So it’s not enough to have the latest iPhone, there is the defining case to go with. Apart from saving yourself and children if you have them, from a disaster, undoubtedly the smart phone would be clutched to your bosom, it’s become one of life’s needs, beyond necessity, so pairing the wine and the phone together makes this completely acceptable, normal.
What once we just made calls on, now has become a mark of our culture and a must have. We need it to check on dates, friends, family appointments and communications that 20 years ago would have all taken so much more time and effort. Effort is possibly the key word here. Apart from having to charge it, it takes care of itself. Only groaning if we can’t pick wi fi, just in case we have missed something earth shattering on social media. The mobile phone is another part of 21st century quick fixing, and you are seen as more than odd if you don’t have one.
Wine has the same sort of common bond. If you don’t drink it, or anything else that’s alcohol based, you are an outsider, either desperately stricken or just not one of ‘us’. We do tend to be tribal, and when you announce that you are having a break, say for Dry January, that seems acceptable, however to say that you are stopping, going Alcohol Free for much longer then the defensiveness, raised eyebrows and feelings of being not one of the tribe begin.
During this wonderful weather, the whole concept of ‘relaxing’ in the sunshine with a cheeky little number is totally normalised. Children’s parties are awash with it, the notion of choosing water or soft drinks has become odd.
Back in the 50s wine was a treat, only really imbibing with a special dinner or occasion. Now it is cheap and everywhere. The other quick fix. But what does it fix? At least with the smart phone you have communication, after a bottle of Prosecco or Pinot, the communication tends to go down the toilet. Mood changes, families become concern, aggression starts, trust erodes.
All my clients know that I never say never, we have to stay in the present tense. By the same token we also need to reflect a little on how we see ourselves perhaps in 10, 20 years’ time. Do we want to be well? Might seem like a silly question, but with alcohol and the insidious, slow process of damage gains momentum, depression kicks in, secrets and lies begin to be kept, stress rises, and each part of us, both emotionally and physically begins to be a concern. Guilt becomes huge. I ask clients to write the pros and cons of their drinking, it is an incredibly one-sided list.
If you are having real fun with a couple of glasses that’s great, but who helps those of us who do want to change without being stigmatised or made to feel labelled as diseased?
In conclusion there is no quick fix to be well after an enthusiastic drinking career, we can’t wave magic wands after a month off or a few days, it is a change of habit and lifestyle. As creatures of habit and need a way of breaking what could become a life threatening one. Being authentic, real and honest is priceless, and most especially for those of us in middle age and older. You will be surprised how much more fun it is not to drink excessively, personally for me, being in a room full of those over the eight is enormously repetitive, boring and dull!
Only one life, and we all deserve to be the best we can without Big Alcohol sticking its insidious claws into us.