For Me, Wine is Not Self-Care

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Wine holds no value for me. It is not soothing or relaxing. It is entirely unnecessary. It is not the answer to my anxious thoughts or the soother of my insecurities.

Alcohol nearly destroyed my marriage.

My husband is a recovering alcoholic and I witnessed first-hand how drinking was the symptom of a much greater problem. It was the self-prescribed medication to fill the hole he had inside.

It caused us arguments, discord, disaster, accidents, chaos, violence, and incredible instability in our home.

It was not a way to unwind but rather an entry point of dysfunction in our lives.

See, in our house it was never just one glass of wine. It wasn’t even a bottle. It was a bottomless, endless, compulsive, all-consuming frenzy.

It was never about the wine, but rather the disease of addiction.

The ensuing calamity that followed popping that seemingly innocent bottle of Kendall Jackson Chardonnay was much bigger and more explosive than I could comprehend.

Devastation was swiftly and cunningly unleashed by a mind-altering substance masquerading as a way to “unwind, relax, and let loose”. Alcohol could’ve been the means to a very tragic end. The end of our marriage, our family, my beloved’s life.

Miraculously it wasn’t. My husband, by the grace of God, got sober. To support his recovery, I gave up alcohol as well 9 years ago.

I cannot look at alcohol any other way now. I don’t see it as a casual friend but rather an insidious enemy that, if given the chance, will destroy the person I love most in this world.

There is nothing relaxing to me about wine. I find no solace in it.

I only see the destruction it causes.

My self-care is not about altering my state of mind. I learned long ago to cherish a clear mind, free from fog, disorientation, buzzes, blackouts, and hangovers. Self-care to me is nurturing my body and soul in ways that make me more aware, not less.

More present, more calm, more in control.

I meditate, pray, hike, write, draw, take a bath, encourage a friend, laugh with my kids, have a deep conversation with my husband, read the Bible, do yoga, listen to the birds.

For me, the answer to caring for myself doesn’t come in a glass and calm doesn’t come in a can.

It can only be found by filling up my spirit. The body becomes incredibly balanced and healthy when the mind and spirit are nourished, not chronically or even occasionally depleted.

There is astonishing balance and focus found in sobriety.

And that, to me, is self-care at it’s finest.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Alcohol is different for everyone. For some they have no limits, some don’t know when to stop, some drink to forget or mask. While some of us come from very abusive alcohol driven upbringings and choose to enjoy a glass or two or maybe even a bottle or two (yes in one night) but being mindful of my surrounds, state of mind, attitude, and company all plays into my enjoyment. I go months once even a full year with touching alcohol because it lost its enjoyment. I had forgotten to be mindful of those things. I became a widow at 25 just 19 days after horrifically finding out my baby sister had been brutally murdered. So everyone around me fed into my alcoholic tendencies. They thought it was helping me to cope since I was out at a bar, plastering on a fake smile instead of at home curled up in a ball. I however decided one day that I was done it’s wasn’t fun anymore it wasn’t helping anymore and I could do better. It had simply lost its effectiveness at easing the pain. And if it didn’t work anymore then I didn’t need it anymore.

    Today I enjoy wine, beer, and even hard alcohol with ease and mindfulness knowing yourself, your self worth, and knowing that if it’s not fun it’s not worth it.

    To each their own. Pick up a glass and take a sip or pour it down the drain, you do you. Just don’t judge me for enjoying my can, glass, or bottle.

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