Bad boyfriends, broken hearts

I ate a pint of Ben & Jerry’s tonight, and let’s just say that it capped a long day of trying desperately with food to fill a void I was feeling. Granted, I was off my eating routine, having gone to brunch with my family, but when I got home, I was very aware that Wolfie had an ice pick to my brain stem and was applying pressure.

“What are you feeling right now? What hole are you trying to fill?” I asked myself. But I couldn’t fully pull out of it. It felt too close. I was too far inside the noise in my head to really step out of the spin cycle and ground myself again.

Obviously, I need to work at this. And so, instead, I ate whatever I wanted (peanut butter, ice cream, cheese enchiladas…) instead of drinking. This isn’t a good medium- or long-term strategy, especially because, as a person who has struggled with food issues all her life, including binge-eating disorder in grad school, turning to food only compounds the issues for me. Sitting here right now with the clarity of evening, I can see that in some ways, replacing drinking with eating could eventually make the compulsion to drink worse. No bueno.

I like Anne’s idea of bubble baths. Can’t hurt to try. 🙂

But as I was walking my dog tonight, I remembered a NY Times article that really resonated with me, especially with a day like today in my rear view mirror.

“For me, heroin [me: red wine] provided a sense of comfort, safety and love that I couldn’t get from other people (the key agent of addiction in these regions is the same for many pleasurable experiences: dopamine). Once I’d experienced the relief  heroin [red wine] gave me, I felt as though I couldn’t survive without it.”

I’m not sure about ending the argument that addiction is progressive… but comparing it to heartbreak sure felt right. Even the subhead of my blog refers to my relationship with red wine as a love affair that was over.
“Recognizing addiction as a learning disorder can also help end the argument over whether addiction should be treated as a progressive illness, as experts contend, or as a moral problem, a belief that is reflected in our continuing criminalization of certain drugs. You’ve just learned a maladaptive way of coping.
Moreover, if addiction resides in the parts of the brain involved in love, then recovery is more like getting over a breakup than it is like facing a lifelong illness. Healing a broken heart is difficult and often involves relapses into obsessive behavior, but it’s not brain damage.”
If I compare how I’ve been feeling today with getting over a broken heart (even if he was a bad boyfriend), at least it feels similar to something I’ve done before — and I made it through.
Tomorrow, no ice cream.
Day 14.

The Week Begins

It’s Monday and I made a commitment to blog every day for the next 97 days, even if just to say: I AM SOBER. AMEN.

So that’s pretty much it. I went to a SMART Recover class tonight, which was interesting. A cognitive behavioral approach to meetings facilitated by a therapist, focusing on thoughts and behaviors and interaction. No horror stories. No monologues. No powerlessness or talk of God. It was actually OK. I think I’ll go again next week.

One thing that was interesting: At one point when the therapist asked what I say to people when I say I’m not drinking. One of the answers I give is that I’m on a 100 Day Challenge, or (like last night when I was on a date — that’s another story) that I’m on a “cleanse.” He said, “You could just say, ‘I don’t drink.’ And it really doesn’t require explanation.”

Weird. It sounded so easy when he said it. 🙂 Hm.

I’m tired and I have to work some and get to bed early/on time — another commitment I made to myself.

So… g’night.

Rachel. Day 3.

Happy, mellow Sunday

It’s been too long since I’ve posted, but I’m not isolating or avoiding. It’s actually because I’m in a really happy, contented place and I haven’t felt the need to “get it all out” on the page. Is this why they say musicians fall apart when they finally get happy? 🙂

Today is day 56 since I lurched forward and started this leg of the journey, after many “Day 1s.” Those many attempts were necessary to get here, as I learned important lessons and gained important insights along the way, and I can honestly say I’m stunned at how comfortable it has become to come home and have a fizzy water and then a cup of tea instead of reaching for the bottle. I feel a LOT better physically (although I haven’t lost weight yet — that is to come), but what I didn’t expect is how much better I feel mentally. Emotionally. Every day I’m excited for all the time I have — never enough time — to do so many things. I bought a stack of books that I’m excited to read, and I have so many other things I want to get going. None of this could have happened before because I was spending all my time (and money) thinking about or drinking red wine, but more importantly, I had lost my drive to do it. I haven’t finished a novel in so long I can’t even remember. Until now. I’m voraciously reading and can’t wait until I can pick up my next book.

