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Sober-curious and the 5am club


Recently I’ve become sober curious and as of this morning joined the 5am club.

Let me backup a bit. Anyone who knows me knows this…I love my wine.

Always have…yes even in college. Most parents would bring their kids brownies and cookies…mine…a case of wine! 

I remember my father telling me, Samantha you’re not a serious wine drinker until you drink red wine. –>So that became my goal…to get to the point where I liked to drink red wine.

It took me many years to hone my palette to the deep & robust reds…..I think I was around 30 when I started dabbling.

And of course..I added ice to my red wine.

Funny story→ In 2010 my sister and I took a trip to Italy and everyone joked that the Italians would kick me out of their country when they saw me put ice in my wine. They didn’t!

In fact they told me that Americans had it all wrong and drinking red wine at room temperature was not how it was to be enjoyed. It was supposed to be chilled (just not with the ice..but they let that slide).

Over the years I dropped the ice from my red wine and really started exploring various regions. Every night we would sample a red..whether it was a full bodied dry Cabernet,  a medium body earthy Bordeaux or  berry & cedar infused Merlot→  a glass of wine was part of my end of the day ritual.

I mean I totally related to Olivia Pope  and her amazingly glorious wine glasses (and I ordered them of course). 

But then in 2016 something strange started happening .My sleep was really starting to suffer and the next day I felt awful.. Like a  “been out all night”  morning after awful.

I wasn’t sure what was happening. So over the years I dialed it back and dialed it back. 

We still went to wine tastings and wine dinners. 

But I didn’t feel good the next day.  → I mean let’s be honest I felt like crap.

I got to the point of measuring my wine. Yup you heard me right. 

I measured out what I drank because I couldn’t understand why I felt so bad in the morning. 

Was I drinking way more than I realized?

But nope. No more than 6oz.

Then no more than 4 oz

Then no more than 2oz.

But my body still experienced symptoms even with just 2oz in my system.

Then this past Feb 2020  I decided to venture into the land of sober curious. 

I had no idea what dinners would feel like without my beloved red to compliment our meal.

I was raised in a restaurant where wine was revered…so not drinking with a meal seemed so foreign to me.

Would my palette suffer? Would the meal lose its luster?

And what about our conversations? Would we still have something to talk about? 

What about sleep? Would I be able to sleep? 

I’m about 4 months in (during a quarantine no less— I think that should count as 8 months!)

Here’s how it feels → AMAZING

Seriously!

Dinners out (pre-Covid) were great and I was able to have fun with mock-tails. 

I was so relieved to see that dinners tasted just as delicious and my palette did not suffer due to the lack of a wine pairing.

Conversations continued to flow.

My sleep is awesome– deep restful & restorative nights (When my 2yo son allows it of course! )  

And bonus points– I feel great all the time. I have more time to read and journal at night (aka more me time). I no longer have that awful physical feeling the next morning. 

So what was happening with me and why was I feeling so bad? 

For those of you ladies who are curious. Here’s what I learned.

As we get older we lose an enzyme that helps us break down alcohol so that feeling of being hungover just after 6 oz ..yes that’s a thing! → And some of us go on to experience alcohol intolerance (this is where I land).

So will I ever drink again?  Probably.   But who knows.

I have no ill will towards wine ,it just doesn’t like me very much–>  so we’re on a break (yes yes cue Ross and Rachel I know you can’t help it!) 

But here’s the real morale of the story: 

Even though not having my beloved glass of red was such a foreign concept… Even though it felt so odd to consider… Even though I had no idea how I would do without it. I jumped right in. 

I just decided. 

The mistake many people make is they get in their heads too much. 

They plan. 

They think (overthink). 

They pick dates to start xy or z. 

All three of these things will get you to one place→ Nowhere.

The biggest part of making a change is simply jumping right in. 

Your mind will do its job to keep you where it knows you exist…

But when you add action to your day that is in opposition to what your mind knows…you start to create a new neural pathway and THAT is when change happens!

My sober curious journey has been so fun I decided to add to it by joining the 5 am club. Had my first 5 am intentional wake up today!  More on that to come!

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