What about alcohol?

What is your relationship with alcohol? Have you ever thought about it? I used to cringe and get anxiety about the thought of NOT drinking…

I have never been a big drinker, even in college. If you were to ask my friends, we definitely had some fun nights, especially our senior semester. Besides that, I used to enjoy a nice glass (or 2) or red wine a few times a week.

Then, my world got turned upside down when my mother died. To cope with the grief, the shock, the loss, and just not knowing how to handle the world, I would drink red wine. However, being a fitness professional and Registered Dietitian, I KNEW at some point I would have to give this up.

I would look forward to going out to dinner, having an appetizer, and getting my red glass of wine (or 2). After all, this is what my mother used to do. She would order seared tuna and wine. To make her memory live on a little longer, I would do the same.

About a year after her death, I started having some stomach issues and noticed I would retain a lot of water weight after drinking, would feel extra bloated, puffy, and icky the next day. This was something new to me.

This is when I started to realize my body was no longer reacting to the alcohol the way it used it. Still, I never drank that much, because I KNEW that after having more than 2 drinks, I would feel very depressed the next day. I would feel so much anxiety, that I told myself that 2 drinks was my max. It just wasn't worth it anymore.

I was challenged when I was working with my own nutrition coach, who really discouraged me from drinking my wine. Of course this made me somewhat uncomfortable, because having a glass at dinner was something I really looked forward to. (AKA HABIT)

That is when I began to really ask myself why “not drinking” was so mentally tough on me. I was still dealing with the grief, depression, anxiety and IBS on a daily basis, and my glass of wine was just something that “made me feel better”.

Through therapy, self-work, holistic healers, yoga, church, friends, nutrition and exercise I can finally say I am in a much better place. I no longer NEED the glass of wine.

It feels liberating, fresh, and empowering. Do I still like the taste? Sure. But it’s not a necessity anymore. Also, I’ve become a lot more picky with which type of wine that I do drink.

Cheap wine can be filled with sugar, coloring, and a lot of other ingredients that are not listen on the label. If you have a glass of wine (any kind) and find yourself sneezing, sniffly, or getting red… you may be having an allergic reaction.

I also wonder…people that have a drink every night, as soon as they come from work, or any chance they get on the weekend…what are you fighting? I encourage you to ask yourself that question. Is it pain, shame, guilt? I’ve felt these all of these emotions, and in the moment it might seem easier to disengage, but the feelings will still be there the next day. Therapy is a much safer, and cheaper option. I highly encourage you to consider it if you’re dealing with something you just can’t shake.

(PS. I want to tell you that its ok to be the only person drinking La Croix at a party instead of having a drink in hand. It’s ok to say no to a group gathering if you feel you will be pressured to drink. Its ok to just say no to the friend that wants you to have a drink too. Its your choice, not theirs. )

I truly hope this helps you…namaste.