I also joined a secret Facebook support group that has been super helpful, and is there for me (and many others) all day/night, every day. People at many stages of their own journeys, from all over the world, supporting each other.

And Belle. Belle and her emails and podcasts have been amazing too. And my life coach. And my best friends. I’m so fortunate to have so many supports in my life.

So that’s all today. It’s a gorgeous Sunday morning (it stopped raining!) and I’m looking out onto the water wondering how I am going to spend this way too short, glorious day. So much fun to be had. So much life to live today.

xo Rachel

Day 56

All I want for Christmas…

Ryan ChristmasLast week on Thanksgiving, I don’t know which was worse: the absolute tedium I felt hanging out with my family without any red wine OR the ten pounds of food I stuffed into my gullet in order to compensate.

I came away realizing I need a different strategy for Christmas, which is going to be here before we know it.


I decided to propose the idea of bringing a puzzle that we could all work on. Yeah, I just want to distract myself in a way that isn’t completely anti-social. My parents only have one table, though, and whenever I show up for these family things, Mom has already arranged the place settings, enough for everyone.

I decided screw it, and I suggested the puzzle anyway. Maybe we could eat with plates on our laps this year? (It did not even occur to me to suggest TV trays like any self-respecting child of the 60s would. Wait, does anybody even own TV trays anymore?)

My mom, always in support of me no matter what, said “OK! Let’s try it!”

Then I got the text from my step-dad, which included my mom.

“Your mom tells me you want to do a 500-piece puzzle during Christmas Eve dinner. I think that with everything going on including dinner, the gift exchange, the ornament exchange, and just visiting, a puzzle is not a good idea.”

My heart sank. Clearly he didn’t realize that I was looking for a lifeline. I’m already dreading the evening, which is sad, because I normally enjoy spending time with my family. Although I will admit, the last few years I always planned to stay over on those holiday evenings because the ‘rents live over an hour away and I knew I would drink about a bottle of wine and crash in the guest room. In fact, I counted on it.

I felt my trigger reaction want to respond something passive-aggressive to the effect of Well then I’ll just come late and leave early. I wanted to avoid it altogether. I can’t imagine suffering through another night like Thanksgiving and why should I? I really do love them and I hope I don’t sound too ungrateful, but I’m trying to honor the fact that in my “baby giraffe” days, as my life coach described them, I’m walking on very wobbly legs and I need to do whatever I need to do to stay upright.

Especially when there’s the potential lion around every gum tree.

“You’re just going to be high maintenance for a little while,” she said. “And that’s OK.” What a gift to have permission to be high maintenance for a little while — and that’s OK.

So, instead of getting pissed or reacting or retreating, I took a breath and was honest:

“I’m trying to find a healthy way to keep myself (and others who want to participate) busy so I’m not just sitting there while others are drinking. Thanksgiving was difficult that way. I’m happy to go for a walk with Bub or something instead.”

And I waited.

That’s when my mom jumped in. She would rather throw herself in front of a moving train than alienate me in any way.

“We will hold off on the drinking! (Step-dad) and I are the only ones who imbibe and it’s no big deal for us. What time is good to come over? I’m easy! Bring a puzzle if you want! A smaller one for the end of the table. We can have all sorts of stuff going on. Or watch a DVD for Xmas. A Xmas comedy.”

I couldn’t have loved her more in that moment. I told them it sounded fun and I didn’t want to impose on their fun, I’m just learning new ways to keep myself occupied. Then my step-dad said:

“You know we love and support you in this. I promise we will not let you down. You, your sister and uncle are our fun so there is no way you could impose.”

