bibliophile

Wine: an update and some realizations

135 posts in this topic

A couple weeks ago in "how do you relax?" I posted my realization that, post whole30, I was going to have to find a better way to de-stress in the evenings then wine.  I had thought I'd do another whole30, but just decided to keep eating primally, as I have been for the last couple of years or so. I have to confess that I did end up drinking wine twice and felt absolutely horrible, even though each time I drank a relatively little amount (2 glasses of wine).  While initially I felt this a failure, I retrospectively see it as a success because it has made me realize that the scales have tipped, and I have decided that I will no longer be drinking alcohol.

 

This is a big step, one that honestly I never thought I'd take.  I like wine and love the conviviality of drinking it with friends, but the way it makes me feel (headachy and lethargic) and the way it disrupts my sleep makes it no longer worth while.  To make it feel more real, I shared with my family and friends that I won't be drinking.  I made this a low key announcement, framing it in terms of health and no one really blinked an eye.  However, I think sharing this publicly will help me stick to the plan. Everyone seems very supportive (the fact that I've lost 10 pounds since doing my whole30  puts the proof in the pudding for them, I suppose).

 

I also decided that, for now, I'm not going to worry too much about occasionally having a beverage that I wouldn't normally drink if it stops me from having wine.  My new non-alcoholic cocktail is seltzer water with a splash of rose lime water and cherry juice. Most nights it's tea, but that is a good option when I'm feeling particularly boozy.

 

I feel surprisingly good about this decision. I had really hoped that I could keep alcohol in my life, but it just isn't worth it for me, based on how it makes me feel. Stinks, but that's life!

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I had a single glass of beautiful barrel-aged Chardonnay on the weekend. Mid-way through it I began to get a headache and feel very sleepy. My old self would have continued drinking and finish the bottle with my husband. While I would never have called myself an alcoholic, In the past, I was beginning to be very uncomfortable with my relationship with alcohol. During my Whole 30 I learned that I don't need it to relax. I may be right there with you on giving it up. I have a wedding this weekend and I think I'm just going to not drink and see how it goes. I think I'll just have club soda and cranberry juice. It looks festive enough to keep the questions at bay. I don't think I'm ready to deal with a lot of questions.

Good for you, making this decision. It's hard when society makes drinking an integral part of almost everything.

Sarahjb, Cate B., Melimuse and 9 others like this

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interesting.  i am introducing wine on my 31st day.  i have missed it although i love how i feel not drinking.  i did the Whole30 with a friend and we are both wondering where wine will fit into our lives now.  how will we feel?  i am not ready to say i will never have wine again, but truly have mixed feelings about reintroducing.  please keep us posted as to your life without wine!!!  yea you!!!

Michele West, hollylu and Nancy57 like this

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Thanks for the encouragement, everyone!  I had a small victory yesterday. I have a new, managerial role at work, which means more stress. Yesterday was an extremely long day and involved dealing multiple times with a challenging person.  I came home late, sat and visited with my partner for a bit, sipping my new   mocktail  and then went right up to bed and read a good book for an hour. I was so proud; it was precisely the  kind of day that, before, would have led me directly to the wine. I am actually kind of relishing these challenging moments: it is an opportunity to try new strategies and   put my  plan into action. Each time I pick a healthier alternative, I see that I can do it!

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Hi everyone,

 

Just another update from the no whine/wine zone. Still going strong and feeling great. I really did not realize how groggy wine made me the next day until I stopped drinking it: I can't believe what I can get done in a day now.  And, I've lost another 5 pounds, which is a nice bonus too.

sassy, T3LC, Cajun Gypsy and 5 others like this

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It's encouraging to read your post.  My recent W30 attempt was undone by cravings for wine, and then once I'd "failed" by having the glass(es) of wine, I turned to sugary carbs.  During my first W30 I had very little problem giving up alcohol.  I think the novelty and excitement wore off a bit and during this second attempt, I have really really struggled.  I'm confused right now.  I had thought that after I finished another W30 I would eat paleo and just allow myself moderate red wine on weekends only.  But the way I've been in such a crazy all or nothing place with this, I don't know what to do.  I suppose I should just focus on this 30 days for now--maybe thinking too long term is what gets me feeling overwhelmed, I don't know.

sallyarchi likes this

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Raptah, 

 

I'm no expert on this, but I can share my experience.

 

If, even back in July, someone told me I'd give up wine, I never would have believed it.  It was, rather, a very gradual realization.  I would definitely not pressure yourself to give up wine right now; rather, just sort of map how you're feeling when you drink it. That was what I finally realized: when I was away from it and then reintroduced it, I realized it made me feel pretty bad. You may find that you want to give it up--perhaps way down the line--or maybe not. And that's cool. It is a journey!

sallyarchi, raptah and Beets like this

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Alcohol has wrecked my every attempt at W30 number 3 for me.  I think you are right about the novelty of W30 and being able to not drink.  I did two almost back to back W30's so it was easy to keep that momentum up.  I have been trying to do W30 number 3 since January and my alcohol cravings is what is doing me in.  Every.Single.Time.  I know i have a problem.  I have even considered doing a W100 or W365 simply to be alcohol free because when I'm on, I'm on and it's not an option! The thought of giving alcohol up though.. it makes me grieve.  I need W30AA or something!

