It’s been over a month since the dry year has ended and it’s time to say so long to this writing project and move on to the next. It is only right that I put into words what the last month has been like as it relates to alcohol. There have been some good times and one not-so-good time.

First the good…

I have enjoyed socializing at the holidays indulging in a vodka martini or some wine. I finally started to consume and experience the wine that I have purchased from Club W (my wine club) including a couple of nice wines from André Mack. My brother and his wife also brought me a bottle of my favorite potato vodka from Maine, Cold River. Honestly, martinis have never tasted so good.

I have also observed that the special novelty that I felt the first week of drinking faded quickly, and the act of having a drink at the end of the day is once again “normal.” By this, I mean the excitement wore off soon after commencing the drink ritual again. This is not really a bad thing. I am able to feel less attached to having drinks, especially when it looks like a long night at a party. In fact, my brother and I had a pact this year at the family Christmas party that we wouldn’t drink just in case anyone needed a designated driver. It did not feel like a sacrifice to make this decision. It felt good to realize that it isn’t a big deal to abstain at a party—I’ve had lots of experience with that sort of thing now.

Now the bad….

On December 1st, when I announced that I was going to have my first drink, many people warned me to “be careful” as my tolerance would be shot and I could “get really drunk.” I had experienced a small change in the amount that I could consume but I thought it was nothing too extreme. So, I began to have a false sense of confidence in my ability to throw a few back. Then we invited friends over for dinner and a round of the board game, Masterpiece. Oh Lord.

photo(1)I had a glass of wine while cooking alone in my kitchen (one glass over the course of an hour or two). I had the stereo turned up, and I was having a good time roasting chicken and vegetables and laying out snacks. Then our friends arrived and thinking I should drink some of that good vodka, I had a martini with dinner. Game time began and bottles of wine were opened. OK, maybe I opened them. I really don’t know how much wine I drank. We were having a lot of fun, refilling our glasses and I was at home, no need to drive. Then I got up to see our guests to the door and it was NOT pretty. Whooosh! The room was tippy and I was slurry. That did not feel good. I felt like I was back in college not having any idea when to stop.

Once everyone left, my head got spinning and my stomach was churning. Needing to get off my feet immediately, I fell asleep on my son’s empty bed not wanting to move my body far from the lavatory, and Philip went upstairs to sleep. Around 3:00AM, my stomach had calmed down and I joined my husband with the worst headache I have ever experienced. Staying in bed until noon the next day, I forfeited a precious day of my vacation feeling downright rotten. There was no recouping that loss.

Did I really need this lesson? I should have known better. I should have listen to my friends. I was embarrassed at how intoxicated I had gotten. Why did I do this? I guess, I can only chalk it up to this… sometimes we get over confident and have to learn the hard way, no matter how old we are. In the end, I am grateful for this drunken experience for one reason only. It made me appreciate being sober after all of those months of wanting to have a drink. The table was turned (in fact, the whole room was spinning) and the last few days I have embraced my ol’ friend abstinence and looked back at being sober in a new light.