It was a year ago this month that I stopped drinking. I’m often asked why I quit or if I miss it.
Many assume there was one big bang moment that caused my life to swing out of control and made me realize either the bottle goes or I. There is some scandalous story of waking up after a night of binge drinking and finding myself crammed into a Riker’s Island cell or passing out in subway car. AA meetings are chock full of I-can-top-that stories, but they’re not mine.
My story is actually pretty lame. I simply didn’t like the person I had become.
Alcohol was my crutch. And, best friend and therapist. I became the stereotypical mom who drinks mostly at home alone behind closed doors. My nightly after work glass of Chardonnay was a way to soothe the pain, frustration, and fear that came with single parenting and the mounting pressures of my daughter’s medical condition. It was the perfect buffer between me and a reality that’s not always pretty or pleasant.
Yet, it wast never just one glass, nor just after work. Drinking magnified my all my character defects and after a few glasses, I became an exaggerated, hyped-up version of myself. I came to loathe the person I became when I drank.
I, unfortunately, am not good at moderation. I never had one of anything. And, so I stopped.