bibliophile

Wine: an update and some realizations

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This is such a great thread and I agree with many of the feelings people have posted about.  Both of my parents are alcoholics and were divorced when I was 1.  My father has been sober for 40 years (I'm 44.  Basically since he was no longer allowed to be alone with us three kids because he blacked out while we were in his care.  My mother is an alcoholic, in my mind because she has to have a drink.  She has to have alcohol every night and if she is staying somewhere, she will bring it with her.  She doesn't necessarily get drunk but it is a must in her life.

 

I could go on about my story through my 20s and 30s but for me what has finally done it, is it makes me feel like crap!  In the summer, we spend many weekends with our friends at their beach house and we drink a lot.  We can all drink A LOT and function but for me, I end up feeling like crap the entire next day.  It is insane, that a day of my life will be ruined b/c of alcohol and I go on to repeat the pattern the next weekend.  I didn't used to drink much during the week but little by little, as my love and knowledge of wine grew, we started having wine with dinner, which turned into a bottle every night...at least.  It was crazy when I would put the recycle bin out, how may wine bottles were in there.  I did my first Whole30 last September, which coincided with also joining a Crossfit box.  I could not remember the last time I had gone 30 days without drinking.  I've never been pregnant, so I didn't even have that time period, as many of my friends have.  The good thing is that my partner was feeling the same way, that we were drinking too much.  I think for him it was more of a weight and Crossfit performance thing but at the same time I did the Whole30, he did a paleo challenge and that really helped me want to drink less.  But it was difficult at times and similar to what other people wrote, it was the social piece.  I mean you meet people out for drinks on a Friday night, you don't meat them for water.

 

I finished the Whole30 and truly felt great but a few days later was off to Iceland with my best friend (the owner of the beach house of drinking) and she was not very supportive.  So, I drank before I was really ready.  I just wasn't in to it but she didn't want to drink alone and it was just a weird experience.  Fast forward to now and I am on day 19.  This Whole30 has been hard, not b/c of the alcohol just because the novelty has worn off.  We've been eating paleo for years, with lots of cheating, so the Whole30 is good to bring me back to mindfulness.  There are moments when I see that my partner has poured a glass of wine and I think, I want one but it passes pretty quickly. I've gone out to dinner with friends and no one cares that I order a soda water (soda water has been a huge replacement for me).  I've lost weight, I'm never hung over and we spend so much less money.  I finish this time around the day after Easter and we are off for a beach vacation the end of April.  It's an all inclusive that I booked months ago.  I think if I had the choice to do that again, I would choose something different, since I don't need unlimited drinks and food.

 

I don't know where alcohol will end up in my life but the Whole30 has really helped me change my relationship with it and I am grateful for that.  I also have the book Drink, which my sister gave me years ago and I never read.  I just pulled it off the shelf.  Good luck to all of you with your struggle and figuring out what works best for you.

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I don't know where alcohol will end up in my life but the Whole30 has really helped me change my relationship with it and I am grateful for that.  I also have the book Drink, which my sister gave me years ago and I never read.  I just pulled it off the shelf.  Good luck to all of you with your struggle and figuring out what works best for you.

 

Drink really helped me with a lot of my thinking and reasons for my drinking. Good luck to you on your journey!

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I gave up wine before my last whole 30 because I realized that it wasn't the lack of sleep after a late night out that was making me feel crappy the next day… It was the wine! Plus I found myself eating mindlessly after a couple of glasses of wine. Since I've given up the wine, I've been to a couple of open bar parties and out to eat, and i just order club soda with lime or lemon. I sleep better and feel so much better the next day! Also during the event I feel so much clearer headed and not tired at all with lots of energy. I will say, I miss a nice glass of Cabernet with a good meal, but it just isn't worth the way I feel afterward.

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Bumping this up again to give another update and was wondering how everyone was doing..

 

I've been sober for more than a year and am finally getting a handle on the sugar cravings that I took over my brain when I gave up alcohol. Seriously, it's been harder for me to battle the sugar cravings than it was to stop drinking altogether. No amount of whole30/60/90/anythings were helping. I completely stripped it from my life yet continued to have intense sugar cravings. 

