Up until very recently over the past two decades my constant nightly companion came in the shape of a bottle of crisp, dry white wine. After I cleared the bare minimum obligations from my day, I took the bottle from the fridge, grabbed my favorite large glass, and poured myself the first of many drinks, which usually led to the entire bottle, sometimes more. Over the years my consumption stayed the same, and I rarely switched to red wine or any other kind of drink.
Wine had become the most important part of my existence. Day in and day out, it was the elephant in the room, the cause of so much underlying anxiety and stress and stops and starts in my life. The cause of inertia, indecision, or bad decisions. Achingly low self-esteem. Impatience, intolerance, cynicism, and even mild misanthropy. To feel positive about anything seemed false. I trudged through the days. The only time I stopped completely was when I was pregnant. Thankfully, even though I was still in denial at that point, my addiction could be tamed when I was with child. But within months after giving birth and when breastfeeding ceased, my habit returned.
My desire to quit drinking in the way I had been doing for several decades was not triggered by some dramatic embarrassing blackout or rock bottom episode, but from what I now understand was a deep and true desire to change. Facing an empty house, changing relationships, and news of my brother’s alcohol-related illnesses subconsciously moved me, perhaps, to where I am now. I am finally facing up to my addiction. I am trying to get at the why.
The above is an excerpt from my book, No More Waiting: A Story of Moderation after Decades of Drinking.