A friend that I used to drink with came over last night for dinner. We are still close friends and she’s very supportive of my sobriety. She asked me a question that I’ve asked myself a thousand times. “Are you really not ever going to have a glass of wine again?” That question kept me drinking for a long time. It plagued me a few month ago when I didn’t even want a drink, but the thought of not having one ever was crushing. But something has shifted in me.
We have all heard of women that stay in or go back to abusive lovers. They don’t usually go back for the abuse, but for the times when things were good. When he was kind and sweet to her, when things were passionate and exciting. And then the abuse comes back because between the two of them, there is not good without the bad. The seduction of the good makes her forget about the pain of the abuse.
For me, wine was an abusive lover. Most of the time, it made me feel so good. It brought excitement and fun and laughter with friends. It brought relaxation and celebration and consoled me when I was upset. But sometimes, it made me sick, so sick that I’d have to stay in bed all day. Sometimes, it made me anxious and regretful and scared. Sometimes it even made me think that I was less than who I am. It took my time and my money and my self worth.
No one tells a woman, “Once you are stronger, you can go back to your abuser,” no matter how much she loved him. It’s clear that the relationship needs to be over, for her safety, forever. And the stronger she becomes, the farther she distances herself from him. The same is true for my relationship with wine. As I became stronger, a shift occurred in my perspective. I don’t stay sober because I know I am not strong enough to drink, but because I am so strong, and love myself so much that I will never take that abuse again. I deserve so much better. I will find other loves that will not abuse me. Right now in addition to my friends and family, creativity and being close to nature are my kind and gentle loves. I may change relationships over time, but I’m not going back to abusers. It’s over for them because I know my worth.