How Ditching Alcohol for Weed Transformed My Parenting Journey And Made Me A Better, Happier Person. A submitted guest post by Julia Durrant.
Discovering the negative impact of alcohol on my life came as an unexpected revelation during the pandemic. The decision to replace alcohol with weed turned out to be a game-changer, not just for my relaxation but also in becoming a better parent overall.
The Booze Escape
In the past, alcohol was my go-to stress reliever, whether it was a tough day at work or navigating the challenges of parenthood. It served its purpose during college and early adulthood, but the pandemic brought a realization—alcohol was affecting my parenting in ways I hadn't anticipated.
Cannabis: A Parent's Unwind
Making the switch from alcohol to weed, particularly through edibles and vaping, brought about a positive transformation. Cannabis became my ally, helping me unwind after a day of toddler-chasing, promoting better sleep, and resetting my mindset for the next parenting challenge.
Breaking the Mould
Growing up in a culture where alcohol was ingrained from a young age, I believed my relationship with drinking was healthy. However, relocating to Edinburgh and working in a high-stress media job turned drinking into a near-daily ritual. Weed wasn't part of the equation then, as the fear of engaging in illegal activities kept me away from it, and to be honest, I didn't know anyone that used it.
Parenthood and Sobriety
The dynamics changed when parenthood entered the scene. Even during pregnancy, quitting alcohol felt natural, and the allure of a postpartum drink disappeared. However, with the arrival of twins and the onset of a pandemic, my husband and I found solace in evening cocktails. It was during these moments that I noticed the toll alcohol took on my mood, patience, and overall well-being. I began feeling a teeny tiny bit depressed - all of the time. I became irritable. After a while, I couldn't socialise without a drink or two.
The Cannabis Shift
Opting for a cold-turkey farewell to alcohol, I sought an alternative to blow off steam. Cannabis emerged as a saviour, providing the mental break I needed without the negative physical repercussions associated with alcohol. Living in a country where weed was now legal on prescription helped break down societal stigma.
Unlike alcohol, which heightened my anxiety amidst the pandemic chaos, cannabis became a source of calm. Pausing and taking a deep breath, it allowed me to navigate the anxiety-inducing news cycle with more composure. I get better sleep. My skin is clearer. My husband swears black and blue that I look younger. I feel happy again - and contrary to the normal false storyline I'm feeling more energetic than ever. I even bought some running shoes (they're here, by the way).
A crucial shift accompanied the switch from alcohol to cannabis—I chose not to consume cannabis in the presence of my kids. Being fully present with them became a priority, in stark contrast to my past habits with alcohol. Instead, I reserve my vaping or gummy moments for post-bedtime routines—cleaning up the scattered toys or enjoying a movie night with my husband.
Reflections on the Past
Looking back at my childless years, I can't help but wish I had made the switch from alcohol to cannabis earlier. The physical and mental benefits would likely have made those years more enjoyable, and I really do feel I would have had better years with better memories.
In conclusion, the decision to embrace cannabis over alcohol has not only reshaped my parenting approach but has also positively impacted my mental and physical well-being. If you are a drinker, maybe give it a try. You might just end up happier.