Breaking Up With Wine
What follows is a classic case of how easy an addiction starts - especially for women.
Gabby is on her way home from work.
She is feeling tense and the traffic is bad.
It has been a long week.
The thought comes to her that she could use a glass of wine.
She finds a liquor store close to her home.
Because it is payday, she buys a really good bottle of wine and what the heck, she even buys a second bottle.
It is not quite the same high caliber as the first bottle.
She does not want to be too extravagant.
Once home, she gets out her crystal wine glasses - the extra large size- and pours a glass of wine.
Immediately, the tension from the week seems to melt away.
A warm comfortable feeling seems to envelope her.
Her mood improves and she starts feeling happier and more hopeful.
Her energy level increases and she thinks about starting dinner.
After all, drinking and cooking go together.
During the next few months, Gabby's drinking days increase.
The wonderful feelings she experiences when she drinks wine is so tantalizing and comforting that she looks forward to it more and more.
And she deserves it.
Look how hard she works.
Soon the amount of wine she drinks at one sitting has increased.
If a little bit of wine makes her feel good, then a little more wine will be even better.
She is buying most of her wine from the liquor store near her house but feels guilty about it and thinks the staff may be talking about her.
She changes liquor stores.
She resents the fact that she has to be the driver for the soccer girls on Tuesday night.
It will be after 8 p.
when she can finally pour herself a drink.
One Friday night she had to entertain her husband's office staff and with great willpower tells herself to have two drinks only.
Luckily she was able to do that.
However, she could hardly wait for everyone to leave so she could drink in peace.
Thus starts the downward spiral.
For women it is fast and seductive.
Wine seems to be the drink of choice for many women.
It is socially acceptable as a "woman's drink".
Hard liquor does not usually agree with most women.
Our bodies just cannot break it down.
Plus swilling hard liquor is not exactly ladylike.
But it really doesn't matter what type of alcohol a person drinks.
It is all just alcohol.
Gabby's first experience with wine eased her underlying stress and anxiety.
When drinking, the good endorphins - chemicals that create a feeling of wellbeing - are released into the brain, thus reinforcing the drinking activity.
The more alcohol Gabby drank, and the more often Gabby drank, the stronger the pathways in the brain became.
The addiction was created.
Things started to turn bad for Gabby quite soon.
Within 18 short months, she started experiencing symptoms of addiction.
Her craving for wine increased, she was often secretive, resentful and angry.
She became discontented with her job.
Her husband was growing more concerned about her drinking and their relationship deteriorated.
By the time I met Gabby, the great life she had made was gone.