Have you ever had something holding you back but never really realized it? Have you ever used something as a crutch so much that it just became a part of your life? Well I’ve had some experience in that realm, and in my realm, that substance was alcohol.
I started drinking at an early age. My first drink was when I was fourteen, the first time I got drunk I was fifteen, and I started partying at sixteen. A lot of things went downhill from there.
Sixteen was a pivotal year for me. I was taken out of dance (not because of drinking, that was a separate issue), I was sexually assaulted, I was under extreme emotional duress, and I began drinking to forget about it all.
The drinking continued for years. I even played it off like it was a badge of honor. I could drink the boys under the table, my family was popular for partying so I exploited that fact, it made me popular in certain circles, it provided relief from all the pain I was feeling, I got the attention I was so desperately seeking, and much more. I was hooked.
By the time I turned 21 I had a pretty solid drinking habit formed. I never really had a few drinks, I usually drank to get drunk. I was drinking nearly every single day. Not to mention, I was fainting from drinking and landed in the hospital a few times. I was in a dark place. I believe I drank because I needed to forget where I was in my life and how I was incredibly hurt and ashamed of myself.
When 23 rolled around, I started having stomach issues and would get really sick when I drank. I changed my diet and things got a little better. Every time I drank I would get really sick the following day. Like next level hangover. I noticed over the next 6 years, though, just what alcohol was doing to me.
Alcohol was depressing me…big time! I’d drink and have fun one night, and the next day I’d be sitting in a corner with my tail between my legs. “What did I say/do? Why did I say/do that?”, “Ugh, I can’t do anything, I’m too hungover!”, “I’m so emotionally and physically exhausted.” So much negativity arose from my drinking and the more I thought about it, the more I realized drinking wasn’t for me.
I’ve gotten over a lot of the emotional pain and trauma, especially in this last year, so that was no longer holding me back. I was sick of feeling depressed once a week (that’s how often I’d drink). Drinking inflamed my body and made me retain weight. I was emotionally irresponsible and it caused issues in my relationships, often with my husband. Mostly, I was over physically feeling like crap. My stomach would hurt so bad, my digestive system was screwed up, my mind was foggy. At times, I could hardly function.
This year I decided I was done drinking. Done feeling depressed, done feeling sick, done with the emotional rollercoaster, done retaining unwanted weight. I was soooooo over it!
April 26, 2019 – my last day of drinking. My best friend came into town for her birthday and invited me and a few other girls over for dinner at her parent’s place. We had a couple glasses of wine, nothing too excessive, and the night was wonderful. Great conversation, a celebration of my best friend’s birthday, awesome company! It was the best way to end my 13 year drinking binge. I’d finally set myself free from the binds that had been holding me back for years.
I didn’t have some major over night revelation, I didn’t make this snap decision. This is something that came from years of close and careful observation, consideration, and trial and error. I worked hard for this one! So by this point in April, it just kind of happened. I’d already been drinking less, and, like I stated before, I was sick and tired of feeling like crap mentally and physically so I was just like, “Ok, I’m done.” And I was done. I quit drinking.
Today, October 25, 2019, two days from my 6 months of no drinking, and I feel like I made the right decision. My emotions are more in control, I’m taking better responsibility of myself and my actions/emotions, my physical health is better, I don’t feel nauseous and heartburny, I’m not all in my head shaming myself for drinking or what I did while I was drunk. Through hard work and dedication, I proved to myself that I could abstain, I proved I could accomplish something difficult, I proved that I loved myself. Let me repeat that again…I proved that I loved myself! Something I hadn’t felt towards myself in about 13 years. It was phenomenal.
As I’m quickly approaching my 6 month mark, overall, I couldn’t be happier with my decision to quit drinking. It’s proven to be nothing but positive for me. This doesn’t mean I’m sober and done drinking for the rest of my life. I just needed a good long break to regroup. And who knows, maybe I’ll never drink again. I think I’d be fine with that.
What matters most to me about my decision is that it was a way I could prove I had love towards myself. I was willing to make a small sacrifice to better my life. I was saying yes to being healthy, I was saying yes to putting in the work, I was saying yes to myself for the first time in a long time. I was done denying myself these very important yes’s. NO MORE! I will continue to say no to drinking and yes to a happier, healthier life!
Thank you for joining me today. I hope you all make it through your day with light and love!