If Replacement of PRDM2 Enzyme Can Cure Alcohol Addiction Will I Choose to Drink Again ?

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My first reaction on reading that depleted PRDM2 enzyme may cause alcohol addiction and that scientists may be close to finding a cure for alcohol-dependence was…

“Do I want to drink again?”

About 10% of American adults are reported to be alcoholic or alcohol-dependent. I often wonder how that statistic is compiled because I know that I would not be counted in that group. But at 18 months sober if I drink again I’ll most likely slide back down the rabbit hole of addiction.

Somewhere around the age of 45 I lost my off switch. I went from someone who enjoyed drinking and occasionally overindulged, to someone who lived for that first glass of wine at the end of the day. I would not be counted in that 10% because only I knew how alcohol dependant I’d become. I was never really honest with my Dr about how much I was drinking so there was no record.

I never had a DUI or missed work due to a post binge hangover. I never visited an emergency room after an alcohol related accident or had any kind of medical evaluation that suggested alcohol abuse. The social worker at my children’s school never questioned the stability of our home environment. But I woke up most mornings thinking never again only to find myself with a big glass of wine in hand by 6 PM. The self loathing that I felt at the break of day was usually replaced by mid afternoon with an absolute understanding that I deserved a drink, wanted a drink, needed a drink and would control how much I drank that night.

I knew that when I drank I was detached from my children and husband and that my hangovers were affecting my work. I knew that although I intended to drink no more than two glasses I often opened a second bottle. No matter how determined I was to break the cycle of regret/ indulgence/ regret, I could never stop drinking for more than a week.

I was addicted but it was a silent addiction and breaking that addiction was hard work.

As one of the lucky ones who was not only able to stop drinking but am happily sober I realize that ability to replenish the PRDM2 enzyme could save countless lives. I came very close to the point of no return with my drinking and have the utmost sympathy for people who cannot stop.

But an eventual drug that could replace the deteriorated or missing PRDM2 enzyme could also mean that I get my off switch back.

I could sit in the sun at the beach sharing a jug of sangria with a friend and not worry that the next night I’d be relapsed and hiding my second bottle of wine. I could enjoy a nightly 5oz glass of resveratrol rich Cabernet at dinner without worrying about wanting more. I could be normal again and get a bit buzzed with the cool kids without losing control.

But these past 18 months I’ve learned that it’s not the sangria but the sun, and the friend, that make for a great afternoon. The heart healthy resveratrol in that 5oz glass of red wine can easily be replaced with a cup of blueberries in my morning smoothie and surprisingly, even the most complex gourmet meal, is equally enjoyable with ice water or tea.

So for now…

today….

I think I’ll pass on the enzyme replacement.

I love living life fully awake. I own every minute of my day and every feeling is genuine. I love sobriety and am not really sure why it’s so important for us to drink. Unless we want to get drunk.

And that would seem to be a lose of impulse control.

Suggesting a need in us all for a bit of enzyme replacement.

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Redefining “Me Time”

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I saw an e-card on Facebook about eight years ago that made me laugh out loud.

“Don’t forget to pick up a bottle of wine for your mom on mother’s day. You’re one of the reasons she drinks.”

That same e-card seems to come up every year with different illustrations and every year I have found it a little less funny.

I never told my kids that I drank because of them and I think that many mothers would find that statement a bit offensive but we are encouraged to drink to relieve the stress of parenting and we’re encouraged to find that funny..

OMG I so need a glass of wine or I’m going to sell my kids is a facebook page with well over 100,000 likes. Their mission is to “encourage all mothers to put themselves first now and again, enjoy a big glass of wine and laugh out loud!”. The OMG twenty-one oz “big glass” which holds most of a bottle of wine can be purchased from their website. “Cheers!IMG_1948

I agree with OMG’s mission to encourage mothers to put themselves first and laugh out loud. Parenting in the twenty-first century has become more stressful than ever. From the minute, we childproof the sharp corners of our coffee tables, the kitchen cupboard doors and the second-floor staircase we’re cautioned not to smother our kids. Forget the sun block or allow too much sugar and processed foods and you can be accused of neglect. You’ll most likely be Lawnmower or Helicopter parent at some point. Everyone’s watching and everyone has an opinion.

Parenting and motherhood are not for the faint of heart! We need to laugh.

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I used to think that pouring myself a glass or two of wine at the end of the day was the best way to have a little bit of much-needed adult time. Between the responsibilities of my job and my family, it seemed that I hit the ground running at six in the morning and finally only screeched to a stop when the kids were tucked into bed. I was the go to mom in our neighborhood for fun play dates and great homemade cookies. I made sure that every birthday and holiday was memorable and adorned with homemade piñatas and towering cakes from scratch. I needed my “me time.” Kicking back with a couple of glasses of wine was empowering.

Until it wasn’t.

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The problem with my “me time” coming in a bottle is that it eventually took much more than it gave. As my daughter approached adolescence and my tolerance to wine increased I realized that my “me time” was taking over our family time. A few glasses after the kids were in bed became a glass while I made dinner, another while I helped with homework, and another while I folded laundry. I stopped looking forward to a few quiet drinks at the end of the day and started to need wine the minute I got home from work. When my wine habit became an addiction there was absolutely nothing funny about it.

Drinking to celebrate and unwind has always been a part of our culture and I understand that some people can smooth out the rough edges with a couple a glass of wine in the evening and not risk addiction. But in this era when statistics are showing an alarming increase in alcohol abuse among women and an unexpected rise in middle age mortality due to alcohol and drug-related illnesses and suicide, I think we need to come up with more creative ways to unwind than just pouring a drink.

With the help of a  blogging community called HelloSundayMorning I’ve been sensationally sober for a bit over a year and a half now. I’ve learned that I do need my “me time” but it needs to be a time that actually nurtures me. If I spend an hour online writing or soak in the tub with a good book at the end of the day I get the sense of self-indulgence I deserve and wake up every morning ready to take on the world.

I have heard it said that sobriety offers everything that alcohol promised and now I know it’s true!

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Sober Serenity