This is why I avoid drinking wine

Or any other form of alcohol, really, but the subject at hand is wine.

After my mother in law was describing her attempt at pork roast slow-cooked in wine, my husband got to craving it. We rarely have beef in the house--not because we're purposefully avoiding cow meat, but mostly because I don't like beef all that much. A rare burger, a tiny bit on burritos, and some in sloppy joes--but that's it. No, even though I lived in Nebraska for much of my formative years, I hate steak. (And now I live in Chicago, and I hate deep dish pizza. C'mon people, just call it a crappy bread lasagna.)

So, when Jeff and I went to the store today, we bought a bottle of merlot (don't ask me what kind, I don't remember and don't care) along with our other groceries. I do remember that it was about $9, so fairly cheap.

Jeff put the roast in the crock pot, painted it with some jarred garlic from Trader Joe's and sprinkled it with a little bit of onion powder, while I attempted to figure out how to open the danged thing. The corkscrew had a little knife on it, so I tried scratching at the foil, before I realized, oh, just pulling at the foil with my hands is actually more effective. Then I put in the cork screw--and couldn't figure out how to leverage the dang thing out. When we did, a few minutes later, he poured half the bottle into the crock pot, set it on low, and left it for several hours.

We now had half a bottle of wine in the fridge, with nothing on the menu in the upcoming week that called for wine.

So, we drank it with dinner. There was enough for each of us to have one glass. (or two half glasses apiece, was how we paced ourselves). It was still dry--but far far less dry and bitter than the stuff that I've tried at parties before. Twice at two Christmas parties at work. Once at a Christmas party at church. (Yes, they served WINE at the coffee hour.) Both times it was really, really dry and bitter. Blech.

This merlot was a bit tastier, at least. Not quite as dry, a little more fruity. Jeff said it worked excellently with the roast beef. (I stuck with salad and mashed potatoes).

It hit me pretty fast. Maybe because I didn't have any meat. Again, neither one of us drinks, so I really notice when the alcohol sanitizes my bloodstream.

I didn't get tipsy, nor did I get extremely relaxed--but I did notice that it is a bit of an anti-anxiety "medicine." I could access the locked-up memories more easily, and I didn't feel upset. I felt...normal. Just a little warm, but normal. Maybe that's my solution for therapy sessions? See, I have trouble recalling memories, and so there's really nothing for me to talk about at therapy aside from the parts I do remember, and you can rehash that only so many times--so that's why I stopped going to therapy last year. I was helped as much as I could be helped. But perhaps if I had a glass of wine before heading in to therapy...that might make it more productive?

Ha. Who knows. All I know is that I'm definitely not going to drink wine on a regular basis. Nor an irregular basis. Only on a Halley's Comet basis. Okay, that's probably exaggerating--but you get the idea. On rare occasions.

I'm already fucked up as it is with depression, SAD, and PTSD, that there's no reason to complicate it with "self medication" with alcohol.  I've enough Irish blood in me that I'd be slightly concerned about alcoholism. And I absolutely do not want to mess up my Lexapro.

And wine isn't nearly as strong as Valium--which I used to take for migraine treatments back in high school (which I homeschooled, by the way). Doctors couldn't figure out why the heck I was having migraines, so one prescribed Valium. Well, it didn't help with the migraines much, but it sure made me feel pretty darn good. The first time I took it, I loved that feeling of being relaxed. And heck, that day I first tried Valium, my dad was in one of his really bad moods. Maybe he was raging. I don't remember, because the Valium made me not give a shit. Okay, I did give a little bit of shit, because I quickly got out of his way and worked hard on keeping my little siblings out of the way, so he wouldn't take his anger out on them. Because I knew it made me feel good, I purposefully avoided taking Valium. Or if I did, I would take a quarter a pill. Or a half. But I absolutely did not want to become addicted to it, because I recognized that potential there. That potential of addiction.

Wine is far far less potent (it's worn off just a few hours later) but still, I refuse to be addicted to it. Especially since it does help with anxiety.

I'm just going to go to the psychiatrist on Wednesday afternoon and hopefully we can figure out how to tweak my medicine to help with that PTSD-related anxiety. It might be the next higher dose of Lexapro, or maybe it will be an extra pill to take. Or maybe he thinks that my levels of anxiety aren't too badly managed as it is--we'll see.

I want to be treated, not self-medicated. I'd rather have tried-and-true medicines than to rely on the bottle. For personal reasons, for logical reasons. And for practical reasons--after all, insurance will cover pills, but it won't cover the liquor bill.

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