How I finally broke up with wine for good.
Today is day 1 and it feels like the 1,000th time I’ve said that. This time it feels different. I’ve exhausted all the reasons it’s ok for me to drink. I’ve finally lied to myself about it being just one out with friends, one too many times. I’ve driven home completely blacked out. Got a DUI. There have been nights when one bottle isn’t enough. The painful cycle of waiting until the appropriate time to have a glass of wine to get over my hangover has become more frequent. Now 3pm seems like it will do. There is nothing fun or cute about this anymore. My big sparkly eyes wake up bloodshot in the morning and the light has gone out of them. I’ve gained at least 20lbs more than I would like. There’s a sneaking suspicion that everything I’ve been struggling with, relationships, success in my business, getting into summer shape is all because of one simple thing that I don’t have to do anymore. Somehow I keep doing it. I’m done.
My fascination with wine started in my very early 20’s. I worked in a restaurant where wine was everything. We had lengthy classes and workshops around it. It meant the difference between a $20 and $100 tip, we’d start and end every shift with wine. Wine became the reason for anything, celebration, wine, meal, wine, tough day, wine. This went on into my early 30’s. When I finally left my restaurant career to start my own business. I’d developed a severe anxiety and panic disorder. I would spend my whole day waiting for an appropriate time to drown out those sensations. Wine is like fuel for anxiety and that toxic coping cycle gets embedded deep into our brains. Our strongest habits have formed neural pathways, the neurons that fire together wire together. So if you’ve reached for a glass for almost everything in life 1,000s of times. Over the course of 10–20 years it’s going to feel hard to break free. Your well meaning brain stores this as a means for survival.
With every behavior you are casting a vote about who you want to be. After I quit my job and healed my panic and anxiety disorder the daily drinking still lingered. It was no longer serving its purpose but I never updated my programming. I had to learn how to identify as something different so my brain could see it as safe to no longer need the coping mechanism. What switched for me was once I finished my health and life coach certification I became someone different. Someone who prioritized the health and wellness of the planet above all else. Someone who wanted to help others heal. If this was true then the old programing no longer fit and I could release and let it go.
Willpower doesn’t work. Upgrading your programming does. Who do you want to be today. Make a commitment to that just for today, everyday.