Today is my 45th day being alcohol free.
Some of you may read that and think “small potatoes,” but for me, it’s a pretty big deal.
I have been drinking since high school, outside of when I was pregnant and/or nursing, of course, and would never turn down a good cocktail, or an excellent red wine, or a glass of champs, or an occasional sparkling boozy water.
My relationship with alcohol is one of the longest running relationships I have in my life. Drinks were there when I needed to forget, when I needed to relax, when I needed to celebrate, or when I simply wanted to be the life of the party. Alcohol is literally everywhere you look in this world, and for me, it was such a normal part of my life.
I even remember sitting with a friend of mine many, many moons ago who was sharing he was struggling with alcoholism. As I sat there listening, I couldn’t help but think, “I could never imagine not drinking. Booze is literally everywhere. That would be impossible!” This is my same friend who ended up taking his life last September after a long journey with addiction, which is really a side effect of depression.
After losing John in such a heartbreaking way, it really forced me to take a good, long look at my own life. How was I living? Were all aspects of myself (spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, and energetic) in balance? What could I take from this loss and use to stoke the flames of healing within myself and others?
In the past (nine) months, I have realized more than ever before that life is this big, juicy, one-of-a kind, precious gift. Was I really receiving it to my fullest potential?
No. No, I wasn’t fully receiving and embracing the gift of my one precious life. I know in the depths of my soul that life is constantly serving us limitless magic (I mean, I’m writing a book on this very thing for goodness sakes!), so knowing this, why would I ever want to consciously or subconsciously tune the magic out?
Now, I didn’t challenge myself to step away from drinking because I had an atypical debilitating issue. Alcohol doesn’t interfere with my work. I don’t live each day having to have a drink. I don’t sneak or hide alcohol. I can stop after having one or two. I can say no and be just fine, and I have zero health issues. I challenged myself to step away from alcohol for completely different reasons.
First, I realized I didn’t have a drinking issue; I had an energy issue. There was great empowerment and freedom in realizing that. Drinking has always been my way of tuning out seeing, feeling, hearing, and interpreting resonate truth of everything—and everyone—before me. What if I didn’t hinder my gifts in any way? Could I really change the world like my soul tells me I can?
Second, with writing my first book, homeschooling my children, working with clients, loving on my lobster, and maintaining all my relationships, I want my energetic hose to be unkinked. I want to be anchored and present with all that is before me.
Last, but most certainly not least, I decided what I don’t want to be: someone living off caffeine to get through sluggish days, or someone carrying a supply of Tylenol to help combat dehydration headaches, or someone grabbing quick foods because there’s no energy to cook a meal of love, or someone who always has an underlying anxiety and restlessness.
No, not me.
For the first time since pre-relationship with alcohol, I want to take and alchemize every ounce of magic this life is gifting me. I want to see just how far I can go when there is absolutely nothing holding me back or down.
Because alcohol, no matter how much we enjoy it, always holds us back and down.
Alcohol is a depressant. It’s a number and a tuner-out-er.
Alcohol highlights boundary-less-ness and hides absolutely every other aspect of self.
Alcohol spikes our nervous system, causing continual high and low levels of anxiety to radiate through our life.
And that doesn’t even go into the physical side effects: hormonal imbalances, poor skin, chronic aches and pains, sleepless nights, weight gain, liver problems, horrific hangovers, depression, and disconnection.
Absolutely nothing good ever comes from alcohol.
It does nothing for you, for me, or for anyone who consumes it. Some say, “Well, it makes me relax so I can be more outgoing around new people.” To which I say, why start a relationship with someone new based on a false sense of self? Why are you uncomfortable being quiet, reserved, or laid back? Why do you have to change to something else in order to be accepted or feel like you fit in?
Alcohol gives you nothing more than a false sense of acceptance.
Now, with all that being said, I will be honest and say I have no idea how long my break from alcohol will last. It’s only been 45 days, and I have had my fair share of full-blown cravings and have almost given in multiple times. There are a lot of moments, situations, and people that trigger my urge to drink. Warm, sunny days being one of them, outdoor concerts, and celebrating my wedding anniversary with my lobster this past weekend being another. As we enter summer swimming, boating, and bonfire season, I don’t know if I will be able to resist forever. All I know is that now when a craving arises, I stop and say, “How do I want to feel when my eyes open tomorrow?”
Good news is that I am learning and assimilating a whole new level of wisdom and energy that I never before thought was possible, which includes making out of this world mocktails that are not full of sugar and additives but are full of adaptogenics, nootropics, energy boosters, and a whole lot of love.
So, maybe you have been sober curious, maybe you are sober, or maybe you think you could never, ever be sober. Either way, you are invited to join me on this wild journey of what I can only call, “Surviving Summer Sober-ish.”
Let the magic begin!