And then I loved them even more.

So, I’m going to find a smaller puzzle to do myself. And maybe I’ll bring a fun game I played with friends a couple of months ago, Bannanagrams (I’m not a games person, but it was fun). And the Christmas movie idea could be fun too…and I’m going to bring my own snacks so I don’t have to worry about what I’m putting in my mouth. Aaaaaand I’ll probably show up a little later than usual and leave a little earlier, aaaaaand I’ll probably go on a walk with Bub at some point too.

I’m going to have about 27 arrows in my proverbial quiver and none of them is going to be a bottle of red wine. Urp.

Gotsta have TOOLS, my brothers and sisters! TOOLS!!

So here I am on Day 4 of my 100-Day Challenge and I will not drink TODAY. Whoop! (although I’ve really had hardly anything to drink since October and I want credit, dammit. 🙂 )


{{Rachel, this is GOD. On behalf of your liver, I grant you…CREDIT!}}

Thanks, God.

Now, random completely unrelated fun fact: Did you know that scallops have about 60 blue eyes? Now you do.



Hierarchy of needs: Red, red wine

When you’re hooked on booze, the decision to drink or not really isn’t a rational one. How many lists have I made thoroughly enumerating the downsides of drinking or the upsides of not? How many times have I looked in the mirror, hungover and red-faced and decided to take a break? How many times, then, have I had another glass of wine before the happy hour struck 4?


I know people in relationships have their own sets of issues when they’re trying to quit drinking. I used to be one of them. But being single also has its particular challenges, starting with the fact that I can drink any time I want without witness except loneliness, which visits often. Wine has been my best friend and lover for several years now, and if I’m honest, it was the case even when I was married.

Anyway… this isn’t a pity party, I promise. I was just reading This Is How by Augusten Burroughs last night and he had some interesting things to say about quitting drinking that have been knocking around in my head today.

He isn’t a big fan of the AA tenet that we are powerless against alcohol, for one. Rather, he says the power is completely within us. As difficult as it is, I would tend to agree.

But more provocative, I thought, was this:

To be successful at not drinking, a person needs to occupy the space in life drinking once filled with something more rewarding than the comfort and escape of alcohol. This is the thing you have to find.

You might not. Most alcoholics won’t.

The truth is that people who cannot stop drinking are people who, however guilty they may feel and however dire the consequences, have become so addicted to the drug and the experience that they prefer it to the remainder of their lives. While they may truly want to be sober, they want to drink more.

… You can absolutely stop drinking today, right now. The question is only, do you want to be sober more than you want to drink? …

Very few people can answer this question truthfully and reply, yes. 

Yikes. What a buzz kill. 🙂

It’s kind of terrifying. Because again tonight, and last night, I was craving that comfort and escape, more than just about anything. And I can tell myself alcohol is poison (rational) and that the benefits are a lie (rational) and that my list of why drinking is bad is a mile long (again, rational)… But tonight, home on a Thursday night with my dog, after a tiring week, what I REALLY want tonight is comfort and escape. I want to feel my dopamine receptors fire as if I’m being held by someone who loves me.

And THAT’s why giving up drinking is so fecking hard sometimes. It’s not rational. Those cravings are PRIMAL, and wine taps directly into my limbic system to say, there there, I got you… don’t worry about a thing for now. just put your head here and fall asleep…

And is that really the challenge? Is that really what success will require? Finding something more rewarding than the comfort and escape of a primal longing?

Maybe so. And that’s why it takes so many different kinds of support to do this. It’s really fecking hard to not act on something so fundamental while trying to find something as or more important to replace it.

I’m still holding out hope that at some point things will turn. That this state I find myself in each night won’t feel like giving up that comfort and escape forever. Because I can’t imagine feeling like my life is without the heights of pleasure now that I quit drinking, even if I look and feel better overall — and I hope I don’t have to. I hear it gets better. I know I’m doing a lot of the right things. Tonight I’ll get in bed and push through until tomorrow because it’s finally time to sleep.

