49 days and holding. As in, putting one foot in front of the other, walking forward, day after day. It seems very strange not to be drinking this time of year, but not really unpleasant most of the time. I realize a lot of the occasions that seemed to inevitably include alcohol were mostly my personal expectations, not intrinsic characteristics of the events themselves.
One of the emails quoted on Belle's blog recently talked about alcohol making her feel like she was going to have fun soon- not that she ever got to the part about actually feeling the fun. For me, it is the anticipation of letting go, of stress, of expectations, of duties. Being able to go to that Fuzzy Place where I don't have to think about or listen to any of these. And for that first glass or two of wine, it might actually feel good, rewarding, happy.
But, ahhh, that lack of a OFF switch, that inability to say, Gee, I feel good, that's enough, thank you. That is where the damage came in for me.
Where did that defective OFF switch come from? Partly genetic, I think, and partly cultural promotion of the joys of alcohol consumption. Is it possible to acquire an OFF switch? Can one go from being an excessive drinker to a moderate drinker, defining moderate as the ability to have one or two drinks and feel satisfied, feel no urge to consume more alcohol?
That was my goal when I started examining my alcohol consumption- a glass or two of wine with dinner a few nights a week. My thoughts on that are shifting. I am beginning to believe that getting an OFF switch, actually learning moderate behaviour, will not be possible for me. Let me rephrase that: I know that I CAN, with focus, drink just one or two glasses of wine in an evening, and stop there. But it takes LOTS of energy, self-talk, will-power to make it happen. I CANNOT see a future where I will really drink one or two glasses of wine and not care if I have another glass or not.
On the other hand, whenever I tell myself I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT ever do something, it is like a dare to me to rebel. Redheads don't look good in red? Oh, yeah? Look at me in this scarlet dress! Adult women can't squat their own body weight? Oh yeah? Watch this!! You can never ever drink any alcohol again? Oh, yeah? Watch me head to the wine store.
I am definitely committed to doing these 100 days. But what will I do after that? I'm not sure. And I don't feel compelled to make a specific commitment now- I realize I am just barely half-way through the 100 days. So much has changed, become apparent, been different than I expected already- and I'm pretty sure the next 50 days will also bring more of these. But I'm just thinking...