6 + 6 = 12

The first six months were tough. The next six months flew by. I have made it through the first year of living without wine.

Last night we marked the occasion by going out to dinner with a few dear friends who have been close to me through this journey. When the server asked if anyone would like a drink before table my friends and husband all froze and glanced at me. “Uhhh….”

“Don’t be silly!” I said. “This is a celebration. Go ahead and be sure you drink a toast to me!” I turned to the waiter and ordered a non-alcoholic beer. “And could you please bring me a nice wine glass for that?”

His eyebrows flew up quizzically. “A wine glass for your beer, M’am?”

“Yes,” I answered winking, “it classes it up a bit.”

“That’s smart,” he said, more to himself than to me.

I’ve given up on virgin cocktails or listing out ingredients when ordering (“club soda with a shot of grapefruit juice and a half-ounce of grenadine”). Non-alcoholic beer is easier to order, it comes in the bottle so I don’t have to worry about accidentally getting alcohol, and if I remember to order a stem glass with it it looks and feels elegant (well, elegant enough).

The goal for me is not to approximate or replace the wine. The goal is to have something ELSE that I will enjoy for what it is.

As my friend wrote on the beautiful card she gave me (along with a scrumptious box of chocolate covered strawberries): “Now you get to have fun discovering new indulgences!”

We had a great night – lots of laughs with friends who don’t care a lick what’s in my glass. They enjoyed their cocktails but no one was out to get tanked – our purpose was to celebrate my success and encourage more of it.

At the end of the night my friend’s husband asked, “What do you think now? You made it to a year – are you going to have the odd drink here and there or just keep on having none?”

It was a sincere question, asked out of interest.  He is curious about my journey but we haven’t spoken about it together that much. His wife knows every detail but I think he understands that I am guarded around others. I took no offence to his question. I knew he was not implying that I should or could be drinking. He just wants to understand.

“No, oh no,” I chuckled. “This is a lifetime decision for me. If I ever doubt that, all I have to do is look at a bottle of wine. I want it ALL,” I laughed. “And that’s no good. This way is so much better.”