In the lead-up to St. Paddy’s Day, I intended to go a full week without drinking.
It didn’t work, but I didn’t fail.
My prediction of slip-up #1 occurred when I walked downtown with my husband, looking for my poem that’s posted for Poetry in Plain Sight. We’d walked so far and I was so thirsty that I stopped at a coffee shop that didn’t have herbal tea, so I settled for green. I’m highly sensitive to caffeine, and for some reason it didn’t cross my mind that I’d still be wired by 8:00 p.m., and that alcohol, as a depressant, is the only thing that I’m willing to ingest to bring me down. I drank a Guinness leftover from St. Paddy’s and was able to mostly fall asleep on time that night.
By Thursday, I wanted a muscle relaxer since the green tea had given me the bright idea to put up new twinkle lights on our deck all by myself. By Friday, I just wanted to relax with my husband.
In all, though, even with that first slip-up, I realized the objective was really to have more control over when I drink — to have the freedom of going days without drinking, without letting my mind convince me that I “need” to have it, that it’s part of my routine, that I’m driving by a place I’ve been before and why not stop?
So that’s the new goal. I’m delving more into the stories we tell ourselves and how the mind often wants to control us because it likes to stick with what it knows — with what it thinks works — but I’m realizing that when it comes to alcohol, specifically, that’s a story worth critiquing and changing.