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,...
It is Saturday morning.
I don’t have to get up.
It is 6:30 and still dark out.
I roll around in bed.
Pet the dog.
Lay and enjoy the slowness of the morning without the rush to get up.
My eyes are wide awake.
My body feels mostly good.
Maybe slightly puffy from the sushi last night, but my head is clear.
I awake with energy and joy.
I decide to get up out of bed and make myself my first cup of coffee.
I am excited for this early morning alone time, because I am at the end of a great book.
I turn on the lamp, grab my blanket, and settle in on the couch.
I finish this 5 star read, as the sun rises.
I treat myself to a Starbucks run for my next cup of coffee.
Today is Halloween.
I have a fun day of holiday baking, crafts, and movies planned with my teenage daughters.
Because of the COVID pandemic, we are not attending our usual costume parties, treat or treating, and other neighborhood activities.
We planned our own Halloween agenda weeks ago.
Living alcohol free is absolutely magical, but it doesn’t feel that way at first.
When I first quit drinking, I had a lot of fears.
MostlyI feared that life after booze would be boring.
I was terrified that I would lose friends.
The truth is, my early sobriety was pretty boring.
I tucked in bed early on most days.
I avoided many social gatherings.
I immersed myself in books, podcasts, blogs, and education on alcohol.
I didn’t know how to have fun without alcohol.
I only knew how to be a party girl, with a permanent drink in my hand.
I had a big fear of missing out on fun.
My friendships changed too.
Everyone, including my closest friends, were unsure how to support me.
We always drank together.
I was itchy in my new alcohol free costume.
I was becoming a new person.
I was taking off the mask of alcohol in my 40’s.
I had worn this cover up since my teen years.
I didn’t know the alcohol...
Is quitting drinking hard?
Yes it is.
It’s excruciating at times.
But you know what else is hard?
Running a marathon.
Having a baby.
Completing a big project at home or at work.
And you know what else?
They are all absolutely worth it.
Anything worth anything is going to require effort and getting sober is no different.
It’s a huge accomplishment that doesn’t come easy.
There’s a risk too.
What if your relationship to your partner changes?
What if you lose friends?
What if people find out?
What if some of your loved ones don’t understand?
What if you don’t want to do the things you are used to doing?
What if you change jobs?
What if you don’t fit in anymore?
All of these things happened to me.
Every single one.
Endings are hard.
You know what else happened?
I learned to choose myself.
I learned my spouse loved me enough he was willing to...
Sober October is the second most popular alcohol free month of the year, followed by Dry January. As the weather gets cooler it's a perfect time to hunker down, and hit the reset button on your drinking before the holiday season picks up.
If you are like me, many sober experiments start with motivation and excitement. This can dwindle quickly when you are faced with your first cravings.
Here’s a few common tricks to avoid and treats to implement for a successful Sober October.
If you’re a regular drinker it will take some time for your mind, body, and spirit to reset. It is common to wake up and immediately wonder who many drinks you’ve had the night before. Dreaming about drinking is also very common. Without alcohol to numb your emotions you may experience intense emotions. This will be uncomfortable but you can allow yourself to move through it. Feelings are only temporary. With two full moons this month, your emotions...