 

Hope you all are doing well  :wub:  Update if you can.

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Well, I have been on a rollercoaster of sorts. Had a hip replacement in May and another wound surgery 2 weeks later so that period of time was wine free-several weeks. Since going back to work in July-I slid off the wagon. After several weeks of on wagon/off wagon, I can see a very clear connection between sugar/wine/alcohol and very bad mood(angry and bitter). Dont know if the mood or the sugar/alc came first as they seem to happen together. I also found out my 32 yo nephew who died in Feb was from acute pancreatitis which probably was connected to drinking.

Sooooo-I quit. Been only 3 days, but I get it.

The sugar is everywhere so i can see how it is more difficult. I can just not buy the drink, but the sugar is hiding everywhere. Maybe one day I can have a small piece of dark chocolate-but the alc has to go. For good.

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I was over at a neighbors house this weekend and he all but pushed a beer in my face-I kept saying No, NO , NO! Got my point across, though. Told him honestly that I tend to not be very nice even when I have a small amount so I quit. Very special events, maybe, but the goal is to NOT have it in the house in any form. I have had a much better week and haven't yelled at my husband nearly as often:) Sleeping better-calmer world so far.

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I just found this thread.  Don't know how I've missed it for so long. 

 

I started a W100 on 1/1/13 with a bunch of other women on here.  The one thing that almost prevented me from doing it was that I had never gone 100 days without a drink since I was probably 16.  I wasn't sure I could do it, and at times it was rough.  But by the end of the 100 days, I felt so much better without it that I have never added it back.

 

The key was to learn new coping skills.  As I've posted on some other threads, coming home, opening a bottle of wine, and letting the stress of the day fall away were part of the ritual that made it attractive.  During my W100, that was when I missed it most.  So I analyzed why.  What was different?  When I came home from work and wasn't drinking, I immediately started picking up the house, or folding laundry, or making dinner.  I wasn't missing the alcohol, per se, I was missing the permission it gave me to just sit and not do anything for a while.  So I started making a cup of tea, or a sparkling water, and just sitting for a few minutes while the 'stressed, Work Maryann' ebbed away and the 'peaceful, Home Maryann' took her place.  Allowing myself the decompression and transition time was every bit as important as the drink, except I didn't realize it at the time.

 

Now, fourteen months later, my moods, my sleep, my energy levels are so much improved that I can't imagine letting wine back in.  But for those still working through their relationships with alcohol, your milage may vary.  This is the solution that works for me, but we all have to learn to ride our own bikes.

 

I feel as though I could have written this....Although I have just begun my W30 journey. Giving up Wine was truly scary. BUT I too have found I come home now and am more productive. AND when I do sit down I have some sparkling water or a cup of tea, and I am more relaxed AND happy with myself. I am sleeping 100% better and I dont wake up in a fog and kicking myself. I look at future events, girlfriends coming over tomorrow night, a wedding next month, evenings out with my husband etc....and I have to remember how good I feel on this healthy new journey and one night of drinking wine is just not worth it to me. BUT I also know this will be a challenge.  I appreciate this topic.

Thank you!!

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I loved this thread. I loved the honesty and total lack of judgment. I can relate to everyone's stories. I am 3 days shy of my first W30 and I had concerns over how I was going to deal without wine. It turns out that there was one emotionally challenging day where I craved a glass but other than that I didn't miss it as much as I thought I would. Sugar was a far bigger issue but I am sure that the alcohol and sugar go hand in hand. Boredom and sitting with uncomfortable emotions came up a lot for me during this month. It was hard to go through because every day that I planned to drink, I distracted myself with the anticipation, never realizing that kept me from paying better attention to my life. I normally drink no more than 2 glasses of wine on weekends, thinking that sticking to my strict rules meant I had it under control. However I know that I am fooling myself. When I am not drinking, I seem to spend a lot of time thinking about or anticipating it. This distraction keeps me from being fully present in my life. I have always ascertained that I need as much of a break from my life as I can get but I now wonder if this is the right way to go about it.

