Cutting alcohol out of my life has been long time coming but due to it not being the social norm I fought the urge to rid my lifestyle of it for quite some time. Alcohol and I have had a rollercoaster of a relationship through the years. I didn’t touch it till a few days before high school graduation. After that there was the occasional frat party where I’d have one too many Smirnoff Ice’s (ew, how did I drink those?). When I turned 21 I loved the feeling of being “cool” and ordering a fun cocktail with dinner. But even through all of this I never had any sort of problem with drinking. I was just your typical college girl celebrating life on the weekend with my peers.
After graduating college and the novelty wearing off of being “of age” I settled into mid-twenties social drinking. To me this means grabbing happy hour with a friend after work, enjoying a few adult beverages at a wedding, or maybe getting hammered at your own birthday party (lol). I was totally content with this set up me and alcohol had going on. And honestly this is the set up that I would say the majority of America has adopted in their drinking habits. Let me note that there is nothing wrong with it. As long as you’re still in control and not getting behind the wheel of a car after too many drinks then in my book you’re being responsible. I just found that this set up was no longer working for me (more on that to come).
Fast forward a couple years. I did a few alcohol detoxes over the year. Each time if was for different reasoning: once just for overall lifestyle, once in hopes it would make me less anxious, once because I just wanted to. Each time I’d break my detox after a couple weeks due to social pressures. If we think about it alcohol is everywhere: happy hours after work, sometimes happy hours AT work, weddings, birthdays, brunches, dates, etc. And even outside of the social norms there’s the fact that we can all can relate to: sometimes after a long day there is nothing better than a glass of wine (or whatever spirit suits your fancy) in front of the tv at home. At this point when I wasn’t on a detox I was drinking only about 3-4 drinks a week which is pretty average, but it was enough to be stirring something up inside of me that I didn’t like- I just couldn’t put my finger on it yet.
Let’s fast forward one more time to a few months ago. If you’ve read my past posts then you know that not that long ago I went through some VERY hard times. Quite frankly I call hit hitting rock bottom. I’m so happy to be here to tell you that while my life is not perfect I’ve been able to pick up the pieces and move forward in positive ways. Well about 2 months after hitting rock bottom was my birthday party. I was in the midst of my life comeback- doing pretty well and starting to see positive life changes. I decided to have a rollerskating party with a group of friends. And you can guess what happened- we drank a lotttttttt. Don’t get me wrong, I had a fantastic time and it was nice to blow off some steam but a few things happened that I didn’t like. First, I shared something really personal with someone I don’t know that well, simply because I was drunk. It’s really private information that I’ve only shared with a few people so I’m not sure why my subconscious decided to do that. And don’t even get me started on the next day. I was completely worthless for 2 days. I threw up, laid around feeling miserable, couldn’t even eat, ended up catching a terrible cold probably because my immune system was down, and just hated life.
This miserable experience led me to dive deeper into thought- why did I do that to myself? I started thinking about what I felt the pros and cons were for me personally when it came to drinking alcohol. And what I found was that everything was in the cons column. It’s expensive, it makes me feel bad when I drink too much of it, I only drink it to fit in, I worry sometimes even after even only one drink if I’m safe to drive, and it’s added calories. So with that I decided to make a lifestyle change. I originally planned to cut alcohol out of my life except for 1-2 drinks at special occasions. But as time went on I realized how much I was enjoying not drinking and how it was becoming a habit when someone asked if I wanted a drink to easily say no. I felt liberated and something felt right. I’ve been praying a lot and working towards being my true authentic self. I 100% feel that my personal authentic self does not want me to drink at all. If that makes me not the social norm or even a little weird, that’s ok. I’m confident enough in my decision that I can handle it.
I’d like to make one more disclaimer to note that I am NOT JUDGING anyone that drinks. I realize that alcohol can be so much more than a drink to get drunk. There’s a beautiful craft to good beers, wines, and spirits. I also realize alcohol can bring friends together for some pretty incredible memories. I respect your choice to drink and have no intention of forcing my decision on anyone. I just want the same respect in return with my decision to not drink.
It’s been 2 months since I’ve had alcohol and I’m feeling great! If you feel this may be a lifestyle change that would be right for you then I encourage you to do some serious soul searching to make that call. If you’re religious then pray about it- God will give you clarity 🙂