As a Certified Professional Recovery Coach and Retired Party Animal, I know one main concern about ditching the drink, is the fear of a boring life.
I understand this completely, because it was one of my greatest fears too.
This is for the sober curious folks, a life of sobriety does not equal a boring life.
Here’s some food for thought when taking a break from alcohol.
Is it sobriety or pandemic?
If you are getting sober or experimenting with being alcohol free, during the COVID pandemic, separate feeling bored and shut in, with being sober. They are not the same thing. If you are bored because of the pandemic, consider yourself lucky, right?
Is it temporary?
Being sober does not mean being shut in, unless you want it too.
In early sobriety you might choose nights on the couch with Netflix over fighting cravings in alcohol induced environments. With practice you will grow your sober muscle and start to venture out more....
On one of my first nights out after I quit drinking, we went out for Friday Night pizza with another family.
I got drunk on wine almost every Friday night at this couples’ home.
I was nervous to order a drink when the waitress came around.
I didn't want to make any sort of announcement.
I wanted to go unnoticed.
My husband and I ordered Diet Cokes.
To be expected...immediately the interrogation from my friend started.
I simply said "I quit drinking".
My friend's husband laughed.
I didn’t blame him.
I had been here before.
Why would he believe me?
He didn’t have to believe me.
I had to believe me.
And I did.
I knew this time was different.
But he didn't know that.
He didn't know the war within I had been fighting for so long.
When he saw I was serious and said “oh ok” with extreme sarcasm.
My girlfriend tried to defend me.
I shrunk with annoyance and embarrassment, for being in this...
People like to joke about this weird time between Christmas and New Years like it’s some kind of twilight zone.
Maybe it is for some people.
It was for me.
I used to roll from one party gathering to the next.
I would do the minimum to get showered and dressed .
I would then prop myself up and pour myself a drink.
I would fake laugh and use sarcasm to tell everybody how well I was doing.
I typically started drinking late morning, upon arrival.
I would stuff myself with food or not eat at all.
I would either pass out early, or push myself to keep partying well past my bedtime, in the spirit of holidays and togetherness.
I would start each new year utterly exhausted from the year before and the final push in the last few weeks would tip me over the edge.
I did not enjoy the holidaying, but I loved the excuse to drink more, and more often.
The holidays stressed me out.
I was adding more things to do to my...
I personally can't thank Zac enough for sharing the upside to a life of recovery.
It was a whirlwind adventure of going nowhere, in this unprecedented season of The Bachelorette on the grounds of La Quinta Resort.
Dare I say, it was also one of the most dramatic seasons ever?
The best part of this season, in my opinion, was Zac Clark.
He was not only there for the right reasons, he was a role model of life in recovery.
Zac shined a light on all the best qualities people in recovery have to offer.
Taysia noticed immediately, “he’s different.”
He is different and isn’t that wonderful?
In a Bachelor world of sameness, Taysia was able to find someone truly unique.
It is different to choose a life of sobriety, in a world that...
Answering your questions about how I did it and how it feels to ditch the drink.
In short, at first slow and painful.
Eventually, absolutely exhilarating!
This year (more than ever perhaps?), we’ve turned to alcohol to cope.
Our intent was to stay connected during the stay at home orders, with Zoom Happy Hours.
We were looking to fight boredom with Quarantini’s.
We were drinking wine to cope with homeschooling.
We needed a sense of humor to endure the endless bad news, coming at us from all directions.
Parents especially, couldn’t catch a break this year.
I drink because of distance learning.
They wine, I wine.
Essential workers endured stress and anxiety, to say the least, daily.
Teachers figuring out new ways to engage students remotely.
Violence erupted in cities all across America.
We feared for our health and safety.
We feared for the health and safety of our parents, our children, our neighbors, and our friends.
A few weeks turned into a few months.
Life as we knew...
This year, more than ever perhaps, the negative effects of consuming too much alcohol are coming to light.
A study by JAMA Network found heavy drinking among women is up 41% from 2019 - 2020. Alcohol related deaths have also increased. Excessive drinking increases one’s risk for anxiety, depression, suicide, seven different types of cancer, stroke, and heart disease.
Alcohol has been an easy “go to” holiday gift for business contacts, neighbors, teachers, and hosts.
Enjoy these healthier alternatives to gifting this holiday season.
Why not treat someone special to some pampering? Bath bombs, face masks, sugar scrubs, and more. The nudge for time alone will feel like a complete luxury for anyone who’s been wearing all the hats this year. Luxurious spa products are a great step in the right direction.
Tis’ the season for fuzzy socks, cozy pajamas, and soft blankets. You can find these items in any...
The holidays can feel stressful.
This year, perhaps even more so, with the current state of the pandemic.
You may be feeling health concerns, financial fears, and decreased mental health.
There's a general consensus that times are tough and alcohol helps.
Drinking is promoted as a way to cope with the madness.
The “at least there’s wine” mentality is harmful to many.
Alcohol actually adds to the exhaustion, anxious feelings, and regrets that you may already be feeling.
Here’s a few tips for managing the holidays in healthy ways:
1- Acknowledge the loss.
The holidays may not feel like "The Most Wonderful Time of Year", if you are missing someone you love. Grief is amplified during the holiday season. Whether you are missing someone you are not getting together with this year, or missing someone who has passed, this can be a time of deep sadness. Allow yourself to move through your feelings. Give yourself the space you need to cry,...
We all have a money story.
Mine is that I was a middle class girl raised by a single Mom.
This makes for a “I grew up poor” mentality sometimes.
I also think I am a Princess and my inheritance will surprise me someday.
I deserve this...
...and I also deserve that.
I can have whatever I want, because I am a spoiled brat.
Whether or not I can afford it...
...it should be mine because I said so.
But also, I am not worthy of any of it.
I should have nothing.
I should give it all away.
I should desire nothing.
Poor is good.
Help the poor.
Don’t make money.
Wanting money is bad.
Having money is worse.
So it’s all very complicated for me, and likely for you too.
This comes into play when we look at quitting drinking.
I hear from people all the time that want to quit drinking, they want to invest in themselves, but they just can’t do it.
There is another thing that takes priority...
1000 Days Free from Alcohol.
I am super proud of me.
I can’t believe I used to start everyday on the wrong side of the bed:
hungover, full of guilt/shame/fear, physically ill and in a bad mood.
How did I do this for years and then hate myself when I wasn’t happy with my life?
If I could look back on myself, on Day 1…
this is what I would tell her.
Start by tuning in, instead of tuning out.
You don’t need to seek outside yourself for love, acceptance, and peace of mind.
Pursuing meaning and purpose will prove so much more valuable than the pursuit of pleasure.
Those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.
You are worthy, you are enough, and there is nothing wrong with you.
You’ve done a great job dealing with some heavy shit, give yourself credit.
Not everyone is going to understand or like you and that’s ok.
You don’t have to be perfect, you get to be whole.
Discomfort and pain are part of life,...