Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Temporary Life Change

Last week at the doctor's office my blood pressure measured kind of highish, so I decided to give up my beloved nightly glass or twenty of wine to see if it improved. "It" being my blood pressure, not my mood, because even I'm not that big enough of a moron to think that were possible.

This wasn't one of those big "I WILL NEVER DRINK AGAIN" proclamations, because I most certainly will drink again. Nor is it the "My name is Marinka and I'm an alcoholic" pronouncement, because duh, I already told you that Marinka isn't my real name, and I'm pretty sure that I'm not an alcoholic. This is more of an experiment to see if I can control my blood pressure and lose a few pounds while I'm at it.

I decided to keep this plan to myself.

Within an hour, I've emailed a few friends announcing that I was giving up drinking and that I was not going to blog about it because I didn't need a public disclosure. That was three days ago.

My friends were supportive, gently pointing out, "hey, dumbass, a glass of wine lowers blood pressure, maybe if the alcohol hadn't killed your brain cells, you'd know that."

So now I'm officially not drinking for a week or so. So far it's going well (help me). Except I'm sort of surprised at how ugly everyone is and also I sort of thought that I'd be one of those fun non-drinking people who'd go around saying things like "would you look at that sunset? The colors are absolutely vivid and stunning!" but instead I'm one of those non-drinking people who tells her husband, as he pours his one glass of wine for the week at Sunday dinner, "how long are you going to drink your pain away instead of facing it head on?" and "some more devil's water for you, honey? Your liver is screaming, you know."

Nor did papa having a beer earlier in the week escape my notice. "So sad," I said, although perhaps not out loud, because, you know, I don't want to be institutionalized. "Now that I am enjoying my sobriety, I pity those who seek solace in the bottle."

So yes, it's going well. Although inexplicably, everyone around me are drinking more than ever.


Blogger ♥ Braja said...

Either I need to accept that you've been lying to me all this time about your name, or take up drinking and ride into oblivion on it....

What would Jesus do?

July 15, 2009 at 12:31 AM  
Anonymous Agent Black, CIA said...

Call me, I think we need to speak....

July 15, 2009 at 12:32 AM  
Anonymous Halala Mama said...

"hey, dumbass, a glass of wine lowers blood pressure, maybe if the alcohol hadn't killed your brain cells, you'd know that."

That was exactly what I was thinking before I read it, minus the dumbass and brain cells part. :)

July 15, 2009 at 12:55 AM  
Blogger OHmommy said...

I am much prettier looking after a glass of booze, I do hope you start drinking again before next week.

July 15, 2009 at 1:25 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

the wine shouldn't be too bad. but try cutting way back on salt! no need to give up whine if you don't have to!

July 15, 2009 at 2:58 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

i mean the wine...but definitely don't give up the whine either!

July 15, 2009 at 2:58 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

i mean the wine...but definitely don't give up the whine either!

July 15, 2009 at 2:58 AM  
Blogger Mwa said...

The one part of my diet that never stuck was the lack of alcohol. I find it much easier to give up food.

July 15, 2009 at 5:19 AM  
Blogger Christy said...

Bravo to you for trying to give up drinking! And hysterical post, as usual!

July 15, 2009 at 6:17 AM  
Blogger lizspin said...

They make pills to get rid of high blood pressure, you know.. .

They make wine to get rid of life's other irritations. . .

And just what IS your name anyway???

July 15, 2009 at 7:08 AM  
Blogger Courtney said...

My liver sent me a text informing me he quit. Yes, receiving a text from your liver is all around bizarre and hard to believe, but what I found to be most shocking was that my liver is male.

Who knew?!

Cheers to laying off the sauce for a bit!

July 15, 2009 at 8:35 AM  
Blogger IB said...

I once quit drinking for health reasons. After 5 months without a single beer, I realized if living longer meant being sober THE ENTIRE TIME, it wasn't worth it.

July 15, 2009 at 8:50 AM  
Blogger kimmers said...

I quit drinking about two years ago because I felt like I needed a break from spending every weekend in a shot-fueled drama fest followed by massive hangovers.(ahem... I say "weekend" but there were also many weekdays) But let me tell you, in those first few months of sobriety, freaking EVERYONE AROUND ME seemed like a total alcoholic! So that was fun for a while, being all judgey and self righteous. Now that I've "matured" a bit I think I miss my good friend Vodka. It's been too damn long and life has gotten awfully stressful since we parted.

My advice is take a pill and keep the wine. :)

July 15, 2009 at 9:42 AM  
Blogger Momo Fali said...

I gave up sugar to see if it would help my headaches, which obviously includes beer and wine. A week later, my father-in-law came for a visit with a five gallon container of his homemade wine. I cried a little. (Okay...a lot.)

