I didn’t drink a sip of alcohol for 2 months. This is a fairly big deal for me as I don’t think I’ve ever done that since I was, ohhh about 16 (sorry mom). Some incredible and life changing things happened during those 2 months:
It started with the end of a relationship that I thought was going to be my forever, then my 35th birthday and the resulting 1/3rd(ish) life crisis. Next comes a global pandemic, which for someone like me who is a slight hypochondriac and prone towards major anxiety, is one of my worst nightmares. My coworker and I basically single handedly got our entire office, full of baby boomers, set to go fully remote in a period of about a week (THE most stressful work week. Ever.) I start working from home and quarantining completely alone in the extremely small place I live for weeks on end. Then… I decide that it’s a great time to start trauma therapy and energy healing in the midst of this to clear out some old junk that no longer serves me. Throw in some more relational and health trials and tribulations, mostly of my own causing, and you have yourself a hell of a time to be sober.
But you know what else happened? In a lot of ways, I felt like I was meeting myself for the first time, and I’m kind of a badass. I realized I didn’t need the crutch of alcohol that I had been leaning on for so long. I realized that emotions are so much easier to process when you face them head on and without the haze of alcohol or a hangover the next day. I realized that with a clear head, I think and act so much more efficiently in all situations. I saved a decent amount of money, I lost weight and ate healthier, I didn’t make last minute, poor self control purchases on Amazon (ok, maaaybe I still made a few of those). I was able to communicate clearly and lovingly with new and old friends without having to wrack my brain the next morning to make sure I didn’t say or do anything stupid. For the first time in a long time, I felt comfortable in my own skin and confident in who I was without the liquid courage it used to take to feel that way. I always knew I was strong, but now I know the strength comes from who I am at my core, not from what I’m drinking.
I didn’t intend for the change to be permanent. My intention was to re-establish my relationship with alcohol and make sure the master of my life was me, and nothing else.
Yesterday, I called up a trusty friend and said “fill a backpack with a couple beers and some snacks and let’s hike up lava Butte and watch the sunset, I’ve had it”. So that’s what we did, and I drank a Corona (mostly out of irony) and had a damn good time. But this time, I knew I was in control of who I was- and while it was fun, and relaxing, and helped put everything in perspective- I’m back home, without a drop of alcohol in sight and I’m perfectly happy about that. Maybe I’ll go another 2 months, or 3, I’m not sure, but I AM sure that I can get through whatever life throws me, in ways I never thought possible and most importantly- on my own.