I carefully constructed my re-intro on paper since I have been naturally anxious about eating foods I haven't for a month. Guess what? The one thing I want most on day 31 is......a glass of wine. I put the alcohol reintro before everything else, including sugar. And....I fully expect that I won't sleep that night and that I will feel like crap and in spite of this I still plan to go ahead with it though my reintro is on a Saturday, planned so that I don't need to be up at my weekday time of 5:30 am. The fact that I am strategically planning to drink is a little disturbing to me.

I almost hope I do end up feeling lousy after one drink. I am on a journey and still deciding whether or not I want to give up alcohol for good. I have learned a tremendous amount this past month and this thread has been a huge part of that so....

Thank you all for sharing your stories. There is no doubt in my mind that each and every one of us has the ability to give up alcohol we have already proven we can. It is up to each of us to decide for ourselves which direction we choose.

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This is such a good thread & I'm glad it's reactivated.

I completed a whole thirty in August and have not really introduced anything at all food-wise since then. I found that I did not miss any of the foods all that much and am really happy eating as I currently do.

 

However, one thing I have allowed back into my life is booze. I used to drink A LOT, as in at least 1.5 bottles of wine a night, but a few years ago (I think 4 years ago) I stopped drinking all together. I guess I got used to being sober and forgot what it was like when I did drink at that level because I started reintroducing alcohol on holidays, Christmas, etc. then every couple of weeks I'd maybe have a drink but now it's every weekend and I am not pleased with myself.

 

I think it's time for another 30 days.....

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Well, I have to say I fell off the wagon as well. Went several weeks of no sugar/alcohol but marital stress ensued, then a husband back in the hospital for 3 weeks and now financial troubles with how to pay for all this. In other words.....LIFE. I am eating healthy at each meal but also allowing a bit of "something" if I REALLY want it which right now is a glass of wine at night after a compliant meal. I am taking it meal to meal. I string along 2-6 good meals, then sugar. But right now I cant kick myself for that. If I want something off plan, fine....eat the compliant meal first. Thats my story and I am sticking to it....for now.

Funny....hubby has lost another body part to diabetes and the first thing I want is sugar. What an eff'd up world we live in. Seems I should run the other way cause I can see on a daily basis the effect of sugar (excessive sugar) on our lives. Oh, what a wicked mistress sugar is!

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Thank you for the well wishes. I will post here again about the "wine realizations" theme and not re stress of life:) I do appreciate the good thoughts and will pas them on to hubby

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cayenne, big hugs to you! 

 

I appreciate everyone's honesty here. 

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Hi everyone! I am back doing this year's January Whole 30! I am contemplating making it a Whole 45 or 60 to reinforce the habit changes and do better with reintroduction. I have been monitoring tis forum off and on since I posted my long diatribe about giving it up. As you may guess, I didn't, entirely, though it has definitely been a much smaller part of my life since then. So, what happened? First, I learned that I have a coconut allergy, which was a major factor in my illness. You see, the vertigo and other symptoms didn't clear with no alcohol and I had to look for other culprits. I went without and then tried to reintroduce, and it became obvious. It is very hard to give up coconut because it tastes sweet, is eonderful to cook with, and is supposed to be healthy (kind of like red wine).

Beyond this I discovered that the pathway to fitness I was pursuing was too high impact for me at my level of fitness. No amount of traditional pt and brute force willpwering myself to perform exercise that was painful was working. Hmmph. That had me down for awhile until I made two duscoveries. One, I love yoga. Two, dry needling as performed by a well trained Dr. Of Physical terapy is a great way to deal with frozen flesh and painful muscle spasms. A great alternative to the glass of wine!

I realized, once the pain stopped and I could move again, that wine was a physical relaxer for me, as well as an emotional and mental stress reducer. So I hope you will join me in forgiving myself for going back to it from time to time. This last year has been a great one. My son is in his final year of high school and looking at colleges, my daughter got married, a sibling nearly died of a heart atavk (yes I am advocating the Whole 30 and gave her the bood as a gift), and I am getting a lot of traction at work on my long range project, which has me travelling a bit. These are all good things and I am so happy to have my alcohol consumption under control.

