'Dear Wine: I'm breaking up with you. This is why.'

Dear Wine,

There is no easy way to say this so I’m going to come right out with it – I’m breaking up with you. 

I’d like to tell you that it’s not you, it’s me, but that simply is not true. It is you. You promised me a lot, and for a long time I believed those things to be true.

But I began to realise you had a nasty side to you – it was sneaky and insidious, so for a very long time I didn’t realise what you were doing.

Watch: Changing the world's relationship with alcohol with Chris Raine. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

Then it started dawning on me that having you in my life was holding me back. 

I thought the solution was to lessen my exposure to you. I tried not to be with you as often or, when I did see you, make sure that I didn’t spend the whole night with you.

But again, you were sneaky, and my promises to see less of you only made me want more. And then I felt bad about that.

Was there something wrong with me? Was I weak-willed, undisciplined?

No. There was something wrong with you and your empty promises.

You said you’d help me manage stress.

One of your biggest promises to me was that you’d help me manage the stresses of a busy life. Juggling family, career, a home, finances… it was hectic and mentally exhausting.

"Don’t worry," you said, "I’m here to ease the load."


But the reality is that you made my life more stressful. I’d wake at night, unable to get back to sleep because of the whirlwind of thoughts about all I had to do.

I only realised later that being exposed to you had triggered those stressful thoughts. So then, instead of easing the stresses in my life, you became one more thing to worry about.

You promised me a glamourous life.

You said that life would be more glamorous and sophisticated with you in it. I had seen images of you in fancy restaurants and in exotic locations, and fell for it.

But the reality was that after a night with you, I was worse for wear. Repeating boring stories and being overly emotional were far from glam. 

And to top it off, after a long night with you, I would have hazy memories of what we did. I knew that wasn’t a good sign, but I still believed that I couldn’t socialise or have fun without you.

I felt worse after seeing you.

Mornings after the night before were always the worst. You were long gone, but the after-effects lingered. I’d feel bad about seeing you again – after I promised I wouldn’t. 

You made me feel nauseous and headachy, and I knew deep down that that was a red flag.

Facing the bathroom mirror the morning after the night before wasn’t fun – dark circles under my eyes, blotchy skin and dry, red eyes. You undermined all the efforts I was making to look after myself.

You sabotaged my health.

I thought I could be fit and healthy with you in my life. And, for a time, I managed that. 

I would exercise in the morning and spend time with you at night. It was the yin and yang of my life.

You were even my treat for achieving fitness goals. After completing a fitness challenge or running a half-marathon, I’d celebrate with you later that day. 

I called you my one vice. It was nuts, and I was delusional: the more nights I spent with you, the less keen I was to exercise the next day. And the more you were around, the worse my food choices became.


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You said my life would be nothing without you.

I finally began to realise that maybe I was better off without you in my life. But like any toxic relationship, you made me believe that life would be dull and boring without you.

But guess what, wine? It’s better. You know all the promises you made me? I realised they were BS.

I can still have fun without you – in fact more fun, because you’re not holding me back.

I can be fitter, healthier, more present, less stressed.

And all those things that I thought I couldn’t do without you – the holidays, the social events, even the weekends?

I do all those things. It turns out that you didn’t actually make them any better – they were good in and of themselves; no need to add wine.

You lured me into a destructive relationship and now that I know how you operate, I’m not putting up with it anymore.

I want to feel healthy and content in my life. I don’t want to be thinking about you all the time and I certainly don’t want you bringing me down.

So goodbye wine. I’m done with toxic relationships, so pack up your sh*t and go!

Rachael Layton is an alcohol reset coach and Lady Startup graduate who decided to take a break from drinking more than two years ago. She counts it as one of the best decisions of her life. You can find out more on her website.

Feature image: Supplied.

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