Badwolf, MeadowLily, Sabado and 5 others like this

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I would certainly join you two on that: believe me, I do not want to give the impression that this is "easy."  I'm having to face my demons in a way that I'm certainly not accustomed to or altogether comfortable with!

 

 

So I started w30 number 3, attempt number 49089058209820934839048 this morning.  Can I tell you how cranky I am today and do you know why?? Crappy day at work and all I want is a drink.  W30AA is a great idea.

 

Your last sentence: yes.  Very uncomfortable.  I'm trying to sit with it and listen to my inner voices and why I have the urge to run and hide.  Interesting, to say the least.

raptah and trezkholl0806 like this

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Ok I like it.  Well I don't like the discomfort either, but I like that I am saying aloud that I will sit with it rather than avoid it.  I noticed yesterday that some time in the afternoon my mind began the games (the voices).  I actually allowed the fact that we had an open bottle of wine be a reason to have a glass (2). Then I had nilla wafers.  :ph34r: I don't even like nilla wafers.  Feel awful this morning.

I feel like my sugar dragon was this beast that was sleeping and I've woken it up and now it's bigger and badder than ever before.

sassy likes this

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I'll be celebrating four years of sobriety this coming Saturday, and I believe AA saved my life. If anyone really is questioning whether or not you are an alcoholic, feel free to private message me and I'd be happy to talk with you about alcoholism,recovery, and the sweet, lovely life that the twelve steps have given me.

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Thank you Wynne.  I have been involved with the 12 steps since I was a young teen.  Alateen, Al-Anon, AA, NA, CA, I've done it all and know it but as a 40+ year old woman now facing some demons, I am not quite ready to take that step.  

 

raptah, alcohol gives me permission to eat things like nilla wafers too which I am not a fan of either LOL

raptah likes this

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Sassy, your comments and raptah's made me think about discomfort and emotions more generally.  I think that people often are taught that only certain kinds of emotions are okay. The rules tend to be very gendered too. For example, generally in American culture, it isn't okay for women to get angry or men to cry.  I have spent a lot of time trying to hide from emotions (which often is what discomfort turns out to be for me: avoidance of emotions). However, I've learned (primarily through that great chestnut _The Dance of Anger_) that emotions aren't something to fear or hide from: they are information.  When I feel discomfort, I am trying to see that feeling as simply information.   I don't have to be overwhelmed by it, just because it comes to the surface: I can be like, "Oh, there it is." Or, if I'm feeling up to it, probe a little deeper. At any rate, this shift in attitude  has helped a lot.

 

And Wynne, congratulations on your sobriety!!

raptah, Wynne Jones, sassy and 2 others like this

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Alcohol has wrecked my every attempt at W30 number 3 for me.  I think you are right about the novelty of W30 and being able to not drink.  I did two almost back to back W30's so it was easy to keep that momentum up.  I have been trying to do W30 number 3 since January and my alcohol cravings is what is doing me in.  Every.Single.Time.  I know i have a problem.  I have even considered doing a W100 or W365 simply to be alcohol free because when I'm on, I'm on and it's not an option! The thought of giving alcohol up though.. it makes me grieve.  I need W30AA or something!

 

During my first Whole30 I discovered it wasn't even so much the actual alcoholic beverage, but the RITUAL of it. On a warm sunny day I wanted that beer, the sound of the top being opened, the feel of the sun as I sat on the patio, the cold bottle in my hand.

 

We bought a Sodastream to make our own seltzer water, and we keep lemons and limes on hand to squeeze into it, put it in a nice glass with some ice. Also discovered Kombucha which is lovely in a wine glass. Substituting these, toasting with them, asking the husband to come in and "make me a nice drink" while I cooked ... started a new ritual. It can work.

Shakti, Beets, Cate B. and 9 others like this

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I am only on day 6 of my first W30, and have been pondering my relationship with red wine for a while. Just over 50, I am observing much of @bibliophile's experience, where a glass interrupts sleep, etc. i don't drink a lot, but when I took on this challenge it was in part to establish a no alcohol structure. I don't think I have gone two full weeks without a glass here and there since I separated 8 years ago. Now happily coupled in a healthy, supportive relationship, I find I enjoy myself more at times without it. I do enjoy the variety, the pairing woth food, and the glow. I am thinking a glass on the weekend will be nice, but just now I don't miss it.

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I want to thank the op for starting this topic and all the others for chiming in.

 

I finished my whole30 yesterday. I have been trying to figure out what approach to take with wine going forward. After reading all the responses, I feel much more confident in just being aware, making conscious choices, see how I feel and react, and then modify if needed.

