Trade Off The Trade Off: ( a drinking diaries entry) I know what you’re thinking, you gals with the cold glass of Chardonnay. You’re thinking (as you watch me stand glass-less) that I am not having as much fun, that I am not as playful as you, (or as I could be), that I left the bar early because I was feeling bored or lame, or had enough. Well, you are right. Sorta. I do not enjoy this bar mingle thing, or 4 hour dinner party like I used to. I used to enjoy alcohol (use it) to numb the parts of me that were guarded and bored and to amp up the part of me that was able to act eager to chat, move, dance, stay longer, make more plans, make more friends, take selfies, say things like “why don’t we hang out, or you should come over and let’s drink more wine later TONIGHT, or tomorrow or next week, let’s keep this gooiinnngg as long as possible”……. Don’t get me wrong I did enjoy the experience of evenings with wine. I liked dressing up, I liked seeing friends, listening to music, snacking on cheese and things, but I was really INTO the alcohol. Yet, I never blacked out ( I did brown out the night before my wedding…ugh) I never made a drinking error that I would not recover from. Drinking was not a problem for anyone, (like, no one) except for me. And the problem was not the night I was consuming it (ironically). It was the next day. So, yes, I can attest, today, or these days, I may not enjoy the night (drinking events) like I used to, I may not stay as long, or dance the second that pop’n song hits my ears, but I am enjoying it enough. To spend an evening alcohol-free is not suffering, by any means. I know what suffering is. Suffering is sleeping like I am laying on the stove, constantly flipping my pillow because my body is hot. Suffering is waking up groggy and dizzy and wishing I could skip this day and put my life on hold and go back and drink less and wonder why this happened again, and try to brush it off like its funny and okay and attack the recovery drinks (coffee, water, gaterade), think of ways to bypass “this” suffering, start skipping plans, worry about my “today” commitments, wonder if I was appropriate with everyone last night, wonder if I said or did anything out of line, wonder if anyone thought I was drinking too much, or saying too much or trying too hard, or not trying hard enough. Suffering is the next day. Alcohol causes more suffering then it provided pleasure. period. The trade off (off alcohol) is worth it to me. I know what you’re thinking “yea, well it’s worth it to me to just have the wine, I don’t suffer the next day, I don’t skip plans or feel crappy or get hot or care what people think about me or my drinking or last night”( well you may “not” be thinking this but this is what I would tell myself a LOT, so I know the lingo). So, now, I am Out of the obsession, the wine loop, the mental battle… I can see this pattern easier. I have a view that gives me this perspective. I love the trade I made. I would not trade back to have that chardonnay. I am on the side of this trade off that I feel peace. I hope you are, that’s all. and the only reason I share, is to give “liquid for thought’. You don’t have to change if it is not a problem FOR YOU. But if it is a problem for (only) you. It may be worth the trade.