First Vacation After Quitting Drinking

I am celebrating 2 year sober. 

Looking back, I'd like to tell my fragile newly sober self the lessons I've learned. 

I hope it comforts you to know that ditching the drink is really uncomfortable. 

That doesn't mean you are doing it wrong. 

You won't always feels the discomfort you feel now. 

I'd like to share my first sober vacation with you.  

I was only a month sober when I took my family on a Spring Break beach vacation.

At the time, when I was counting the days, if not hours, being sober.

A month felt like a really long time.

When I started on my quit drinking again experiment,

I didn’t even know if I would make it 5 days without alcohol.

After 30 Days I was ready for the dramatic before and after picture. 

It felt like I changed everything in 30 days. 

Now, after 2 years into this alcohol free life, I know that at 30 days I was still a fragile baby bird, in my sobriety. 

At 30 days sober, after mostly staying at home and avoiding life and alcohol, we arrived in Treasure Island.

On our first night there, we ate dinner on the beach, while we watched the sunset.

We were surrounded by, Spring Break families.

I assumed everyone was a normal drinker, except me, sober.

In my mind, the other parents enjoying beachside libations, rarely drank in real life.

They were enjoying well earned drinks on Spring Break.

Innocent Mom’s were ordering more wine than usual, while their kids ran around in the sand.

Everyone was having fun.

No one was getting out of hand.

Everyone knew how to drink the right way and the right amount.

I wanted to be one of them.

Jimmy Buffett was singing in the background. 

It was 5 o'clock somewhere for everyone, except me and my husband. 

Here we were sipping our Diet Cokes, and feeling sorry for ourselves.

It sucked.

How would we not drink on a beach vacation?

What was I doing to us?

This was a stupid experiment anyway.

I was being too dramatic.

I didn’t actually have to quit drinking, and definitely not quit forever.

I felt bad that my husband had lost his party girl wife.

I used to be so much fun.

I vowed to not cave on my first night there.

I thought, tomorrow, maybe, I could switch directions. 

Maybe I could drink. 

Maybe I was a normal drinker now, after 30 days alcohol free. 

Maybe I was the kind of person that only drank on vacation. 

I decided to finish my negotiations with myself in the morning.

I would table this talk for tonight. 

I went to bed irritable, feeling like it's not fair.

I was pretty sure this vacation was going to suck.

The rest of my sober life would probably suck too.

I woke up the next morning, 3 hours before my family.

I got coffee and journaled on the beach alone.

I called a sober friend and laughed and cried about how much this sucked.

I did yoga to the sound of the waves.

When my family woke up and joined me, I was calm and happy.

I did this self care routine every morning for the rest of Spring Break.

Every night, we skipped the margaritaville bar scene.

We took a walk to a local ice cream shop instead.

When my head hit the pillow at the end of each day, I thanked God for this beautiful life and my amazing family.

I thanked myself for my new found sobriety, which allowed me to stay present with my people instead of trying to get away or not be seen. 

I share this story with you, so you know you are not alone.

If you are in your first days, weeks, and months of sobriety you may not be feeling the inner peace, extra energy, and motivation that comes later down the road.

If you are feeling irritated, unsure, and angry, you are not doing it wrong. 

Feeling the whole spectrum of feelings means that you are are doing it right. 

Stay the course. 

Positive vibes are coming, I promise. 

Keep planting seeds for your future. 



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