I love your writing! As a single mom of a young woman I struggle with modeling self-love with reasonable expectations, but it’s a drag to be constantly bombarded by impossible-to-live-up-to images. Be a kick-ass mom! Productivity at work! Buy a house and save for retirement while paying for her college! And look good while doing it (50 is the thirty which makes me about 35).
When I got sober (21 years ago, one day at a time, but who’s counting?) I was singing in bars 2–3 nights a week and at weddings every weekend, and working in a school where faculty meeting refreshments were Stoli and juice. I was lucky in that, for the most part, the compulsion was lifted but about 10% of the time a drink looked good — those people looked like they were having so much more fun than me. I only had to hold off an hour or so before things got ugly. It’s a quieter, easier life without it.