It's been a year since my last drink. One year since my last hangover. One year since I last woke up at 3 am staring at the ceiling with my head throbbing in pain, wondering why I kept doing this to myself. I decided to stop drinking alcohol for a year and this is what happened.
My relationship with alcohol had become increasingly dysfunctional, and I knew I had to stop. If they had told me that life would be better sober, I would not have believed it. How was I going to have fun? How am I going to relax? How could I socialize without wine? But my relationship with alcohol was becoming increasingly dysfunctional, and I knew I had to stop.
I stopped drinking alcohol for a year and this is what happened
So on one of "those" mornings full of sorrow and tears, I decided to carry out an experiment in sobriety that would transform my life. And a year later, a lot has changed. This is how my life has gotten better since I stopped drinking:
1. I have more clarity in my business and in life
A year ago, I drank a lot. Every day, I experienced an internal battle between wanting to be healthy and wanting to drink more. It was toxic and exhausting.
With the drink taking up much of my head space, I didn't have the ability to focus on what I really wanted. I didn't have the energy to go after my passions. Looking back, I don't really recognize myself and I definitely didn't trust myself, either.
Now, I experience the kind of true confidence that comes from keeping promises and being able to trust myself. I have real clarity about the kind of life that fills me with joy.
2. I feel liberated
My mind is no longer preoccupied with thoughts about how much I'm drinking or what I might realize if I refill my glass. I feel excellent, a great joy.
I don't waste my energy lecturing myself about drinking so much, or worrying if I made a fool of myself again. I don't experience anxiety about someone telling me I'm raw or hungover, or what I might have said to people (if only I could remember).
A lifestyle change of this magnitude challenges me to do a lot of inner work.
3. I am healthier - in body and mind
I take better care of myself now. With my increased self-esteem came a feeling of being protective of my energy. I learned to avoid events that I don't feel good about. I am less accommodating to people. I see what is real, and I refuse to tolerate drama.
I also understand that taking care of myself is not negotiable if I want to be happy. I eat well, I exercise, I take vitamins, and I get enough sleep. I am often selective and organized to avoid feeling overwhelmed. I give myself time for play and fun. I
finally feel like the confident and empowered woman I've always hoped to have when I stop drinking.
4. I have deeper connections with those close to me
I am not going to lie. Social events felt awkward at first. I was always the life of the party, and without my bottle of false confidence, I felt shy and insecure of myself.
But little by little, it got easier. Like any new lifestyle, given enough time, it becomes normal. It was a new kind of happiness that you felt in control of yourself, and with which you could drive home whenever you felt like it.
I have discovered new enlightening activities, and unearthed beautiful new connections. My circle of friends has changed and evolved as I redefined my vision of what "fun" is. It's smaller now, but it's true and deep and it fills me with joy.
Overcoming a challenge like this, which is to stop drinking alcohol, forces you to grow in ways you could never have imagined. When I drank, I was not the best of me. I was insensitive. He didn't know how to deal with emotions in a healthy way, because he didn't have to. He had just had another drink.
With that crutch withdrawn, I was forced to become self-sufficient. I had to learn to take responsibility for my decisions. With this came a higher level of emotional maturity.
I am more self-aware and now a much kinder and more considerate person. I finally feel like the confident, empowered woman I've always wanted to be.
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