Considering A Dry January? Women Share Their Complicated Relationship With Alcohol

My relationship with alcohol started off in true Jada fashion: totally by the book. I had my very first drink at Red Lobster on my 21st birthday; I remember proudly offering up my driver’s license to our server, who chuckled at my enthusiasm. But contrary to the images I’d grown up with in pop culture (Mean Girls-level high school party ragers) I didn’t drink in high school or college. I never felt like I was missing out on anything. My idea of a good time was a juicy cheeseburger at a diner, pretty much like To All The Boys I Loved Before lovebirds Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky.

But in my 20s, when Gossip Girl became the lens through which I thought I should be living my best life as a young person in New York City, I’d traipse into Manhattan with my friends for a night of dancing and martinis. Although I had fun, I always had a nagging feeling that I was only out because it what I was "supposed" to do… when all I really wanted was a night in with Netflix and a big slice of chocolate cake. It wasn’t until I discovered running in my late twenties that it finally clicked: Getting home at 4 a.m. the night before didn’t align with feeling refreshed and ready for a morning run.

Now that I’m in my 30S, I enjoy a single glass of wine with a great meal, and that’s become my libation happy place.

On this week’s episode of The Bustle Huddle, we’re talking frankly about alcohol — and about what life is like when you close that bar tab for good. Throughout the episode, you’ll hear from people who have their own individual reasons for cutting down on their drinking, or choosing not to drink at all.

My special guest co-host, Bustle Associate Lifestyle Editor Melanie Mignucci, and I explore a variety of relationships with alcohol. We speak with Ruby Warrington, the author of the new book Sober Curious, coming out on Dec. 31, who shares practical gems when it comes to the reshuffling of your social routine when you cut back on drinking or give it up entirely. And Bustle’s Lifestyle Features Editor Gabrielle Moss shares how she overcame her own personal struggles with alcohol, so that she could be present in her work and become a solid partner in her marriage.

Maybe you’re seriously considering giving up drinking, or just curious about what it’s like. Or maybe you’ve cut down on alcohol for good, and want to see what the experience is like for others who’ve made the same life choice. Check out this week’s episode on iTunes and Spotify. And if you are drinking this holiday season, please make sure to have a designated driver or get a cab.

If you or someone you know is seeking help for substance use, you can call the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

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