Recently, Caren & I were interviewed by Paula Derrow for Self Magazine online. In the interview, Paula asked us the insightful question—How has editing the book (Drinking Diaries: Women Serve Their Stories Straight Up) and doing the blog changed your own drinking habits?
As the daughter of a recovered alcoholic, I will always be vigilant when it comes to my own drinking—that’s just the way it is. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), I will never have the carefree attitude towards alcohol that some of my friends and acquaintances have—one where they feel comfortable sipping a glass of wine while they’re cooking dinner every night, and then maybe having another glass with dinner.
So here’s how I answered Paula’s question:
“I’ve learned that you have to create a conscious drinking life. In my head, I have a contract with myself when it comes to drinking. Because I’m the daughter of an alcoholic, I don’t feel comfortable drinking alone during the week, say, while I’m making dinner. I also don’t do hard liquor. But I love to have a glass of wine when I’m out with friends or have people over to dinner. I had to set those boundaries for myself.”
Caren, on the other hand, comes from a different background, so her (unwritten) contract is entirely different from mine (and has involved alcohol-free Mondays, which she wrote about for this blog).
None of this is written in stone, or is written down at all. It is subject to change, although it seems to work well for me, so why would I change it?
Something I’ve learned working on this blog and on the book is that everyone has to navigate their own relationship with alcohol–it’s personal. There is no one-size-fits-all approach.
We’d love to hear from you, dear readers: Do you have a drinking contract, written or unwritten, spoken or unspoken? What is it, and why did you make one?