I’m writing at a bar: sipping an espresso martini and jiggling a two month baby to sleep on my lap.
After considering many aspects of alcohol, particularly the visible and invisible excess: what is my relationship with alcohol? What is your relationship with alcohol?
Here are some questions I have been pondering to help me consider if I have a healthy and sustainable relationship with alcohol.
Could I stop drinking for a day? For a week? For a month?
Do I need to drink to relax? Have fun? Forget?
Do I drink alone?
When I list all the drinks I had this week, does it sound concerning? Can I remember all the drinks?
Do any answers to these questions raise flags of concern that your relationship may be destructive?
What to do?
Ponder the internet things.
Talk to a trusted friend or family member
- what have they observed?
- What have you been hiding?
Talk to your GP
Talk to AA
My relationship with alcohol
In the past:
No alcohol at our wedding reception.
Maybe people thought we were against alcohol, maybe people thought we were cheap. The reason we had no alcohol, was because my mind and body was responding strangely to alcohol (in hindsight – unstable bipolar). If there are was alcohol, I would want some. I shouldn’t have been drinking, so no alcohol for anyone.
At the present:
Alcohol and I have been good friends, but I think we are starting to spend too much time together. So this month (May) I have only been drinking at events. I’ve been surprised how many moments I twitch toward having a drink. But I’ve been more thoughtful about my choices and my appreciation has increased.
In the future:
I’ll continue to drink and enjoy sharing alcohol with friends and family.
I’ll be more thoughtful about others who struggle or dislike alcohol.
I’ll avoid drinking by myself.
I’m aiming for Dry July (except for Weekend of Darkness at the Scratch).
Try to connect your past and your present and map out the trajectory. Have you kept increasing how much you drink? Have you started drinking in response to difficult life events? Habits will stick unless you make an effort to change them. So think about what your drinking habits are, and the future that you’re building for yourself.