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They don’t call it liquid courage for nothing. A couple glasses of wine, and I say, so what if it goes beyond my calorie limit? I deserve chocolate, gosh darn it. I will send stupid, annoying, and pointless texts to my best friend, Kate, when she’s just trying to do things like spend quality time with her kids. How dare she when I want to talk about the most recent episode of Gilmore Girls that I watched? I mean, really.

I get loquacious when I drink. I always know when this happens, because Charlie kicks me under the table or makes “tone it down” faces at me. God, how embarrassing. But there’s always something fun or funny, and how in the world do you not react to that? People must think I’m an ass. But part of me doesn’t care.

There’s something about that lack of inhibition. It’s so free. So freeing. For someone who often feels awkward and anxious in social situations, the lack of that shackle is such a relief. But then, of course, inevitably comes the next day, where you agonize over every little thing you said. Were you stupid? Well, of course you were. But just how stupid were you? A little cringeworthy, or enough that you’ll look back on this with self-loathing for years to come?

Seven years ago I had a particularly bad episode of the latter and decided to quit drinking altogether. I kept it up for about four years, and then I tentatively dipped my toe back in the water (or should I say in the wine?). It’s been okay. Moderation has been key, and I’ve been allowing myself to be my anxious and awkward self in social situations. It’s not the worst thing, and it usually gets better with time. I can find many cringeworthy things that I did or said without adding alcohol to the mix, anyway.

If I were a truly responsible human, I’d keep up the teetotalism. My history recommends it. In my biological family, my maternal grandfather was an alcoholic, and my father had a history with drugs. Problematic relationships with alcohol also appear in my adoptive family. Despite my propensity for addiction, I’ll continue to play it by ear. If things get hairy, it’s over.

So, onward. I continue to have this slightly dysfunctional relationship with alcohol, but for now we’re coexisting peaceably. Would you be surprised to hear that I wrote this after two glasses of wine?