When I made the decision to stop drinking, I knew I would be putting an end to my internal debates, bargaining, justifying, or wondering if maybe I “could just have one glass of wine?”
But one always became more, often alone, at home by myself. Which is why I decided to take an early exit from wine.
“We can justify every day of the year to be a “bad time” to stop drinking, but any day of the year is a perfect time to stop drinking.”
— Jolene Park
Why I’m Taking an Exit From Wine
I don’t have a crash-and-burn drinking story. Nothing “bad” happened on the outside as a result of my frequent wine consumption.
I didn’t have to stop drinking, and my decision was not made on a whim. It was made over the course of many years with lots of stops and restarts along the way.
Finally, after yet another drinking Saturday, which left me feeling sick until Tuesday, I made the decision that I would take an exit from wine. I wouldn’t drink again.
That was December 14, 2014.
It was 11 days before Christmas and 15 days before my birthday.
New Year’s Eve and a girl’s trip to Vail was right around the corner.
Still, I didn’t drink throughout the whole Christmas season. I’ve continued to choose to live alcohol-free. And it’s now been 2 1/2 years since I’ve had a drop, sip, or drink of alcohol.
The Problem: Grey Area Drinking
Even though I drank like most everyone around me, I also used alcohol as a way to regulate and self-medicate my anxiety.
A bottle of wine on most nights was becoming an easy, regular habit. And that concerned me.
It also concerned me how nauseated and queasy I’d feel the next morning. Yet I’d hide my nauseated state during the day, only to drink again the next night.
I bought charcoal capsules from the local health food store to try to soak up the wine in my gut as an attempt to get rid of the queasy feeling the next morning.
This cycle of wine and charcoal capsules was not the way I wanted to live or continue living through my 40s, 50s, and beyond.
I don’t identify with the alcoholic label. I identify as someone who used alcohol as a way to cope with anxiety. But the slope was getting more and more slippery.
My alcohol use was escalating, and I knew I was dipping my toes deep into the waters of problem drinking.
Editing Our Drinking and Our Lives
Our podcast is for anyone who is sober curious, rethinking drinking, already living an alcohol-free life, or silently struggling and not (yet) addicted, but suffering all the same.
When Aidan and I met last year, we began talking about the similarities and differences within the gray area of our drinking stories.
These conversations eventually turned into our podcast. We’ve found that people are hungry for conversation that removes shame and self-loathing and replaces it with empowering ways to make edits to their drinking and to their lives.
As a functional nutritionist, health coach, and trauma-informed yoga teacher, I’ve learned new ways to reduce my anxiety and live an embodied, present life without alcohol.
I’m passionate about sharing with others what I wish would have been shared with me.
I help clients rewire their brains and balance their emotions with high-quality nutrients and whole food.
I also incorporate self-regulation techniques for the nervous system to help develop more resiliency in the mental and physical body.
Ready to Take an Early Exit from Wine?
If you’ve been thinking about your drinking but don’t know if you could stop forever, that’s okay.
Try 30 days without alcohol and notice how you feel. See what shifts or changes in your life. You can always drink again if you want.
But just for today, ask yourself, who would you be if you stopped hiding, sedating, berating, or hating yourself with too much alcohol?
Jolene Park helps individuals eliminate their cravings and rebuild their health with real food, high-quality nutrients and cutting-edge mind/body techniques. Jolene is a functional nutritionist, health coach and trauma informed yoga teacher. In 2001 she founded Healthy Discoveries – a corporate wellness training company. She is also the co-host of “Edit Podcast: Editing Our Drinking & Our Lives.”