When I first quit drinking I wanted everything in my life to stay exactly the same. The only difference would be that I was no longer drinking. I didn’t want anyone to know if I was drinking or not drinking, and I definitely didn’t want it to be the topic of conversation. I feared my relationships would change, or that others would feel uncomfortable around me. I wanted to go on living my life, only somehow secretly not drinking alcohol.
Now, at 3-years sober, I realize how that was both unrealistic, and not in my best interest.
Looking back it doesn’t surprise me that I had all of these expectations. I had set myself up to live an unliveable life in many ways. I wanted to go unnoticed and keep everyone around me happy at all times. I also never wanted to feel anything. If I started having an intense feeling, I would get disappointed in myself. It was easier to pretend it didn’t exist. Whatever the feeling was, it had to be wrong, and it was my...
So you’ve decided to give up alcohol for Lent.
This is one of the healthiest things you can do.
Because you have chosen alcohol, I assume there may be some challenges in letting go of this vice. It is afterall representing a sacrifice.
Maybe you are #sobercurious, on a health journey, looking to lose weight, get better sleep, or evaluating your relationship with alcohol.
Perhaps alcohol has become a staple in your daily routine since the pandemic hit and it secretly scares you how much you have come to rely on it.
Maybe you see it’s hurting you more than it’s helping you.
Regardless, I am glad you are here, taking a break from booze.
I am now 3 year sober, but I started with an alcohol free experiment myself. My goal was to be alcohol free for 100 Days. I made it to 70 Days and felt confident my overindulgence was cured. I did alcohol free challenges and experiments for 3 years before I decided to give it up for good.
The world is full of bad news involving alcohol.
In my feed from just today:
Many Americans have been drinking more since the coronavirus pandemic.
American adults say they're drinking 14% more often during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report in the journal JAMA Network Open. The increase in frequency of drinking for women was more pronounced, up 17% compared to last year.
Instances of heavy drinking among women, which for women was defined as four or more drinks within a couple of hours, spiked by 41%.
We know it is not a healthy choice, but disassociate from the idea that it negatively affects the body’s immune system. Weakening our defense against the exact virus we are trying to avoid.
We are coping with our stress, fear, and boredom with alcohol.
At first it felt like just playing hooky, not going into the office and hunkering down at home. Making the best of the situation by Zoom Happy Hours and Quarantini’s.
Social connection and a sense of humor go a long way towards a healthy state of being and I commend these...
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....
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,...
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...