Maintaining a healthy relationship with wine

This is a bit of a divergent from my other posts, but this time last year I was working on the website and deciding who I was going to be as The Prairie Wino and I have been reflecting on this past year, so bear with me as I ramble about my reflections.

A bit of history, alcohol had a profound impact on my life, especially my teenage years.  I have an alcoholic parent and saw the two-sides of a man I loved; the caring, fun loving guy who poorly attempted to do my hair as a child, who shook me into my tights, who sacrificed his favourite sandwiches to give to us, even though we hated them (pork fat and mustard anyone??) and who spent hours coaching us baseball and building props for our skating carnivals.  Then I saw the emotionally immature, alcoholic dad who couldn’t handle his emotions so said things to us that no dad should ever say to his children, showed up drunk and embarrassed us, or just didn’t show up at all, but then blamed us for not having a relationship he wanted with us.

Even though I experimented with alcohol and definitely have drank too much on many occasions, I have been very careful about my alcohol consumption.  I had rules; don’t drink alone, only consume alcohol 1 day (max 2) a week (unless on vacation) and don’t drink to deal with stress or emotions.  Now the “don’t drink to deal with emotions” has been the hardest to keep over the years, and I do keep a bottle of Grey Goose in my freezer that usually curbs that need after 2 oz over ice.  But every time I pour myself a glass of wine, I ask myself, do I really want this?  Do I think I need this?  Could I go without?

I fell in love with wine years ago, the taste of course, but the whole process from wine to glass and my love for wine has deepened as I learned more and more.  But I have always had this internal struggle about loving something that in my adolescent mind thinks is bad for me and can be life ruining.  In fact, I was in a course a few years back that was to help entrepreneurs with envisioning their dream, and one of the activities was to write a list of everything that your company would bring to the world.  I started to write down what I thought my wine business would bring and all the words were negative; dependence, pain, sadness, betrayal.  The list went on, and I was ugly crying in the class.  It came out of nowhere, I was not prepared for this break down, I didn’t see it coming and there was nothing I could do to stop it.  Tears fell down my face for the rest of the class.  The instructor was great and helped me through it and we came up as a group all the good things it can bring; fun, community, laughter, etc. and then he just let me cry it out quietly.  I left my wine business idea in that class notebook and continued with my regular life.

Then 2020 hit, I lost my contract job because of COVID and I thought, this must be a gift for me to start working on my wine business plan.  I started out with a fervor…got my website up, my blog started, and an Instagram feed filled with wines I had tried and my office walls covered in business visions and products.  I let go of some of my rules like drinking alone…because hey, it was COVID we were in lock down if I wanted wine to talk about, I needed to drink it alone.  I drank more days in a week, but less on each day.  I felt good about my consumption.  I was enjoying my wine and honoring my internal limits, even if they were shifting.  I was winning this relationship with wine.  

But as the months went on, I felt the pressure to keep up my feed and my progress on my business plan stalled.    You know my 74 followers were going to be really let down if I didn’t post at a consistent frequency (insert sarcastic laugh here).  It started to feel like a chore, in fact it was this pressure that inspired this internal rambling.   I hadn’t been drinking the next grape on my list.  In fact, I hadn’t even decided what grape it was.  What was I going to do, more panic than required occurred.  

Yesterday, I had an important realization while I was painting (one of my many procrastination chores).  I don’t care.  I don’t care if I let my feed lapse, if I break out of my rhythm of my blog or if I never start my wine business (although I still want to, when I feel the time is right and I am emotionally ready).  I do this for me, and for my love of wine.  I love talking about wine just as much as I love to drink it.    I don’t want to drink wine because I feel like I “have to” so I have content.  It breaks my internal rules with alcohol that have served me for so many years.   I don’t need to pressure myself to do or be something I am not or put my healthy relationship with wine at risk.  

So, I am not going to.  I am going to write what I am inspired to write about, drink what I want to drink and if no one reads it, likes my posts or follows me, that is ok.  I am just a simple prairie girl who loves to talk about wine to anyone who will listen.  

Thanks for “listening” (special shout out to my 74 followers).


P.S.  Do you worry about an unhealthy relationship with wine?  Do you have internal rules to follow when it comes to wine consumption?  Please comment below or DM in Instagram if you want to talk about it.

P.P.S Yes, I want to help anyone who wants to find their inner wino, find it, but I always want that relationship with wine to add to your life and bring all the goodness (fun, laughter, togetherness) that wine can bring and none of the bad.

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