112 days ago, I woke up with a headache that wouldn’t quit and I had things to do that left me with little patience for it to subside. It was that morning — 11 days after turning 51 — I made the conscious decision to cut booze out of my life for good. Tequila is not my friend. Neither is wine or whiskey. Fortunately, I’ve never had an addiction to alcohol, and have quit cold turkey before. It was at a friend’s unexpected funeral a few years ago that I slipped back into the habit of socially drinking which leads to headaches and lower frequencies. All things that my mind, body, and spirit do not jibe well with.
I realized last fall, like many grounded by the Pandemic, I would drink with friends out of boredom or just because they were pouring cocktails and it was something to do in small groups while passing time in quarentine. I also realized I don’t even like the taste of alcohol, never really have. I drank a lot of beer in college, and remember gagging it down. We didn’t drink because it tasted good, we drank to get drunk. Over the past few decades, I’ve traveled tons for work and attended a gazillion events and dinners where wine with dinner was part of the program. Cocktail parties were, too. If someone handed you a glass of champagne, you drank it because it would be rude not to. Atleast, that’s how I saw it. I realized about five years ago when I had no choice but to make my health a top priority, that I function better without booze in my system.
These days, I live on an island and there’s no “traveling for work” this year. No cocktail parties or charity functions where drinking goes hand-in-hand with socializing. It’s completely up to me to decide my destiny from here, and after that last tequila cocktail on November 12 that ruined my November 13, it’s been a no-brainer to stay sober.
I was put to the test tonight while out to dinner with a friend at the same local spot where I had that last drink 112 days ago. The waiter asked me what I’d like to drink, and I asked for a non-alcoholic cocktail, maybe something like a “Faux-jito”. He looked at me, and said deadpan, “But why would you want that without alcohol? It’s going to be the same price for just the soda water, mint and lime.” I honestly didn’t even know how to respond. I didn’t feel I needed to explain my beverage choice to the waiter, yet he stood there waiting for me to further explain. He then asked if I was sure I didn’t want to try the evening’s “special” cocktail and rattled off what it included (I tuned out after southern comfort). My point is, why should I be questioned by anyone about my preference for a mocktail over a cocktail? I shouldn’t, yet I was tonight.
I’ve practiced the art of letting shit go for years now, and I know this scenario triggered me because I don’t like anyone questioning choices I make in my own best interest. Especially strangers who have no idea why I am making these choices. In any event, I am super stoked to wake up tomorrow SANS headache, and filled with clarity knowing I am on the right path and strong enough to say NO to anyone trying to push me off of it. Life is rocky enough these days, we don’t need anyone adding extra stones along the way.
Make the choices that intuitively feel the best to you. Stick to them. Don’t judge others if their choices are different. That’s my daily advice to myself, and to anyone else needing to hear it today. xo Stacy