Today is a pretty big day for me.
It’s my two year anniversary.
Two years with no alcohol.
If you had told me twenty or ten or five or two years and one month ago that I’d be saying I haven’t had a drop of alcohol in two years, I’d laugh in your face.
I was always the mom sharing wine memes and pictures of whatever drink I ordered at the bar and selfies of
I lived for Mom’s Nights Out.
I was the life of the party.
It was my identity.
Never in a million years did I think I would willingly make this decision.
There were no ultimatums. I didn’t get in trouble with the law. I didn’t fall down drunk in front of my kids.
But I am for sure a problem drinker.
I believe I have a sensitivity to alcohol.
I really want my body to be able to tolerate it.
But it can’t.
And neither can my brain.
It took some real grown up thinking and decision making for me to stop drinking.
And I wouldn’t say I’m best known for my grown up decision making.
What I really want to share is that I have realized something about myself — and all of us — in these past two years.
I have been struggling in the food department.
I have been telling myself I just can’t do it.
I will never have self-control.
But that is a real big limiting belief.
Because if I can quit drinking and completely change my lifestyle in that department, well…
then I can do anything.
And if I can do anything, then so can you.
Because I am not special.
I do not have super powers.
I do not possess an above average amount of willpower.
I mean, if I did, I wouldn’t be struggling in the food department. Or any department!
I try to never say never.
But I feel confident right now that I won’t go back to drinking.
My body would hate me for it.
This doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes miss it.
It happens very rarely.
But it did happen recently.
About a month ago.
I came very close to drinking again.
I found myself saying just a couple of glasses of wine would be okay.
I was with a crew of people I used to spend a lot of time with.
I did A LOT of drinking with them.
The weather was gorgeous and it was an emotional gathering — a memorial service for my (54-year-old) cousin who died in December — and everyone had already had a good cry or two and had moved on to just enjoying each other’s company. And they were playing croquet which is what we used to do (with five or nine beers in us) and I really, really, really wanted to join in.
But thankfully I had the kids with me.
I had to drive them home.
But what was even a bigger deterrent for me was that I didn’t want them to see me drinking.
Because they are all pretty proud of me.
I didn’t want to let me down, but I also didn’t want to let them down.
As I was wrestling with the devil on my shoulder, I was talking with a friend of my cousin’s at the party. I hadn’t seen her in at least 20 years.
We were talking about how things have changed, and she said to me,
“You used to be surrounded by men. And now you are surrounded by kids.”
She was right.
And those kids have made me a better person.
So I don’t know.
I may not have been known for my grown up decision making in the past.
Well, I think maybe that part of me might be changing, too.
And I’m looking forward to making a lot more grown up decisions in the second half of my life.