Day drinking! because 2020 …There is plenty of encouragement out there to lift a glass and drink away the pandemic doldrums. Day drinking memes seem to multiply in times of stress. If you are now working from home with a flexible schedule – why not start the online happy hour at 10 am? New apps and delivery services make it easy to stay lubricated without stepping outside your front door. The message is constantly coming at us on social media – Locked in and stressed out? Raise a glass and relax! What could be cooler in the time of COVID? Has there ever been a better reason to drink?
I had worried about my drinking for years but it was the first Covid-19 lockdown that scared me straight. My reaction to my ability to stay home and drink all day was what made me finally stop. I realized that it might well not be COVID-19 that I had to worry about but the empty bottles piling up. Was this the hill I was going to die on?
If I have gained one realization over these past 4+ sober months it’s this. There will ALWAYS be a reason to drink. Always. When it comes to drinking too much too often if COVID didn’t make me do it – something else would have. Life is full of ups and downs, and I drank for them all. An upsetting conversation on the phone? Drink. A celebration? Drink drink drink. Uncomfortable in a crowd at a party? Oh yeah. Drink, please. Bored? How about a drink? Hungry, thirsty, happy, sad, up, down, let’s drink over every single thing. I could make every single occasion, every situation, every up and every down and every everything –a reason to drink. But…if everything is a reason to drink, then there really ARE no reasons to drink. Follow me?
Back in April, when I was three weeks sober, I had my first stunning realization at the role alcohol really played in my life. I always thought it was “just a habit” or “I liked the taste,” and as much as those things were true, alcohol was also a powerful drowner of my emotions. This was brought to me in stark, stunning realization when a really upsetting event occurred to one of our dearest friends. I was on the phone with them, trying to assist in any way I could, and I looked up and found myself standing in front of the liquor cabinet with the door open. It was like that old t.v. show “Bewitched,” when she would twinkle her nose and instantly transport herself somewhere–well, something transported me to the liquor cabinet and I hadn’t even been aware of it.
It was like an electric shock to my system. It was so stunning for me to realize, after a few weeks of hard work to stay alcohol-free and my new sober clarity, that the sudden upset over this incident was about to “drive me to drink.” There it was–the turning point, the abyss beckoning me to come back. A decision to be made. Dive back into the mud I had just climbed out of, or walk away?
Thank God for that moment of stark clarity. I walked away, and then I sat with this for the rest of the night, thinking: What happened there? Why was my first thought to drink? Was this event worth ruining the two (or three) weeks I had just fought so hard for? What would be worth that? Is anything worth that? Is ANY event worth losing your precious, life-saving sobriety over? Was THIS the hill worth dying on, worth giving up everything for? Something that wasn’t even happening to ME??
I had spent years thinking I needed to drink. I thought that alcohol was essential long before it was deemed so in the first COVID-19 lockdown. I had thought I could never stop drinking or enjoy living sober … BUT!
I. Can. Stop. Drinking. It’s possible. That event opened my eyes. I notice my “reasons” and I walk through them. They stop nagging, little by little. Sometimes they nag me loudly, and I just don’t give in. Sometimes they nag me for days on end, like recently. But then I ask myself: This hill? Definitely not worth dying on.
There is no reason for me to drink. There are a million reasons for me to drink. And yet here I am, sober and clear. It’s been 130 days!
COVID-19 lockdowns are returning in many places and with them a sense of isolation and frustration and worry at mis-information. Scroll down the feed on Facebook and you’re sure to be encouraged to buy Day Drinking tee shirts and hoodies or that perfectly harmless looking pretty pink can of Day Drinking brand Rosé Bubbles Sparkling Wine. The sale of alcohol has of course been deemed essential and if you can’t go out due to a COVID quarantine, you can order your drinks in. But if the whole point of the lockdowns is to protect public health at all cost, and if public health is all they talk about on the news right now, why are we not hearing more often about this report on alcohol consumption and COVID -19 that was published in mid April by the World Health Organization :
Our governments and health officials have been sending a lot of mixed messages about what is best for our health and well being. Some say wear a mask to protect your health. Others say don’t wear a mask because it won’t make a difference. Some promote shutting down the economy to stop the spread as a better choice overall in the long run. Others say get over the idea of shutting down the economy and accept that COVID will spread anyway. Some deem liquor stores as essential businesses. Others warn that drinking alcohol will increase your chances of contracting or dying from COVID-19. It’s enough to make your head spin.
In Washington State where the first U.S.case of the “novel” corona was reported back in late January, August sees the Drink For WA campaign remind people to “support their state in the easiest (and most delicious) way possible: Raise a glass and make a difference.”
Raise a glass and make a difference -? Save the economy? From a health crisis? By drinking more wine?
Most of us are already scrambling to find a reliable and consistent message about the best ways to protect our health and support our communities, and people are fighting over who’s truth is the truth. But there is a very simple truth that I know to be accurate :
Excessive alcohol consumption may not only influence COVID-19 susceptibility and severity, but the broad effects of the pandemic are also likely to lead to excessive alcohol consumption.
In January 2020, before the COVID lockdowns began, it was reported that deaths related to alcohol had doubled in 20 years in the United States. That was a shocking report if you noticed it, but most people didn’t take notice. The report was quickly swept under the more interesting news of the day. Statistics for deaths from COVID however are now shown daily on our televisions and they are horrific, but did you know that during these months of an international obsession with protecting our health, our consumption of alcohol has gone way up? In a country where alcohol-related deaths were soaring already, there is nothing cool about day drinking, or drinking alcohol at all.
But what’s the solution if you are home alone, isolated, worried about the state of the world, and everyone else seems to be drinking the day away with no ill effect? Come hang out with a different sort of online community – one that’ll open your mind to the possibility of enjoying life alcohol-free. It is quite simply one of the best things that you can do to take care of your health in these times of COVID-19.
Be free! Alcohol-free!
If you’re “sober curious” … If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break…or if you have stopped drinking and are trying to stick to sober! Talk to Us.
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What I’m starting to learn
Is that far from being lost
There’s much less cost
Well that surprised me!
Not what I was expecting
And it really does help, connecting
Accountability I think is key
Certainly it is for me
The bridge to alcohol
I’m trying to burn
And now when I yearn
Feel desperate for a drink
I’m beginning to think
These cravings are strong
but what they advocate is fake
A different mindset
could be what it takes
The feelings that
I need that glass
They don’t actually last
Do you find that too?
Sure they keep returning
All too frequently
And we have the familiar yearning
But we have the advantage you see!
If we just keep on learning
If we accept the feeling and sit with it
What we could find out is
we don’t need that sh!t