Why cant I stop drinking?
It is a question that has pained millions, including me.
These words are typed into a Google search, daily by people feeling broken, confused, and desperate for answers.
I am here to tell you, there is nothing wrong with you.
It's not you, it's alcohol.
I know because I became dependent on alcohol too.
After years of exploration, I came out on the other side.
I had a lot of things going for me, and still I was sucked into alcohol's hole of despair.
At the end of my relationship with alcohol, I no longer recognized myself.
I didn't know how to get out of the cage I had built around me.
I am a highly productive, educated, mentally strong person who lived an almost perfect life.
I have children I adore, a house I love, a devoted spouse, lots of friends, and a wicked sense of humor.
Yet, when I was drinking nothing brought me happiness.
I had no hope and I looked forward to nothing.
Nothing was wrong, and yet nothing...
I started the week with a cycle class at my new gym.
It’s been a while since I took a spin class.
I was intimidated.
When I scheduled the class at the end of last week...
I wanted to start the week off with a bang.
I wanted to put myself first,
get a hard thing out of the way,
and create new energy for my week.
I usually start Monday's really slow.
I sit and sip my coffee on the couch, under a blanket, with Rocky at my feet.
I write a blog.
I write a newsletter.
I stay in my pajamas.
I drink my green juice as a late morning breakfast,
before heading to the shower to really start my day and my week.
I sat on the couch under my blanket with my coffee.
Time went too fast and it was time to go to class.
I didn’t want to.
I wanted to stay home.
I wanted to cancel.
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...
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...
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...
Mama’s, I know you are stressed out.
School is starting and the kids aren’t going anywhere.
In addition to your job at home, as carpooler, housekeeper, chef, and CEO of family scheduling, you are now expected to also act as teacher’s support, tech support, early education childcare, and more.
Your multiple kids need to be logged into multiple meetings with hundreds of links, passwords, ID’s, and emails.
It’s a lot to keep up with and you likely have your own demanding job.
Many of you have kids who need special assistance in any number of ways.
It is overwhelming.
Your feelings of overwhelm, panic, anxiety, and exhaustion are valid.
If you feel like you are losing your mind, I don’t blame you one bit.
You need and deserve a break.
"Me Time", as they say.
You need time away, time alone, and time to focus on you.
This is often advertised as a woman in a bathtub with a glass of wine.