I no longer need it, and feel so empowered at the times I choose to forego, like my daughter's wedding and my business trips and my son's final soccer banquet, all places where I wanted to be at my absolute best, and I was!

In addition, I have learned both the how and the why of sober fun with my loved ones. So important! And, happily, very accessible for lucky me. I am blessed by those who love me in such a wonderful way.

So when am I choosing wine? My initial response is that I only drink too much when I am low. And by too much, I mean more than one glass, as an emotional balm, and alone. So maybe it's not too much interms of quantity, but rather 'unhealthily, inapporopriately".

As such, I am pursuing the home practice of yoga, pranayama, asana and dhyanna to adress what I am Truly craving: serenity, relaxation, and joy. It is very hard to establish a new habit, but I am very hopeful this will be come my healthy alternative to a glass of wne and Netflix to address my 'hungers'.

What are others doing to pursue alternatives?

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Many people who've lost great quantities of weight trade in their food addictions for alcohol.  They somehow see it as a work around or something they can get away with.   Alcohol sugars for sugar sugars,  upside-down sugars (artificial) and honeys, maple syrup, etc.

 

Even gastric bypass/sleeve patients will revert to sugar alcohols...google it.  It's highly addictive like all of the other sugars.  If wine or beer is derailing success...there is professional intervention.  Sitting down with someone face-to-face or attending A.A.  is a good alternative.

 

There are genetic components as everyone knows.  People self-medicate many conditions with alcohol.   I don't touch it.  If alcohol is taking up too much  space it may be time for professional counsel.

 

Many people have to give up alcohol.  For real. 

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Hi everyone! I am back doing this year's January Whole 30! I am contemplating making it a Whole 45 or 60 to reinforce the habit changes and do better with reintroduction. I have been monitoring tis forum off and on since I posted my long diatribe about giving it up. As you may guess, I didn't, entirely, though it has definitely been a much smaller part of my life since then. So, what happened? First, I learned that I have a coconut allergy, which was a major factor in my illness. You see, the vertigo and other symptoms didn't clear with no alcohol and I had to look for other culprits. I went without and then tried to reintroduce, and it became obvious. It is very hard to give up coconut because it tastes sweet, is eonderful to cook with, and is supposed to be healthy (kind of like red wine).

Beyond this I discovered that the pathway to fitness I was pursuing was too high impact for me at my level of fitness. No amount of traditional pt and brute force willpwering myself to perform exercise that was painful was working. Hmmph. That had me down for awhile until I made two duscoveries. One, I love yoga. Two, dry needling as performed by a well trained Dr. Of Physical terapy is a great way to deal with frozen flesh and painful muscle spasms. A great alternative to the glass of wine!

I realized, once the pain stopped and I could move again, that wine was a physical relaxer for me, as well as an emotional and mental stress reducer. So I hope you will join me in forgiving myself for going back to it from time to time. This last year has been a great one. My son is in his final year of high school and looking at colleges, my daughter got married, a sibling nearly died of a heart atavk (yes I am advocating the Whole 30 and gave her the bood as a gift), and I am getting a lot of traction at work on my long range project, which has me travelling a bit. These are all good things and I am so happy to have my alcohol consumption under control.

I no longer need it, and feel so empowered at the times I choose to forego, like my daughter's wedding and my business trips and my son's final soccer banquet, all places where I wanted to be at my absolute best, and I was!

In addition, I have learned both the how and the why of sober fun with my loved ones. So important! And, happily, very accessible for lucky me. I am blessed by those who love me in such a wonderful way.

So when am I choosing wine? My initial response is that I only drink too much when I am low. And by too much, I mean more than one glass, as an emotional balm, and alone. So maybe it's not too much interms of quantity, but rather 'unhealthily, inapporopriately".