July 15, 2009 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger PsychMamma said...

Wait.......!! Your name is NOT Marinka?? How did I miss this? I feel betrayed. Maybe the high blood pressure is a result of LIVING A LIE!!! ;-)

July 15, 2009 at 10:08 AM  
Blogger K.Line said...

I think this a fabulous experiment that I would never try in a million years. The only thing that has got me through the last 2 days of "child lice brought home from camp" insanity, is booze. And the Lice Squad. But really, it was only after I had the big, first drink that my anxiety had calmed enough to find the help. :-)

Likelihood is that you could easily lose 5 lbs - everyone I know who gives up drinking does. And then they start drinking again!

July 15, 2009 at 10:13 AM  
Blogger Carolyn...Online said...

It's like your just begging for every blogger at the conference to hold you down and pour liquor down your gullet.

July 15, 2009 at 10:15 AM  
Anonymous peajaye said...

i think you shouldn't discount the possibility that everyone around you is drinking more because of Michael Jackson's death. I heard that your - and Kathy Ireland's - friend, Liz Taylor, had to be hospitalized due to constant crying and exhaustion. Liz had Michael. You had The Bottle. Life looks different when our loved ones are gone.

July 15, 2009 at 10:19 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

"I'm sort of surprised at how ugly everyone is" - heh.

Hey listen I need Advice From Marinka. My daughter is moving to New Orleans where her boyfriend and his parents live. (And yes, there's a shitload of angsty posts in there for me. Fun.) Here's where you come in - they are RUSSIAN. He lived in effing Siberia until he was in 1st grade then they came here. His mom is a ballerina - effing kid-you-not. His grandparents are still in Siberia and they own a vodka -- um - farm? distillery? factory? (I love vodka.)- and also a potato farm. It's like I'm being dragged into the fringes of a fucking Tolstoy novel.

What advice do you have for me?

July 15, 2009 at 10:39 AM  
Blogger blognut said...

I feel so... something... I don't know. You've been lying to us about your name all this time.

I'll bet Niki's name isn't really Niki, to.

And what about Papa? Is he really Papa?

July 15, 2009 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger blognut said...


Just for that, because one good lie deserves another, my name isn't really BLOGNUT.

Nope, it's not.

How's that feel?

July 15, 2009 at 10:45 AM  
Anonymous Crystal said...

I never drank very often, but most times I did I somehow wound up pregnant. Needless to say, alcohol is now strictly off limits. No more. Ever.

July 15, 2009 at 11:04 AM  
Anonymous Andrea's Sweet Life said...

Huh. I thought giving up salt was supposed to lower blood pressure? Is wine salty?

I take solace in the bottle and I LIKE IT.

July 15, 2009 at 11:17 AM  
Blogger Comedy Goddess said...

I'm on the wagon too.

Want to get together and knit?

July 15, 2009 at 12:01 PM  
Anonymous Maureen at IslandRoar said...

Well, if you really insist on doing this then good luck. But don't blame us if the world becomes a very scary (scarier) place...

July 15, 2009 at 12:57 PM  
Blogger Sandi said...

I'm with Blognut and Braja. I feel deceived and hurt. What am I supposed to call you next week in Chicago?


I feel like you just became a stranger....


July 15, 2009 at 1:06 PM  
Blogger Issas Crazy World said...

This is an evil April fool's joke right? Just a few months late?

What about next week? What happens then? I need you to drink then, so you find me fun and entertaining. Come on, we had a deal. Remember? You told me that one night....oh wait, maybe you were drinking.

Dam, I shoulda got it in writing. Sigh.

July 15, 2009 at 1:29 PM  
Anonymous Sandy said...

For those who don't know the alcohol/blood pressure connection, alcohol at first dilates your blood vessels (pressure goes down) but then constricts them (pressure goes up higher than before). However, the occasional glass of wine is probably a good thing (for your heart AND mind, lol). I know how hard it is to stop drinking. I haven't had a drink in over a year (pregnancy and nursing) and I am craving a margarita.

July 15, 2009 at 1:30 PM  
Blogger Tooj said...

People say vivid and stunning? Out loud? Not just the written word? Interesting.

And weren't they all ugly before? People, not sunsets.

July 15, 2009 at 2:06 PM  
Blogger Neil said...

Oh, man, you are gonna be A LOT of fun at BlogHer, with you standing in the corner shaking your head at all the drinking of alcohol and eating of sugary, salted foods. I'm avoiding you like the plague.

July 15, 2009 at 2:31 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Okay, I totally lost my thought about imbibing wine when I read your new comment disclaimer. Thankfully, I am positive I am not funnier than you so my comment is safe.

