I started this pandemic period by throwing all of my good habits out the window. I stopped exercising regularly, I majorly increased my alcohol and I started buying Diet Cokes for the house again. After a few months (GOD…THIS PANDEMIC WILL NEVER END, WILLIT?) I decided I need to shake loose and get everything back on track.
I’ve stuck to my Alcohol Reduction plan pretty easily. I mean, it was rough that first week but I am now back to my “one fancy beer a night” habit which I kept for years. I like to include the fact that it’s fancy beer because I’m a beer snob and I want to make sure that’s understood.
(Currently enjoying a 6-pack of beer called “Dirty Beaches” which makes me laugh pretty consistently.)
Overall I feel much better about myself and my relationship to alcohol. My psychiatrist supported my efforts knowing my family history of alcoholism but he also said, “But keep in mind, Kim, you are hyper sensitive to the potential of becoming an alcoholic. Don’t be too hard on yourself for coping with this pandemic by drinking more. That doesn’t mean you have a problem.” He’s probably right, but I am much more comfortable with myself now than I was after 3 months of 2-3 beers a night.
Once I felt like I had adjusted back to my pre-pandemic nightly beer habit, I also quit buying Diet Coke for the house. That doesn’t mean I don’t drink it, but I don’t buy it for the house. That habit was much harder to deal with than the beer habit. Diet Coke has always been my weakness ever since I quit smoking in 2003. I have phases where I give it up for awhile but it never sticks. I was in the middle of the “No Diet Coke In The House” phase when the pandemic hit and that was something I knew I couldn’t sustain when I was suddenly surrounded by my family 24 hours a day.
But I’m back on track now. I’m still allowing myself one a day, either by grabbing a 20-ounce bottle from the cooler when I’m getting groceries, or by going through the McDonald’s drive-thru for a fountain drink. But it’s not in the house anymore and that is huge. That means my habit falls way more under the “normal” and away from the “harmful” status than it was before when I had maybe 50-80 ounces a day.
I’m not walking anymore because my ankle is still healing but I hope to conquer that habit next.
Here’s to allowing ourselves to cope however possible and then getting back on track when we feel up to it and not before.