How it feels to be one year free of alcohol. It’s a complex web of several different emotions. Pride, relief, excitement, release.
Alcohol had become part of my personality, and a major part of it. It was my job, it was my hobby, it was my study, it was my self-care. Quickly and slowly all at the same time, it took over to the point where I could no longer control it. I wasn’t confident if I could actually do this; I just knew I had to change something. It seems silly looking back, but staying alcohol free seemed so unattainable that I didn’t put it on my vision board for the year. I didn’t trust myself.
Throughout the year, I encountered several challenging events - positive and negative. Bartending again after a break from it, dating again after an even longer break, weddings, travel, fights, being a single mom the list goes on. Every time I was aware that that could be the event to trigger my drinking again, and every time I made a mental plan to make sure that didn’t happen. Every time I was able to walk away successfully, and never once regretted my decision to stay sober. I never knew I had it in me, but there she was.
The weirdest part is everything surrounding alcohol, what was part of my everyday life, seems so foreign to me now. Before, I couldn’t imagine getting through anything without alcohol. Now, I wonder how I was able to accomplish anything with alcohol. Hangovers?? I don’t know how I did it. Having full, conscious control over my decisions is a blessing I wasn’t aware I was missing. There’s now this sense of emotional responsibility for the decisions I make, where before I would turn to alcohol to numb and avoid accountability. I also feel emotions on what feels like amplified levels now. Anything and everything can make me cry, but in a really refreshing way. I’ve become introspective and self analytical. What I’m feeling, why I’m feeling it; and can work on myself from there.
Part of working on myself is discovering who I am without alcohol. Falling in love with old hobbies again, but a little different this time. Finding new passions and new aspects of myself. For the first time I’m trying to plan out my days, and have actually started planning for a tangible future.
The most important change that has come from taking alcohol out of my life is the new sense of self respect. I’ve always had a confident facade, but never truly loved myself until
recent years, especially through my yoga. The respect for myself came after taking out alcohol. I’m more thoughtful about who I want to be around, and what kind of energies I want to surround myself with. I’ve become stronger in setting boundaries, and standing up for myself. It has been a work in process, but the effect has already been so impactful.
“The most liberating and empowering day of my life was the day I freed myself from my own self destructive nonsense.” - Dr. Steve Maraboli