I hate the ‘Wine Witch’
I really dislike stating that I ‘hate’ anything. Hate is a draining emotion that is only useful if it galvanises us into action. If you hate poverty enough then you will commit time and money to eradicate it. The same goes for all the injustices in the world. If one in particular resonates with you, you will commit to doing something about it. It may not be a lot of time or money – it may only be an occasional donation but it matters to you and those you are donating to. This is where your hatred of a situation is useful.
Hating anything contains a huge amount of negative energy so I try and reserve my hatred for things that I can do something about. That’s why Sobersistas exists because the one thing I do admit to hating is seeing women lose their essential, true and beautiful selves when they drink too much. When I see comments from women saying how they’ve let themselves and their families down because they drink, or that they are ashamed and disgusted with something they did when they were drunk – this enrages me.
Why Advertising Plays Its Part
The advertising industry spends billions a year telling us that drinking their particular brand will ensure we are sexy, well dressed, fit (think beer yoga!), have lots of friends, have outstanding holidays and barbecues and just generally live an amazing life. It’s a supreme irony that it actually delivers pretty much the opposite!
According to ads that I’ve seen recently:
- One brand of gin is ‘filled with wonder‘
- Another brand of gin attempts to persuade you that it’s unthinkable that you’d be too busy for a G&T at 5pm
- One red wine invites you to ‘taste the passion‘
- One ad for a particular brand of blue alco-pop sees a man in a bar lying to his wife that he’s in the office whilst the entire pub of men are all silent statues while he’s on the phone.
We have been brainwashed to believe that every moment of our lives must be enhanced with alcohol. We’ve grown up with it and since the advent of social media, we are now being drowned in it. When our relationship with alcohol gets out of control and we realise it’s time to take stock, it’s hardly surprising that we have a hard time letting go of it.
Whenever I see something about alcohol and it has some version of a wine witch on it I imagine a scene where a bunch of advertising execs are sitting around a table having a conversation that goes something like this:
‘our objective is to get more and more women to drink alcohol so let’s create a Facebook meme that portrays them as witches, which they can’t complain about because everyone will tell them they have no sense of humour. We will put something on it that’s non-offensive like ‘Witch Way To The Wine?’ and lots of women will think it’s funny and share it for free for us. Winning idea! Let’s crack open the champagne to celebrate!’
Of course, I could be wrong. Even if I am, I still have a really big problem with women being portrayed as witches and all the connotations and messaging that goes along with that. Tying that image to alcohol adds the subliminal message that this is who we are when we drink.
It’s also laughable that alcohol ads come with a ‘drink responsibly’ warning when the very act of drinking reduces our ability to do exactly that. This effect of removing our level of responsibility begins to bleed into other areas of life. We stop taking responsibility for eating well, for exercise, for being diligent, focused and fun parents, for being a fully present employee and for being an inventive and sensitive lover. It removes our ability to communicate in a responsible way with our partners and every drink gets wedged between you and pushes you further apart.
For me though, the worst thing it does is that it reduces your ability to take responsibility for your sobriety.
In the early days of making your way to sobriety, this ‘wine witch’ starts to make an appearance. Maybe she was there when you were drinking but now that you’re trying to get sober she’s become your new best friend. Whispering in your ear that you’ll feel better if you have a drink, that your stress will disappear and you won’t have to deal with those awful things called feelings because they’re just nasty aren’t they?
The Truth About Responsibility
During the time that I have been sober, some of the most memorable and life-affirming experiences I’ve had have been when I’ve taken responsibility for some aspect of my life. Taking responsibility for my money and using it wisely and buying a home was a moment I will never forget – given the alternative might have been buying a motorbike and wandering around Europe – I must say I feel very smug when I wake up every morning in my lovely, lovely home.
Taking responsibility for my health has meant that I have researched healthy food that I like to eat and to persevere at the recipes until they taste good. I still don’t like cooking but I love how healthy I’m becoming.
It’s no different with alcohol and that non-existent wine witch. That voice you hear is you. But you know that don’t you? You’re just not ready to fully embrace what’s coming. And that’s absolutely and totally fine. Your day will come.
What To Do?
When you feel you’re being pulled towards alcohol, ask yourself ‘what do I really need right now?’ Do I need to feel relaxed, loved, warm, fed, hugged, connected, safe or comforted? Because that is what that voice is trying to tell you. It’s trying to tell you to be kind to yourself and to love yourself.
In Sobersistas we have MLT to help you. It stands for Most Loving Thing and is a snappy reminder to ask yourself ‘What’s the most loving thing I can do for myself in this moment?’ You know it will never be to drink alcohol.
Yes, this may take a little bit of adjustment and re-learning while you start to listen more deeply to who you are, but it will come.
In a very short time, you will begin to feel amazing about all of the brilliant choices you are making to make your life better and better. You have everything you need within you to let go of alcohol and live a life where taking responsibility for yourself is a true joy.
Remember, there is no such thing as the wine witch, there is only you. You are an amazing woman who has so much to give the world, don’t let some made-up nonsense keep you from your destiny.
Every Sobersista is here to support you too.
If you would like to be fully supported in your journey you can book a free discovery call and we can have a relaxed chat about whether coaching might be for you. You can read more here.
Much love always, Jules xxx
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