Club Soda + Lime

Ground Zero.

December 24th, 2018

“Let’s quit drinking for 90 days! Come on…it will be fun” – said no one ever.

Yet, here I am.

For as long as I can remember every New Year’s resolution I have made begins with much hope, merriment and bravado. I LOVE New Year’s Day, so much so that I usually don’t go out on New Year’s Eve because I hate feeling like shit the next day. Which, given my love of a good party, it’s beyond ironic.

Typically, by the first weekend in January, however, my efforts begin to fade. I quickly slip in to old habits, remembering in my younger years I had much more tenacity; making it to at least Valentine’s Day. But, even with all the proof of failure, I haven’t given up my love for a good New Year’s resolution. And I am a total cheerleader for those who believe, even when the world rolls their eyes.

  • You want to eat healthier? Awesome.

  • Maybe exercise more? Just do it.

  • Save some money? Sweet.

  • Perhaps pay off that debt? Yes, finally.

  • Write a book. Cool. Me too.

Big or small, I don’t care what it is, I love them all.

But, this is where I have gone wrong all these years; the above list is about making external things “better”. I realize now everything stems from self-care. (I know. It sort of makes me want to throw up a little in my mouth too) But if we don’t take care of ourselves first, nothing else will get taken care of.

It’s pretty simple. And it’s not.

Something always gets in the way of my good intentions and for me, it’s wine. She is the perfect frenemy; sitting back, arms crossed, chuckling on January 1st only to turn around to pat me on the back January 8th with a cute little “nice try.” She wiggles her way back with a “what will one little glass hurt?” clouding my judgement until I’m halfway through a box of wine, sabotaging all my efforts.

She’s the innocent invitation from a friend looking for company to commiserate over jobs, spouses, kids, money, friends, you name it.

She’s Mommy’s little helper after tough day at work or with the kids or out of shear boredom or avoidance.

She’s the spoonful of sugar that allows me to numb any feelings that I just don’t have the energy to tackle.

She’s got some good qualities too; an excuse to see said-friends, the courage to let down a guard and tell the truth, etc.

Recently though, and if I’m being honest here, for quite some time (years in fact), the cons are out-weighing the pros. For the last six months I have thought long and hard about giving up alcohol for 90 days.

This is not an impulsive I-drank-too-much-on-New Year’s Eve kind of decision. As a matter of fact, I am sitting here on Christmas Day, in my kitchen preparing this “announcement”. I need to make some pretty big life decisions soon and I need a clear head. And I am just sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Why 90 days?

In my humble opinion, it’s a long enough commitment to make a noticeable difference and short enough to actually achieve. I know this will likely throw some people [I love] in to a tizzy, ironically, many of them having part ownership of my heart.

They’ll think they can’t invite me places because I “won’t be fun anymore”. They’ll feel bad for having a drink in front of me or any number of other things I don’t care to assume. Drinking has been part of my identity from adolescence through all of my adult life so I can understand it might be uncomfortable for them and me. And, I’m ok with that. Because, here’s the thing: I just really can’t care about outside opinions.

This has absolutely nothing to do with anyone else. Just me.

It’s really quite simple. I want something I’ve never had, so I have to do something I’ve never done. This is about putting MYSELF and MY goals at the top of MY list. It’s been entirely too long, if ever, that I have found myself here. I have some big dreams and I believe in my heart of hearts that if I can find a clear head for a few months, the sky is the limit.

I also don’t think I am alone in some of these goals, which is why I have also made a decision to share my experience. Truthfully, I need some accountability too and the best way to get that is to air out my dirty laundry for all to judge. Oh, and I decided to throw in no coffee and no soda just for fun.

Here’s the plan:

  • Posts. I’ll journal every day here from Day 0 to Day 90, even if only a sentence or two but let’s be real, it’s probably going to be longer than that. Prepare yourselves. The last time I took 90 days off from drinking was pre-age 14, a stint in the Middle East for seven months and two over-due pregnancies. All of those experiences offered a major excuse not to drink; the lack of choice. What I am talking about here is facing every day temptations and making the choice to say no. I’m not sure what this will be like.

  • The truth. I am going to get mighty real. I promise to respect everyone involved, but ultimately this is my story. If you choose to be a part of my life…you’re a part of my story. Good, bad, ugly. The decision has been made. There’s a difference between “I’m trying” and “I’ve decided”. I have already resigned to the fact I won’t have a beer (or 10) poolside in Florida this February and I won’t drink green beer on St. Patrick’s Day.

  • There’s never a good time. From the depths of my soul, believe me when I tell you there is no good time to do this. There will always be a holiday, birthday, vacation, wedding, snow storm, beautiful spring day or a boring Tuesday night that will provide the ideal opportunity to stall this decision. I’ve only spent about 20 years finding “just the right time”.

  • Do I have a problem? The fact that I want to take something out of my life that I think is not serving a purpose in my current situation thereby actively finding a solution to it? Well then, I guess that makes it a problem. Believe me when I tell you I have researched this very question. I know there are believers in many, many schools of thought about this very issue. For now, this is the path I am taking.

If you have specific questions or would like to offer a word of encouragement, please do so below.

With all of my love, hope, happiness and joy for the new year,

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