9, 2009, 10:00 AM

i suppose it is only a problem if it is negatively impacting your life. but in my experience as a therapist specializing in addiction/alcoholism, “normal” drinkers don’t even think about quitting, make pledges to stop, and write articles about their struggles.
I am certainly not calling you an alcoholic- that is a self-diagnosis that has very little to do with the amount you drink and more about not being able to stop/quit when you want to. Only you can be the judge.

Anonymous June 9, 2009, 12:28 PM

I haven’t drank in maybe twenty plus years. Not cause I was an alcoholic, just cause I never felt compelled to drink. I’m an amazingly relaxed person with a great family life. I guess some people get so accustomed to having an outside source control their moods that they lose the ability to relax without it. Kinda sad maybe- not sure. Gotta think about it.

Jen June 9, 2009, 1:56 PM

If you could not stay away from alcohol for a month, you should really ponder whether or not you have a problem.

no wine=big whine June 9, 2009, 2:58 PM

I think before anyone says she has a problem ask yourself if you could give up your favorite thing for a month and be happy? Could you give up chocolate, soda, potato chips, etc? Probably not, or at least not without becoming a prima-b*tcherina.
I love wine too and nothing wrong w/a couple glasses every night.

mumof3 June 9, 2009, 3:03 PM

I have a glass of wine, or 2 a few nights a week. Mostly always on stressfull days. I have sat at home with my screaming 8 month old today, and you bet I will be having one when he lays down for the night. It is like a changing of the gaurd. To each their own

1WineDude June 9, 2009, 3:13 PM

This is why I only ever make realistic promises to myself…

ame i. June 9, 2009, 4:13 PM

I’m am shocked and outraged! Not, ha! sorry!
I have a glass or 2 of red wine every evening. I savor each and every sip. I start glass one on the front porch, then take it into the kitchen while I make dinner, and finish it with dinner along with a couple of tall glasses of unsweatened ice tea. Sounds bleck, but but I like it.
Wine doesn’t change my behavior (besides sending the husband to the store if we need something) so I don’t consider it to be a problem at all.

jaime Curtis June 17, 2009, 2:02 PM

i could not survive that.

JeanF August 5, 2009, 6:43 PM

The main thing to consider, from a medical standpoint, with regular alcohol consumption is your liver enzymes and your trigliceride levels. Some people can drink every day without ill effect, thanks to their genetic makeup. Others have subtle differences in the enzyme pathways in the liver, and develop problems. Just make sure your doc routinely checks your liver panel, and have a glass for me!

Skempy August 6, 2009, 10:25 AM

Amen, sister! I have a glass (or 3!) every evening~starting around 5-6 pm and while I make dinner. After dinner - no more wine. I look forward to my little routine and as long as I do not drive, do not get drunk and still maintain good health, I see nothing wrong with it. I find it amusing (if a bit arrogant)when so-called “experts” make broad general- izations about moderate and responsible adult behavior. Life’s too short!

Berenice October 12, 2010, 3:19 PM

I don’t think you are an alcoholic (OK may be a little) but I do believe that you use wine to subconsciously realize that you can relax and rest for what’s left of the day. Just don’t mix it with Viagra trust me.

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