And Augusten wasn’t a total scary bummer. He does also say this:

You don’t need to take action to stop drinking… all you have to do is sit. 

In 100 percent of the documented cases of alcoholism worldwide, the people who recovered all shared one thing in common, no matter how they did it:

They just didn’t do it.

I’m putting it out there to the Universe that I hope the new bliss of being alcohol free doesn’t wait too long to pay a visit. Please, oh, please, Universe? Bring mama some big goodness.

Because, maybe it goes without saying (seeing as I have this annoying alcohol habit), but I’ve never been very good at delaying pleasure for the promise of better things to come. This is really an exercise in faith — mostly in the blogosphere and all of those who have come before me who say there are amazing things to come. This will pay off. It will be worth it. Just hold on.

Tonight I’m putting what’s left of my hope and strength in the plate and passing it around. I’m sure it will be full again when tomorrow comes.

Day 5. (again) Rachel.

Brain goblins and razor wire

“Change is an upward spiral.”

A kind and wise fellow blogger recently relayed this quote, which someone had also shared with her. I love it, although I think I’d change it just a bit to something like:

Change is a bloody, upward jig-jagged, razor wire spiral littered with the flesh of those who have tried and failed.


 Too dramatic?

Just kidding, although while I do love the image of an upward spiral, I think of the change spiral as much more uneven than a classic egg whisker. Instead it has some jigs, some jags, it expands in places, retracts in others, and has some recursive loops built in at stages along the way.

Sure, it’s nice to give myself credit for making progress, even if I’m back to “Day 3.” (again) And when I think about how much I have(n’t) drunk in the last 4 weeks, even if I wasn’t perfect, it sure is a hellova lot less than I have been drinking the last 4 years. And that’s not nothing.

That’s why some people are against counting days, I guess. If I have 30 days or 300 days and I have a drink, that’s still a shit-ton of shit I didn’t put into my body.

Yes. But.

The trouble is, I know I can’t leave any opening for thinking I can drink every once in a while, or moderately, or at some given date in the future…or that it’s really fine to give in to a craving because on the whole I’m still way ahead.

I can’t and I know it. There is no such thing as moderation for me — I’ve spent a great deal of time, money and angst proving that out — and frankly, I would love the peace of mind that I keep reading comes (eventually) with closing the door. Completely. Shut. Not. An. Option.

Would you like a drink? 

No thanks, I quit. 

And anyway, that shit is poison, right? RIGHT?

Hm. I know it is. I know. And so why can I still vividly remember how much I DIDN’T enjoy drinking last Saturday, and I sure as hell didn’t enjoy the vomitous, hungover waste of the next day…so why, then, did I still hear my old beloved wine brain whispering in my ear on the way home tonight?

C’mon, you want to feel goood. Soooothe yourself… Relapse is noooormal. They are expecting it so what’s the big deeeaal? Where is the pleasure? Wine will feel so good. What else will make you feel so good, especially after a long, frustrating day at work with so little ACTUAL pleasure? C’mon… wiiiiinnne. 

I really need to get a boyfriend.

Intellectually, rationally, I know why, of course, and I shut that shit down. I broke it down. I talked to myself outloud while I was walking down the street. (Who cares if people think I’m a little cray cray?) I asked myself: What am I feeling? Why do I think I want to drink? What do I think I will get from it? Why is this coming up now?

I saw myself walking into the corner store and picking out a bottle. In my mind, mind you, not with my legs.

And then, I decided to do something else, something we talked about in my mindfulness class last night. I decided to sit with these uncomfortable feelings. What the fu…? And breathe. Name the feelings. And really notice what was going on and why I was suddenly — and unexpectedly — craving a bottle.

Because seriously, what the fuck? What lowdown, ass hole brain goblin is messing with me when I think I have been perfectly clear I want nothing to do with alcohol anymore?