As such, I am pursuing the home practice of yoga, pranayama, asana and dhyanna to adress what I am Truly craving: serenity, relaxation, and joy. It is very hard to establish a new habit, but I am very hopeful this will be come my healthy alternative to a glass of wne and Netflix to address my 'hungers'.

What are others doing to pursue alternatives?

Thanks for your insightful post. I agree with much of what you said. I don't believe you need to forgive yourself for going back because it is simply a choice you make. What you have learned about your relationship to alcohol is the real gem here. I have not yet given it up in it's entirety and I don't plan to but I notice a vast improvement in all aspects of my life when I don't use it. Like you, I use it to calm and wind down even though I use other healthier alternatives like a current body weight training program I am working on as well as trying to stick to at least 5 min. of meditation a day. I still have the urge for that ritual of pouring a glass and sitting down and just vegging but there is a huge price. I am not as present, even in the hours leading up to drinking, afterwards, there is no chance of me continuing work, plus it affects my moods long term. This program is really helping me to see all the ways I am affected by alcohol, including those very subtle ways I wasn't picking up on. I believe for myself, this is a journey not a quick decision to quit. I deal with A LOT of constant distractions during the day and my resentment is strong. If I am honest, I would say that I really want to mentally check out because feeling the overwhelmedness of life is just complete sensory overload at times for me. Reading is a good alternative but it is much harder to change gears and get into that headspace than it is to open a bottle and pour.

 

Best of everything to you on this journey.

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Thanks for your insightful post. I agree with much of what you said. I don't believe you need to forgive yourself for going back because it is simply a choice you make. What you have learned about your relationship to alcohol is the real gem here. I have not yet given it up in it's entirety and I don't plan to but I notice a vast improvement in all aspects of my life when I don't use it. Like you, I use it to calm and wind down even though I use other healthier alternatives like a current body weight training program I am working on as well as trying to stick to at least 5 min. of meditation a day. I still have the urge for that ritual of pouring a glass and sitting down and just vegging but there is a huge price. I am not as present, even in the hours leading up to drinking, afterwards, there is no chance of me continuing work, plus it affects my moods long term. This program is really helping me to see all the ways I am affected by alcohol, including those very subtle ways I wasn't picking up on. I believe for myself, this is a journey not a quick decision to quit. I deal with A LOT of constant distractions during the day and my resentment is strong. If I am honest, I would say that I really want to mentally check out because feeling the overwhelmedness of life is just complete sensory overload at times for me. Reading is a good alternative but it is much harder to change gears and get into that headspace than it is to open a bottle and pour.

 

Best of everything to you on this journey.

.

Thanks for commenting on this. It's funny, how getting into the headspace is the key, isn't it? There are days when work is so stressful, that I am just needing something powerful and fast to take my head away from it. Days when as soon as the prefrontal cortex gets 15 minutes of rest it jumps back on the problems obsessively and addictively...Those are my most risky days. I do not really get that way on the Whole 30, though, which says a lot. So the key here is to stick to it for long enough for the healthy coping mechanisms to be ome habits. It is the end of my day 9 now and I am right on track. It is time for my weightlifting and stretching. Do you have a pet? I find that taking a walk with my dog, doing some deep breathing and just playingwith him puts a lot of the work stress into perspective. Don't waste your energy on resentment...it's human to feel that way but it only hurts you. I would be interested to hear how you access the meditative state.

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.

Thanks for commenting on this. It's funny, how getting into the headspace is the key, isn't it? There are days when work is so stressful, that I am just needing something powerful and fast to take my head away from it. Days when as soon as the prefrontal cortex gets 15 minutes of rest it jumps back on the problems obsessively and addictively...Those are my most risky days. I do not really get that way on the Whole 30, though, which says a lot. So the key here is to stick to it for long enough for the healthy coping mechanisms to be ome habits. It is the end of my day 9 now and I am right on track. It is time for my weightlifting and stretching. Do you have a pet? I find that taking a walk with my dog, doing some deep breathing and just playingwith him puts a lot of the work stress into perspective. Don't waste your energy on resentment...it's human to feel that way but it only hurts you. I would be interested to hear how you access the meditative state.

