Before I stopped drinking I assumed that living alcohol free meant constant sacrifice, deprivation, and no fun. It turns out I had it all completely wrong. Now? Things are way better than I ever thought possible!
1. My confidence has skyrocketed! The ability to accomplish something that I didn’t think possible has made me feel like I can take on the world. Since I now know that I can do it-I feel confident to go after other goals too. This has led to tons of personal growth and development.
2. My anxiety is an afterthought. Sure, I still feel that anxious pit in my stomach sometimes. But instead of chasing after it and allowing it lead my life, I simply take a deep breath and move on. It’s epic!
3. The fog lifted. I remember the moment exactly. It was mid November (about 2 months in) and I noticed (like really really noticed) the leaves changing colors. Yes, I had said I “noticed” before but the idea would be immediately followed by thoughts of I’m hungry, I don’t feel good, wonder what time it is, what was that noise. The crazy mind has stopped. I can be present now and I notice things. The world is amazing and there are miracles everywhere.
4. I taught myself to play 50 + songs on the ukulele. When I was drinking I would pour my first drink and that’s it. The thing I was “doing” was drinking. There was nothing productive happening. I now have hours upon hours of my life back. I used some of those to learn to play an instrument (something I always wanted to do).
5. I can sleep. When I passed out, I was not falling asleep. Now I fall asleep in the healthy way that my body was made to do. And I stay asleep (unless I have an idea that I can’t wait to share). I no longer toss and turn, dying of thirst, with body aches.
Okay there are WAAAAAYYYY more than 5 things. I’m going to keep going for a bit.
-I never have to think about drinking again (which might be the most freeing thing I have ever done).
-I am never hungover.
-I have saved hundreds and hundreds of dollars.
-I get along with my family so much better than before. I am no longer waiting to “relax", or "take the edge off", or “have a minute.” I am present with them (well, most of the time).
-My mood is stable. Since I no longer have chemically manufactured highs I no longer have chemically manufactured lows.
-My workouts are effective. I am finally getting faster and stronger vs just working off the night before.
-Things that were fun before are MORE fun. It’s true! I love hanging out with my friends, going to concerts, going to nice restaurants, hanging out at the lake, food trucks, cook outs, and on and on. Now, I get to do those things minus the regret and headache.
-I lost weight. I ate donuts, sweet breads, and cake for 6 months and I still lost a ton of weight. The drinking made me swollen and inflamed.
-I have read a ton of books. Again, more time on my hands and I have used it to grow and learn.
-I have connected with some awesome people that I would have never had the chance to meet if I didn’t expand.
The list goes on and on. I realize now that the only time I experienced sacrifice, deprivation, and lack of fun was when I was caught up in the cycle of drinking.