(I realize Ms. Potty Mouth has shown up to narrate tonight… Who am I to tell her she isn’t welcome? She’s on my side.)

Yes, I had a frustrating day and that old goblin wanted his juice. Jerk. He’s a fecking dopamine glutton and he’s messed with my peace and joy, mainlining off my limbic system for too long.

I got home, leashed up my dog, walked right back to that corner store and picked up two flavored fizzy waters and a package of rice crackers to complement the olive hummus waiting for me in the fridge. YUM.  #screwthegoblin #biteme

Shifting gears…

I LOVE MY LIFE COACH. She’s awesome, and has helped me come further in the last 6 months than I ever would have been able to do on my own. Times ten.

I was telling her about how I invited an acquaintance to join me at the Glen Hansard show last Saturday who had been (somewhat annoyingly) fishing around for a ticket on Facebook. When I suddenly had an extra, I reluctantly asked her if she wanted it. Why did I bother? Because of something I read in Cheryl Strayed’s recent book:

FullSizeRender (4)

I thought I should be magnanimous!

Hell, I’m all for doing whatever I can these days to make my life a hundred times better than it is.

So… I gave her this highly sought-after ticket and, well, I’ll just say it ended up not being a wholly positive experience. I relayed the story to my life coach because the whole thing was still nagging at me a bit.

“Fuck being magnanimous!” she said. “You need to keep your focus on all of the things you are doing to make your life better and avoid anything or anyone who causes you grief or frustration. Avoid anyone who doesn’t make you feel awesome and surround yourself with people who support you and all you are trying to do.”

Of course she’s totally right. This whole thing — the quitting drinking and all of the lessons that are inextricably linked to it — are about loving myself more and doing something about it. And leaving as little flesh on the spiral as possible.

Loving myself more. Doing something about it.

Every day.

Day 3. Rachel.



Day 5, Part 2 — Out the Shoot

Today is just one day, but I can say I made it through. I think that’s as intense as I’ve ever felt about wanting to just drink, without heading straight to the store and making it happen.

Indeed, it did pass.

I blogged and received some awesome support. I walked in the rain with my dog to get more sparkling water, and when I got back, I went to the gym in my building and erged (rowing machine) HARD for 20 minutes while listening to The Bubble Hour and Holly Whitaker and Laura McKowen’s Home Podcast. I showered, made some Sleepytime tea, and now I’ll read a bit before sleeping. I’m completely mellowed out. The danger has passed.

I skipped seeing some amazing music tonight because I just couldn’t trust myself at a nightclub, but that’s okay. I’ll have more chances to great music when I’m feeling more solid on my own two sober feet. And it will be worth it.

Phew. I’ve heard about the tough days and that was tough. But now with my dog sleeping at my feet and at 10:30 pm I’m still sober, I’m grateful I made it through.

And now for a little Allen Carr. I want to see what all the hubbub is about.


Day 5, Friday night white knuckles

It’s Friday night and it’s taking all my will power not to walk to the store and buy a bottle.


I was going to walk down there with my dog to give him a walk and so I could buy more fizzy water, but I’m afraid if I do I’ll buy a bottle of red wine. Or two.


I’ve been reading blogs and saying OUT LOUD why I don’t want to drink, and I’m able to hold onto the thought for about 30 seconds before it’s washed away like rain on the windshield.

SWISH. and gone.

Hold on….

SWISH. and gone.

  • I don’t want to start at Day One again
  • I don’t want to feel like shit tomorrow — physically and emotionally
  • I don’t need alcohol to feel good or to feel less lonely
  • My life will be SO MUCH BETTER without alcohol. It will get easier. This will pass.

This will pass.

This will pass.


  • You don’t want the calories. You want to have a clearer mind and lighter spirit.
  • You will be so proud of yourself if you stay strong.


