It’s a glorious, beautiful day today. Not a cloud in the bright sky, the ferries glide back and forth across the Sound, and tug boats and cargo ships move gently under the morning sun. No one hurries.
I feel so much better today, and resolute to find new ways to cope with the alcohol cravings when they come. I see now that drinking really was my “best friend,” a destructive, deeply emotional habit that I’ve used as a crutch for many, many years. I guess (despite what Allen Carr, Jason Vale and others might hope) I can’t expect it to be gone overnight.
Holidays are tricky times for a lot of people, drinking or not, and Facebook has only exacerbated that. I know myself well enough to know that if I’m feeling like I’m in a fragile place, I either don’t get on Facebook, or I give myself ONE post from someone else that makes me feel bad/sad/bothered, and I shut it down. I try to stay off altogether on holidays, because that one power-packed post often comes quickly. Holidays are funny that way.
As I’ve said, I’m single, and my biggest fear, above all others by an order of magnitude, is dating and having a romantic relationship, without drinking. Of course rationally I can call that hogwash and know that I can have as much fun and romance without wine (or more) than with it, but there is a huge part of my head and heart that longs for the champagne for two on the balcony looking over the Mediterranean. Sharing a bottle of gorgeous red over a candlelit dinner. Toasting an anniversary or celebration at a table with my love and our best friends. Meeting for a drink on a cold, winter night, snow falling, just the two of us and no one else matters.
It goes without saying but I’ll say it: I’m a hopeless romantic.
I know that all of these things can happen without alcohol, and yes, I’ll actually be fully present for them. (To do: re-read the chapters about this by Allen Carr, Jason Vale and Annie Grace…) But wow, the pull. The fear of rejection. The wish to be loved fully and well, and to paint a romantic picture around all of it that, which has always included wine. Always wine.
I bring up Facebook because last night and today there are so many photos of families giving thanks. So many lovers and loves. So much beauty of love and romance had by so many lucky people who have found each other. Oh sure, I am keenly aware of the Facebook illusion, but sometimes even knowing that, it doesn’t matter. You know? Sometimes I let myself slip into the fantasy of meeting the love of my life and having all of that romance we see on the silver screen and the computer screen — just before there is a surge of fear that my not drinking will somehow cut my possibilities off at the pass. That saying “no thanks, I don’t drink” will suffocate any potential love I might find before it has a chance to grow.
I know it’s not really rational, and those who might have an issue with my not drinking might have their own issues with da booze. But at my age it’s a numbers game and creating more obstacles to finding someone is nerve-wracking. Jaysus, I’m already a pescatarian (nearly vegetarian) with an egg allergy who only drinks decaf coffee. Thank GOD I’m not gluten free. Then I might as well kiss ever having sex again goodbye.
I know that when I’m becoming best person I can be — alcohol free and loving life — that’s when I have the best chance of finding my amazing and incredible life partner.
Now say it ten times fast. Now ten more.
I can know all of these things in my brain, but it may take some time for my heart to catch up. It will just take some time.
I did a Google search for movie stars who don’t drink. I figured that with their fantastic beauty, dating lives, social calendars, high profiles, etc., if THEY can live their lives alcohol free (and still be fantastically desirable and cool), I sure should be able to too. Some of those I found were addicts who got clean, and some just made life choices to eliminate alcohol from their lives because it wasn’t helping. I keep the list hanging on the cupboard in my kitchen, and when I need a reminder of how many Beautiful People I’m in good company with, it’s right there. Boom.
…and let me just say that if Bradley Cooper or Ben Affleck wanted to meet for dinner or drinks (AF, of course), I’m quite sure we would have a fecking fantastic time without a drop of wine in sight.
Here’s my list. If you have other favorites who inspire you, please let me know!
- Bradley Cooper
- Ben Affleck
- Jennifer Lopez
- Jennifer Hudson
- Christina Ricci
- Kristen Davis
- Tom Cruise
- Eva Mendez
- Kim Cattrall
- Tyra Banks
- Naomi Campbell
- Natalie Portman
- Jada Pinkett Smith
- Blake Lively
- Edie Falco
- Ewen McGregor
- Rob Lowe
- Robert Downey Jr.
- David Beckam
- James Franco
- Matthew Perry
- Katy Perry
I’m going to go ahead and add Jane Goodall to the list, because I’m willing to BET she doesn’t drink and she’s pretty fecking inspiring too.
Deep breath, Rachel. Life is good alcohol-free, and love (when I find it) will be too.
Has it really only been 13 days?
Day 13. Rachel.