 

It is easy to tell people you have a problem with sugar. We all joke about that. It is much harder to say you have a problem with wine (or any alcohol). I think because of that, we tend to avoid a discussion about it, even though we wouldn't feel the least bit uncomfortable trying to figure out what role cheese, or dark chocolate, or pick-your-poison, have in our post Whole30 life.''

 

This discussion has been very helpful and my discovery of it very timely.

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Honestly my relationship with alcohol is precisely what prevented me from even attempting a Whole30 for a long, long time.  I've been sober for almost a year, and for me, everything in my life - Whole30 included, just clicks along almost effortlessly without booze.  Clearly not everyone has a problem with alcohol like some of us, but I do find it CRAZY  how awesome I feel without it in my life at all.  Just pointing out that while it's definitely an adjustment, there is plenty of fun to be had without it. :)

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I've struggled with this same issue, and ultimately wine has been what has led me off course after past W30s. I just did 31 W30 days again in January. I will now be following Kresser's code, with the exception that he says 80/20 is ok and that just doesn't work for me. So my post-W30 rules are to follow Kresser to the letter (which really is very similar to W30), but where Kresser's plan allows 3 - 4 drinks per week, my new rule is 1. I came to this decision after contemplating no alcohol at all. But I like it, and I think I can be successful as long as I set clear expectations for myself.

 

So last night I went out to dinner, and it was my first post-W30 meal. Prior to going out to dinner I reiterated my goals and put my new rules in my log. The meal was mostly compliant with the exception of a couple trace ingredients, from which I had no ill effects. I had one glass of wine (plus a couple of sips of the second glass my sister ordered, close enough for my new rule). It was nice to sip on a single glass of good wine for well over an hour - I made it last.

 

What is different from last time is that I have now accepted that my old habits - opening a bottle after a stressful day at work, or ordering 2 glasses at dinner - are not going to help me acheive my goals. To have clearly spelled this out for myself helps me to stay on track. I get to order one drink a week, if it's worth it (but I don't have to). It's taken a lot of trial/error and introspection to get to this place.

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Hi everyone,

 

I'm the OP, and wanted to chime in that it has  not been an altogether smooth road for me either.  I have had some slip ups around the holidays, but in those moments I've also identified my triggers which, as it sounds like for many of you, is a bad day at work (or elsewhere). What is helping me is to have a plan ahead of time (kind of like having compliant food in the fridge). Now, I have a list of things (conversation with a friend, going up to bed early with  a good book, good snuggle with my partner (or the puppies :) ) that I can turn to if I feel sad, anxious or angry.  I just wanted to share that it is a process, for sure, like everything else too.

 

Also, since this thread is still active, I wanted to share a book I'm reading right now about women and alcohol specifically: Drink:  The Intimate Link between Women and Alcohol by Ann Dowsett Johnston.  Part of the book chronicles her own experiences as someone who is highly functional but found herself (or maybe on account of her need to be "highly functional") turning more and more to alcohol. Her experiences really resonated with me, as someone with a  stressful and somewhat high profile  job and someone with chronic perfectionism. The other part of the book explores why more and more women are drinking and/or finding themselves challenged by alcohol and how abusive drinking (whether one has alcohol addiction in addition or not) is really growing among women. Particularly eyeopening (if not all that surprising) is how the alcohol industry, much like the tobacco companies,  pursue women. Anyway, highly recommended! 

Shakti, sassy, kmcandmmc and 2 others like this

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That book is on my list to read already.  I will bump it to the top.

 

I am still struggling with giving up alcohol.  I realized recently that drinking is almost romantic to me, if that makes sense.  Coming home after work and having a cocktail.  Martinis are sexy. I am trying to change my thinking on this.  Where did this notion come from in my head?  I am almost 45 years old and I shouldn't need alcohol to feel like a grown up.  There is also some sort of nostalgia to it for me.  It's so weird! 

meredithm1, Nancy57 and lgt2013 like this

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Sassy,

thanks for your thoughts here. I was a little regretful that I posted this updated update given the lack of response: like maybe I had broken some taboo by confessing that this was something that I was still working on/through. I suppose, as another poster noted, we live in a world where we can say we struggle with certain things (like sugar) but it is less acceptable (or at least makes us uncomfortable) to admit that we struggle with other issues.

 

I do really recommend the book, especially since it looks at how our teenage and early 20s primes women for certain views about alcohol. I'm the same age as you, and the thoughts on these issues really resonated with me.

 

I will be thinking good thoughts for you. I've now done a few whole30s, and I have to say that they have been incredibly helpful to me, especially in creating new habits around alcohol.

Beets likes this

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Thank you for the thoughts.  Don't feel regretful. I think you started a really interesting discussion and the dialogue has been insightful and brutally honest.  

 

I ordered the book tonight and it will be here Friday.

 

I'm on day 2 and I poured myself some pellgrino and when I reached into the freezer for some ice, I saw the gin bottle.  I like it cold!  I took it out of the freezer and set it in the pantry.  I don't want to pour it out.  It's expensive!  I did open it and smell it but didn't take a sip..  

Beets likes this

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