  • You don’t need to escape. Going for a walk in the rain is better than anything the wine will give you.
  • It steals your confidence.
  • You will look like shit. Puffy. Peaked.
  • Wash your face. Grab your book and read until you fall asleep. Take a sleeping pill if you must, but get through tonight and get to the light of day tomorrow.

Oh my god, I swear if it weren’t for knowing I would have to start over again tomorrow with this blog and admit I drank — or abandon it completely — I would have gone to the store already. If it weren’t for the fact that I’m having dinner and going to an amazing music show tomorrow night (Glen Hansard) with my sister who is sober and I don’t want to tell her I caved and drank, I’d be downing a nice bottle of Cab right now. If it weren’t for the fact that I’m starting a bleedin’ “Mindfulness” class on Monday that is all about preventing “relapse” and I don’t want to admit to a group of people I haven’t EVEN MET YET  that I drank tonight, I would be gleefully corking an expensive couple of bottles (reward for 5 days! I’ll quit again soon so it better be good!), and pouring them down my throat, hangover be damned.


I’m not going to drink. I’m going for a walk my dog who has just walked over and put his head on my lap. He knows. He always knows how I’m feeling. It’s raining and I don’t care. I’m going to walk this off and I’m not bringing my debit card so there’s no risk of ending up at the store. We’re walking, then I’m going to come home, wash my face, crawl into bed and WILL IT TO BE TOMORROW.

Bloody hell.

I’m not going to drink. And it shouldn’t be so hard. This is so stupid! Gah.



p.s. As I re-read this, I know I’m clutching too tightly. I need to do my best to adopt the Buddhist way and let go of the grasping. Breathe and leeeet goooo…

(Ahhh! That’s fucking easy for the Buddhists to say! Jaysus.)

Day 3 Monsters and Angels

- Cheryl Strayed

– Cheryl Strayed

It’s Day 3, and I admit, I left work thinking how nice it would feel tonight to slip away into a bottle of red wine in front of the latest episode of Homeland.

No. No no. Not gonna, I told myself an annoying number of times on my short bike ride home. Gah!  And I had to tell myself No to a mixer that was happening in the lobby of my apartment building. I saw them bringing in the case of red wine bottles and if I hadn’t quit drinking, I would have loved to join them and hop the fast lane to a quick buzz. Doesn’t it sound divine? Cubes of cheese (orange and white!), an assortment of wheaty-seedy crackers and WhoKnowsOrCaresWhat label of red blend in a clear plastic cup.

Who wouldn’t want that?

But I know better. What would really happen. Beyond the cubes and crackers, how it would really go down.

I would be mildly agitated by the (too) short pour the guy with the bottle put into my cup. I would joke, Really? C’mon, fill ‘er up! {ha ha! joking! but really, FILL IT UP! ahhh, there you gooo! Thanks!} I would drink it down in a few minutes and look around for any bottles that were on the table so I could just help myself. Already feeling the release, I would sidle up to the guest of honor and have what I’m sure would be a pleasant and witty conversation. I would be charming and fun {oh yes, I’m SURE, so charming and fun}, and in the next few minutes I would make my way to the bottom of my cup and go find another bottle to fill it up again.

And then I would decide that I didn’t get enough and didn’t want to draw attention to myself, so I would go upstairs, get my keys and my dog, and we’d walk the block to the corner store so I could buy a bottle that I could drink all by myself without any of the hassle of being monitored by strangers. I would sit in front of Homeland and fill my glass over and over until the show was over and the bottle was empty. And then I would think, I drank a bottle again… 

Time for bed.

It probably wouldn’t hit me until morning that I’d actually drunk a bottle and a half or more, when you count the mixer earlier. Or maybe it would. And I’d wait for it to sink in that I’d failed again. Insult added to injury.

**But that didn’t happen tonight.**

I breathed. I walked my dog to the pet store about eight blocks away and picked up a toy for the animal shelter drive at work tomorrow. I promised myself tea and some bubbly water if I could find it at the corner store. And I read the comments of some of the kind bloggers who took time to say some encouraging words today.

