Do you hate saying no?

Are you comfortable saying no?

Are you willing to let people down?

Do you put your own needs ahead of everyone else’s?

Or do you excel at saying yes? Filling up your to-do list. Putting more and more onto your already overfull plate. Making sure everyone around you is happy.

Filling up your to-do list. Putting more and more onto your already overfull plate. Making sure everyone around you is happy.

This might have more to do with your drinking than you might suspect, and no, I’m not just talking about your ability to turn down a cocktail.

I’m talking about using the decision to have a drink as a way to draw a line in the sand. A marker that you are officially off the clock. Closed for the day. To-dos and emails and demands on your time will just have to wait.

For a long time, this was me. I couldn’t justify taking a break. Picking up a book. Going for a walk. Visiting a museum. Catching a movie. There was always something that couldn’t wait. Something that really needed to get done. I had responsibilities. I couldn’t let people down. If I did make the time for these things, I allowed myself to be interrupted. My time was never really my time. 

I allowed myself to be interrupted. My time was never really my time.

On the other hand, after a couple drinks it was easier to forget about everything I was “supposed” to be doing. It was easier to ignore my work email. And if something did manage to make its way through, it was easier to tell myself I would deal with it later.  A buzz made me a little less focused on everyone else’s needs. They could wait. I was busy making myself happy.

When I stopped drinking I had to learn another way. I had to start practicing being selfish with my time and my needs. I had to learn how to be okay with saying no and disappointing people.

I had to learn how to draw a line in the sand without a glass in my hand.