Some years ago, my husband and I were vacationing in New York City. One of our very favorite tourist-y things to do while on vacation in big cities is to go on walking food tours. Our tour guide was an engaging young man who led us though Greenwich Village, I believe, telling us ‘behind the scenes’ stories of celebrities who lived in the neighborhood, little-known facts about the architecture of various buildings, etc. All was interspersed with stops at various eateries for different types of pizza, cookies, cheeses – all in all, a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. One of the buildings we strolled by was the Cherry Lane Theater that Edna St. Vincent Millay’s contemporaries founded. Apparently, she was a raging alcoholic/addict. Our guide cheerfully described her as someone who was “a whole lot of fun until she wasn’t.” That, my friends, is what alcohol became to me, in a nutshell. A whole lot of fun until I realized, first with trepidation, then sadness, and, finally, stone-cold clarity – alcohol no longer contributed anything positive to my day to day existence. It negatively affected my mood, the quality of my sleep – the quality of my life. I knew that I would be so much happier if I just quit. Having alcohol in the house doesn’t bother or tempt me. I can purchase wine or my husband’s favorite, Maker’s Mark – without batting an eyelash. But – I was seeing a pattern of behavior I became increasingly uncomfortable with. And I no longer felt particularly proud of the woman staring back at me in the mirror. As Henry Ford said, “If you always do what you always did, you’re always going to get what you always got.” Something had to change.
I plan to delve into this topic in greater detail in future posts. For now, I invite you to share why you decided to stop. Was it a specific event/crisis? An epiphany? Did you set a ‘quit date’? Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment! I’d love to hear from you.