Thanks for this, Heya, Monster.

And for this, Untipsyteacher:

Drinking will not help.
You are quitting for a reason.
Keep that foremost in your mind!

Day 3 isn’t over yet, but I’m going to spend about 30 minutes in the gym, read another chapter of the novel I bought 3-1/2 years ago but never read because I’ve been drinking myself to sleep every night, and then…



Staying in the NOW (and counting all the money)

Day 2 and I’m really tired. Didn’t sleep enough last night, which I know is a no no if I want to protect my sobriety. Rule #1: Get enough sleep.

So today was another too busy day at work and I came home really tired, but actually feeling strong about not drinking. Hungry, but not craving wine.

But oh, it wouldn’t be that easy… About every 20 or 30 minutes now, a thought floats through my mind — completely on its own, without my active participation — that it would be so nice to have a glass of wine right now. It’s like there are two competing Rachel brains: the tired, but contented me who keeps looking at the clock to see if it’s too early to head to bed yet, and the Rachel brain who is still possessed by the red wine. Pssssss….hey…..Rachel….hey! Hi, yeah….listen….just walk to the corner store and get a bottle like you always do. Sooooooth yourseeeelf…c’mon just do it….

Dayum, that’s wild. Thank goodness I’ve been reading so many amazing sobriety blogs which have convinced me that this is normal and will pass. I’ll sit with it and breathe. It will pass and I know it’s bullshit anyway. I’m just really tired. Wine may seem like it’s soothing, but it’s not. It’s all a facade. It ends up stealing my self-confidence, my power, my energy. It’s systematically taking my beauty, my time and my money.

My money. I just did the math — a worthwhile exercise for anyone who hasn’t actually done this. Maybe I’m just late to the party, but I’ve never seriously taken a look at how much I spend on alcohol. I mean, I’ve done it in small doses, like Oh, I quit drinking for 3 days and look I saved $60. Damn!

That’s not nothing, but that’s not THIS.

For the last few years I’ve been drinking a bottle of wine every day. (Yeah, I know. That’s not cool.) And often more on the weekends. Often much more.

But for the sake of easy math, let’s call it a bottle a day, at about $20 a day (including tax). That’s not a super cheap bottle, but it’s about what I’ve been spending. Sometimes more, sometimes less. In one year I’ve spent at LEAST $7,300. And that’s a conservative estimate. It’s not counting going out, or special occasions and “special” bottles, or the weekends when I drank two bottles a day BECAUSE SATURDAY, or weekends away with friends when I made sure I had plenty of wine to stay well lubricated all weekend. And that’s definitely not counting all the times I was well on my way to too buzzed and I raised the paddle or shopped online or committed to expensive trips across the country. Yeah, the wine alone is pretty easily more like $7,500. Or $8,000. The rest, a lot more.

And seriously? Holy shit. Why have I not done this exercise before? (Okay, I know why.)

That’s a really nice trip to South Africa. Or Cuba. Or freaking Antarctica on a luxury cruise ship to see the penguins. That’s a nice chunk of change in my 401K (which I’m sorely behind on). That’s an amazing wardrobe refresh which I am long overdue for — and would probably look better on me after I lose that layer of wine club chub. That’s giving $1,000 to eight of my favorite charities and feeling awesome about it.

So, all I have to say to the boozy old Rachel brain, the boozy echoes of days/months/years past is: I QUIT YOU. So leave me the hell alone, please.

I’m asking nicely.

Day 2 feels like week two, but that’s partly because for the last couple of months I have been trying hard to quit for good and doing better and better at it. Lots of days off, punctuated by days of too many bottles in between. I’ve been going at this for a while. It’s a process.

But I think this is it this time. In 3-1/2 hours it will officially be Day 3 and I’ll be fast asleep. My first big goal is 30 days — December 8 — and seeing as I’ve never gone more than 9 days in a row, this is quite a goal.

But feeling good right NOW. Nighty night.