I thought about your post a lot after I wrote my response. I was trying to pinpoint why for me, other forms of unwinding like meditation and yoga, or even reading don't work like that glass of wine does. I concluded that some of it has to do with getting to the point where I can no longer take the overload of life's sensory onslaught at times. I want a reprieve and total sobriety just doesn't cut it though I pursue those alternatives as a regular part of my lifestyle. We use food to alter mood, so in a sense using alcohol in a responsible way to temporarily alter state of mind doesn't have to be a bad thing. However, it is very individual and definitely not one size fits all. Some of us do need to give it up. It is really good to have a non-judgmental space to talk about it. I am always better without and the W30 is a great tool but I also have my risky days. Maybe we all do.

Resentment is a tough one. I may be battling it more intensly now after a very stressful 4 month with a sick kid. I am moving into a better space.

I do have a pet but not one that needs walking. I simply meditate by focusing on breath, that's pretty much it. I try never to focus on whether I am doing it right. I am more concerned with a consistent practice.

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I thought about your post a lot after I wrote my response. I was trying to pinpoint why for me, other forms of unwinding like meditation and yoga, or even reading don't work like that glass of wine does. I concluded that some of it has to do with getting to the point where I can no longer take the overload of life's sensory onslaught at times. I want a reprieve and total sobriety just doesn't cut it though I pursue those alternatives as a regular part of my lifestyle. We use food to alter mood, so in a sense using alcohol in a responsible way to temporarily alter state of mind doesn't have to be a bad thing. However, it is very individual and definitely not one size fits all. Some of us do need to give it up. It is really good to have a non-judgmental space to talk about it. I am always better without and the W30 is a great tool but I also have my risky days. Maybe we all do.

Resentment is a tough one. I may be battling it more intensly now after a very stressful 4 month with a sick kid. I am moving into a better space.

I do have a pet but not one that needs walking. I simply meditate by focusing on breath, that's pretty much it. I try never to focus on whether I am doing it right. I am more concerned with a consistent practice.

I think we are in much the same place in regards our plans with wine. I don't feel the need to never touch it again, Because I don't have an addiction. Like you, I just notice the outlay from my health account. Also, I really enjoy it, the ritual, the flavor, the terroir, the meal pairing, the convivality it provides at social occassions, even the beautiful colors and way it catches the lit. Very occassionally, I also enjoy a small glass of somethng stronger, part of a deep reflection alterd state. Like a serious writing endeavor deep into a cold night.

This brings me back the alterd state notion. As I said abve, I am looking for other ways to achieve relaxation, joy, rest, etc. I know there are other ways o get there and am committed to practicing them as frequently, or more frequently, than I grab a glass of wine.

One thing(if I may be so bold,no offense intended) I notice about what you share is that it seems you let stress (resentment) build for a whole day and then want a quick fix. I used to be there all day, every day and it crushed my health. I am talking stress to the level of physical and emotional agony, face to the wall, nothing left to give to my family by the end of the day. Totally self inflicted, I am so hard on myself! Then I noticed this might appear selfless and heroic, and surging to get to the finish line or solve a crisis is what is called for at times but is just not sustainable for very long. So, I have taken to practicing the non-wine activities mid-day. Half hour walk, stretch, yoga, read, cook, write....something that enables play, introspection, release, or a combo. Same with after work. A buffer activity between work and home duties that you do long enough to stave off the desire for the wine and tv.

I hope that helps..I know it's not easy to adopt

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It is tough, very tough, changing habits. I come from 2 alcoholic parents and have lost 2 direct family members to alcohol related illnesses. But stress of a chronically sick/disabled husband has me turning to food and wine. I stop for a week, then go back. Not much in volume, mind you, just about 6-8 oz, but it was daily. I stopped last week, had a glass on the weekend and stopped again this week. I have replaced the "ritual" with good quality tea in a great cup and that seems to help. The ritual in the evenings is a hard one but replacing it with similar but yet healthy one is ideal.

Good luck to all of us.

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