I’m not sure where to start, so I’ll just start today.
As of today, I’ve been alcohol-free for more than 5 months.
I’ve been wanting to share this news, but I’ve felt so torn. Wasn’t I supposed to wait until I had more “sober time” under my belt? Wasn’t I supposed to be anonymous about this whole thing? Wouldn’t sharing my current sobriety journey be breaking the rules?
I’m not sure about the rules, but I do know that I want to be open and unashamed.
So, in the spirit of vulnerability, authenticity and a whole lot of courage, here I am.
Today, I’ll tell you how I got here…
In college and in my 20’s, drinking was a mainstay. My girlfriends and I were on the Thursday night to Saturday night ride and I was more than happy to hop on. It was socially acceptable, even encouraged, to binge drink on the weekends. Sundays were spent nursing our hangovers and collectively attempting to piece together the weekend. (Now I often look back on those years, wondering how we made it through unscathed, and how different things would have been if we’d been sober.)
Once I hit my 30’s, got married at 33 and had my first baby at 34 years old, I was more than happy to close that chapter. I welcomed the slower pace and the consistency and my heart was content and happiest at home with my family.
Drinking was reserved for date nights, dinners out with friends and special occasions. Even then, I was fine to have a glass of red wine or two and call it a night.
However, two or three times since becoming a mom almost 6 years ago, I had more drinks than I had intended. I’d wake up the next morning filled with shame and regret, my head throbbing and my heart pounding out of my chest.
January 18th of this year was one of those times.
Nothing groundbreaking happened.
I didn’t hit “bottom.”
But, I knew I was done.
The next morning, I told my husband that I was done. No more drinking. I just didn’t want to do it anymore. I wanted to be better to myself and my body. No more.
I didn’t learn this until a few Quit Lit book and a handful of sober podcasts later, but I was considered a “Gray Area Drinker.”
Gray Area drinkers fall in between the two extremes of a heavy drinker who is *this* close to hitting rock bottom and the person who drinks champagne only a few times a year because it’s bad luck to toast with water.
Almost everyone I know is a Gray Area drinker.
I certainly fell into this category and I had never considered quitting drinking before I…quit drinking. This is what Annie Grace, in her book The Naked Mind, calls “spontaneously sober.”
Yes. Yes. Yes.
Once I read that, it all made sense.
The term “alcoholic” has never resonated with me. Immediately, my mind goes to Nicolas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas.
That definitely wasn’t me.
I never drank in the morning. I could stop drinking after 1 or 2 drinks. Alcohol did not factor into my day to day life. I could go weeks without drinking or even thinking about drinking.
Still, I had times when I drank more than I had intended, and that didn’t sit well with me. Especially now…with so much to have and to hold.
I decided to ask myself a different question:
Would my life be better without alcohol?
So, I stopped drinking.
And so far, I haven’t looked back.
I have no plans to go to AA. I have no plans to stand up in front of a group of people, declaring myself an alcoholic. Counting days and being perpetually tied to alcohol doesn’t sit well with me.
Alcohol doesn’t have power over me anymore because I’m no longer drinking it. I’m not *this* close to having a drink. My life didn’t get smaller when I stopped drinking and I don’t feel like I’m missing out.
I’m not sure where this journey will take me, but I do know that today I’m happier and feel more fulfilled without alcohol.
I’ll continue to share my new sober life on here. I hope you’ll come along for the ride…
Note : I belong the The Luckiest Club, which is an online sobriety community. If you’re looking for support, I highly recommend it.
SOBER CURIOUS? HERE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS + PODCASTS…
- This Naked Mind by Annie Grace | Find out how we’ve been taught to believe that alcohol is “good” for us. This book will change how you think about alcohol – consciously AND unconsciously.
- We Are The Luckiest by Laura McKowen | I will sing this book’s praises forever. The most beautifully written story of sobriety.
- The Seltzer Squad podcast | A new find – I love listening because the girls keep it real and…gasp – they are still cool without alcohol.
- Recovering From Reality | When pop culture and sobriety collide. Anyone remember the reality show Pretty Wild? Alexis from the show is now 10 years sober and has such a refreshing take on sobriety.