Social Isolation Drinking

It’s no secret that I enjoy a peppery shiraz fireside or a frosty Corona with lime on the patio. The sound of a beer top being popped is one of my favourite summer sounds, second only to maybe cicadas or a distant lawn mower (not sure why I love that sound… probably a pleasant childhood core memory).

Drinking is a big part of our social culture. “Wine-c’clock” has been glamourized and normalized. Blah, blah, old news. This post isn’t about that, or about binge drinking, or the health risks specific to woman and alcohol. Nobody wants to hear that right now. Epic buzz kill. 

I’m not preaching the gospel of sober living.

That would be rather hypocritical since chardonnay makes my day. That should really be on a t-shirt. Anyway, I just thought I’d bang out a few words about how this pandemic boozefest has become less of a supportive crutch and more of a hobbling. For ME, specifically. 

As a rule, I rarely set out to get “drunk.” I don’t actually like the spacey feeling of being intoxicated. It’s probably a type A personality, first-born, controlling Capricorn kind of thing. I like to be in control at all times. That’s likely a special needs parent thing. We’re in charge of the health and safety of a child who is dependent upon us 24/7. It’s a big responsibility. 

Since this anxiety provoking quarantine began, drinking has escalated. Not just in my house but pretty much EVERYWHERE. There are drinking wine straight from the bottle memes all over social media. (Clearly I was ahead of the trend since this photo was taken in 2009.)

In the early days of isolation I bought two boxes of wine—one red and one white (his and hers for my husband and I). Normally one box of wine would last weeks if not a month. Not during quarantine however. So I bought two more. And some grapefruit vodka. Mixed with Fresca (hello 1994) it’s light and refreshing. My friend Teresa introduced me to this throwback cocktail. “Throwback to the 90s, but also throwback down your throat.” Lisa shouldn’t drink vodka. Ever. Lightweight Lisa has two fruity cocktails and bam! It’s like someone dropped a bowling ball on her head. 

I thought having a few drinks at the end the day would relax me. 

Nope. Not really. Instead, this new nightly routine left me dopey, unmotivated, puffy, and cranky. I’m attributing the cranky part to the fact that when I drink (even just a glass or two) the alcohol messes with my sleep. I wake up at 3am and can’t fall back into a solid sleep rhythm. 

Since you’re reading this blog, you probably know we have a child with underlying medical challenges and epilepsy which make her more susceptible to this virus. I have high blood pressure, so I’m also at risk of Covid complications. Also, people with hypertension shouldn’t drink. I know this. I don’t like it, but I know it’s true. 

As fun as it is (because let’s be honest, drinking is entertaining), having more than one glass a night, for me, isn’t a healthy choice. 

“So, just have one little glass then, ya lush.” 

Fair point.

But here’s the crux—when there are boxes of wine in the house and I’m stressed and bored, my off button becomes unreliable. One glass often becomes three and the possibility of an “accidental drunking” increases. 

So we decided (because my husband is fully on my team) not to bring anymore booze into the house, for now. It’s dry as a tumbleweed over here. 

I’ve grocery shopped twice since this self-imposed prohibition and yes, I did linger as I passed the wine section. It was sad how I eyed those pretty bottles like a lusty Prosecco perv. But I eventually rolled on without grabbing a bottle. 

“How do you FEEL?” friends have asked. 

Well, there haven’t been any drastic physical changes. I have a zit on my chin that won’t quit. And my skin is still pretty dry. I’ve lost three pounds though. Not a ton, but surprising considering the sick amount of cookies and potatoes chips I’ve been stuffing into my face. On the other hand, the weight loss could also be attributed to loss of muscle tone… 

The most significant and important result is that my blood pressure is back down to normal. Thank god because I was getting pretty panicky about it. You can imagine what that did to my BP. 

Also, I’m sleeping through the night now. ALL THE WAY through. What the?? 

I’m still crabby some days but… pandemic. Who isn’t a little on edge?

I can’t say I’m exceedingly productive yet, but I am going to bed earlier to read. And I’ve finished little two projects that have been languishing for years, which is more than I’ve done in total since this lockdown began. 

Fact is, anxiety is real and it’s awful. So if you’re enjoying a few drinks and it’s helping you through this, then cheers to you! Seriously. There’s no hand-book for this surreal situation. If a cocktail or glass of wine soothes your frayed nerves, then going cold turkey right now might not be the best idea. Do whatever helps you manage your mental health. 

There’s no right or wrong way to navigate the freaky weird ass world right now. 

Side note, I ordered some CBD tea online yesterday. I’m hoping it’s as zen and calming as they say it is. I’ll let you know!

xoxo Raising a glass to you and whatever you’re drinking! 

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