July 15, 2009 at 2:44 PM  
Blogger Amanda Gibson said...

You are one brave woman for giving up the wine. I'm not a wine drinker - but I don't think I could live without some tequila every now and again (am I high class or what?). I mean, which is cheaper - a vacation or total drunken oblivion (which is pretty much like a mini vacation)? In this economy we all gotta do what we can. Not only am I saving money by not taking a vacation, I'm also keeping my local liquor store in business. Well, maybe it's not just ME keeping them in business. But I'm definitely doing my part.

Also, I tried giving up caffeine a couple weeks ago, and, not only did my local Starbucks almost go out of business, but I also had a migrane headache the size of the Grand Canyon for three days. Life sucked with no caffeine. I couldn't get jack shit done. Everyone was irritating and stupid. Life just wasn't worth living.

Who says all this being healthy stuff is so cool?

July 15, 2009 at 3:03 PM  
Blogger the mama bird diaries said...

if you don't have a cosmo with me at blogher, i'm not going.

July 15, 2009 at 3:05 PM  
Blogger Anna See said...

I'm not sure if this is what you intended, but this post made me want to go have a Mike's Hard Lemonade. Thanks.

July 15, 2009 at 3:29 PM  
Anonymous Wendi said...

I agree with Kelcey. If you don't drink at BlogHer, we're going to pass notes to each other about how stuck-up and stupid sober you are.

July 15, 2009 at 3:47 PM  
Blogger Drew said...

Eeeeek!! Be careful with that blood pressure and twenty
alcoholic glasses of wine.

July 15, 2009 at 4:07 PM  
Blogger bonnie-ann black said...

good gawds! giving up my weekend glasses (or 20) of wine would *really* make my blood pressure soar!

non-drinking, wine lovers are only second to people who give up carbs in their ability to annoy the rest of us. hope you (non)recover soon.

July 15, 2009 at 6:02 PM  
Blogger CaraBee said...

Too funny!

I haven't really drank (drunk?) in two and a half years. Pregnancy and then nursing. But we're done with that now and I'm back, baby. Look out, Chicago.

July 15, 2009 at 9:47 PM  
Blogger Renée aka Mekhismom said...

Um, not to try to get you to succumb to pressure or anything BUT is this no alcohol rule being dismissed during BlogHer? I was hoping that margaritas with Stacey and Debbie were on the agenda.

July 15, 2009 at 11:08 PM  
Anonymous Sophie, Inzaburbs said...

Ha! We do this every few months. We give up wine on weekdays and everything is great! and we feel so much better! and then suddenly ... we don't.

We have currently given up alcohol "except for special occasions". Although I am not sure what made last night a special occasion. And I don't know what my husband is doing right this minute on ...

July 16, 2009 at 12:23 AM  
Blogger anymommy said...

Until Friday, right? You are giving up drinking until next Friday. And, what Renee said. You are are causing a ripple of BlogHer panic to spread through the ranks. No individualism, no smart choices. You can do that crap after the conference.

July 16, 2009 at 12:53 AM  
Blogger p said...

Once I turned 21, drinking just isn't as fun any more. It is so overrated. (Actually I could use a glass of plum wine right now...)

July 16, 2009 at 5:02 PM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

Oh man...this blog could have so easily been written by me. I had exactly the same problem (prehypertension) and decided to give up my nightly wine. Yes, one glass is good for blood pressure, but honestly, who can stop at one? It didn't last long, I just love my wine too much. What has helped is giving it up a few days a week and hitting the gym like a maniac. Problem solved. Good luck!

July 16, 2009 at 5:04 PM  
Blogger BabyonBored said...

Wow, I can't believe that every comment was against you not drinking. I, sadly, am in favor of trying to stop if you feel your blood pressure or liver needs a break. But you know me, I want everyone to do what I do. I'm selfish that way. It truly gets easier the longer you go without it. But, hey, if you're JUST doing it for your blood pressure then sure, take a pill and don't let me stop you from hitting the booze.

July 16, 2009 at 5:11 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Of course! Sadly shaking your head and judging others is the best part about being a non-drinker!

July 17, 2009 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger Becca6296 said...

I will never be more funny than you. I will not comment on your diet, but you may peruse my blog for detail.
I love your writing and look forward to reading your posts no matter where you are.
Take care of YOURSELF

July 20, 2009 at 11:42 AM  
Blogger Becca6296 said...

I will never be more funny than you. I will not comment on your diet, but you may peruse my blog for detail.
I love your writing and look forward to reading your posts no matter where you are.
Take care of YOURSELF

July 20, 2009 at 11:42 AM  

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