Off the Booze
In the last 90 days, I have magically made $900 exist in my pocket that would not have existed otherwise. You know how? I didn’t drink it!
90 days off the booze! That $10 bottle of wine/day (plus whatever extra alcohol I would drink once the kids were sleeping and my bottle ran out) sure added up.
You know what I lost?
- Shit mornings where every day I was awakened wishing my kids would go back to sleep (even though they wake up at a completely normal hour between 6:45-8 am).
- Foggy headed misremembering of what exactly one of the kids said last night around bedtime. Now, I remember everything.
- Stupid alcohol-induced arguments with my husband. Those have been replaced by more intelligent, sobriety induced arguments (ha!).
- The feeling of being a shit mother for drinking in front of my kids everyday (never to drunkenness – but to a slight steady buzz). How do you expect to teach children healthy coping mechanisms and a path to a happy life when you model alcohol as the solution for stress, anxiety and depression? If you think you can talk the talk but not walk the walk – you’re wrong. Kids see everything, and they are far more intuitive than you know.
- At least 5 pounds. That wine/liquor/beer chub that had accumulated in my face and upper arms has fallen off.
- Waking up every day with a puffy face and bags under my eyes.
- Crap looking, dull, flat skin – alcohol is hell on all the body’s organs – and the biggest is no exception.
- Weak, tired muscles. The first 6 weeks of sobriety, I walked like a madwoman to get the “craving-ants” out of my pants – now my muscles are strong.
- Feeling sleepy all day (up until I started drinking). Now I just feel tired when the kids start whining at me 😉
- The morning guilt + shame that I drank more than I wanted to last night.
- Feeling depressed about all the things I wasn’t doing, seeing, and accomplishing because (NEWSFLASH) alcohol makes most of us COMPLACENT as fuck. Drinking —-> Lack of Motivation —-> Feeling like a Loser/Shame because I haven’t done The Things I wanted to do this day/month/week/year —-> Promising myself I’ll start tomorrow because it’s after 5 and I already started drinking, oops —-> Depression and shame the following day because I’ve been telling myself the same bs story forever, but look, it’s 4:12 and in like, 38 minutes I’m going to have that well deserved cocktail and that’ll lift my spirits, then I’ll feel better and then I’ll start doing The Things —-> Drinking —-> Lack of Motivation —-> Shame/Feeling like Loser the following day —-> Depression —-> Drinking —-> Lack of Motivation —> Shame . . .
I could go on, but instead, I’ll STFU and raise my kombucha to, well, me. If you think you’re an alchie like me (or addicted to any other crap vice) and are over it, remember one thing: quitting is NOT about willpower. That’s where I went wrong in the multiple attempts to quit drinking in the year prior to this. Maybe start with reading (at least) a few chapters of Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg. It’s nothing to do with alcoholism, but it will teach you that willpower is not at play, so don’t beat yourself up for not being able to shame/motivate yourself to quit something (or start something)! Start with Tiny Habits, and learn what IS at play. Once you understand your motivations, abilities and prompts/triggers, you’ll have the tools you need to feel empowered to begin. I’m not saying the knowing makes it a cakewalk, but it’s powerful to understand that the reasons you’ve failed at this in the past do not NOT include weakness!
I like being sober all the time. There are a lot of FEELINGS involved. More feelings than I’ve ever had to stare at and sit with before. It’s far easier to drown your feelings and yourSELF in booze. Feeling the feels and being with your real actual self is harder. I’m finding re-acquainting myself with me is odd, interesting and fun. I hadn’t been an alcoholic for so very long, so my real self is like an old friend that I hadn’t seen in years, but I missed her. She’s kind of a bitch, but she’s alright. Most of the time I like her. Sometimes she’s barely tolerable. Not nearly as “friendly and chatty” as her drunken counterpart, but she’s real – and that’s far better.
There are other things that have helped me get off the drink – but I was supposed to STFU, so I will. Lots of love to you all and more power to anyone who is working toward a life more fulfilling.
PS – My kids and I found another use for all these wine glasses!