Last night, my husband and I went out on a date to a fundraiser and then to dinner. And it was the first time in awhile that I actually craved alcohol. But it was also the first time that I could hear a very strong little voice in my head – my newly wired subconscious perhaps? – that kept me in check.
Me: I want a glass of wine.
Also me: You’re just bored.
Me: But it’s hot and humid and wine would be so refreshing.
Also me: This fundraiser is a little slow and boring so you want to drink.
Me: And it’s an open bar.
Also me: Just because it’s free doesn’t mean you have to drink it. Also, you have to drive. Also, you don’t have enough SmartPoints. Also, you are not at Day 60 yet. So this is not happening.
It was like mental whack-a-mole. A new inner whack-a-monologue. And I sort of got a kick out of it.
At the restaurant, I again felt a pretty strong temptation to drink.
Me: This cocktail list looks ahhh-mazing.
Also me: Are we really doing this again?
Me: Why can’t I just be a person who has one cocktail or one glass of wine on a date night with my husband?
Also me: Do you really want to try to be that person? Because you know now that it’s more complicated than that.
Me: But –
Also me: How would a drink add to this night in a positive way? You are already having a really nice time!
Me: True. But –
Also me: No.
Me: But –
Also me: This is NON-NEGOTIABLE.
Non-negotiable. That hyphenated, alliterative word has become a life-changer for me. And I hope when my stubborn little whack-a-mole voice needs to pipe up again, the dropping of the non-negotiabomb will be swift and easy and effective.
Last night’s inner monologue carried on a bit too long. I did not like feeling that level of temptation. But I was honest with myself. I worked through it, and I vanquished my craving completely. And I am really proud of that.
Now that I have completed the 30 days of The Alcohol Experiment, I am still digesting everything I have learned. I think it will take a long time for me to sort back through the information, to settle into this new (and still developing) mindset, and to see which tools will be most handy for me.
Obviously right now my non-negotiables are front and center in my brain. And I’ll need them. I leave tomorrow for my high school reunion, where I am going to not drink and attempt to stay within my daily and weekly SmartPoints. I say “attempt” with regard to my points. But there will be no “attempt” at being alcohol-free. It simply will be. I’m hoping it will be easier than I’m anticipating (after all, I’ll be traveling alone and driving – two of my non-negotiables) but either way –
It simply will be.