After having lived (and fully participated in) a drinking culture my entire adult life I can hardly believe that I have made it to 200 days without one sip of the booze.
Achieving my goal of taking a break from alcohol for a full 365 days is becoming more realistic with each passing day.
Here’s what I used to believe with my whole heart:
- A golden ticket to fun and friends, in both social and professional situations, is booze.
- Drinking alcohol is necessary to fit in.
- People who don’t drink are weird and must have a problem or a medical condition.
- Alcohol relieves stress and takes the edge off.
- A sip (or a guzzle) of wine before bedtime helps one sleep better.
After 200 straight days of being completely alcohol free, here is what I now know:
- I feel so much more authentic and have oodles more fun without alcohol. Regardless of whether my interactions with others these days are positive, negative or middle of the road–I am realizing just how powerful it is to be fully present with zero fuzzy thinking.
- Learning to operate in a pro-drinking culture requires knowledge, skill and savvy. I am a very outgoing person and also own a marketing consultancy. As such, I am out and about at either business or social events at least three nights a week. If I had a dollar for every time someone has given me the hairy eyeball or made a verbal crack about me choosing sparkling water over Sauvignon Blanc, I could buy one nice pair of high heels. Oh, and then there’s the fact that adult peer pressure to drink is a very real thing. Gee, I’ve been called “boring” about 30 times in the last 200 days. Let’s just say that my life is anything but boring.
- I sleep so much better being alcohol free and my night-time hot flashes have completely cooled down. Hallelujia!
- Alcohol is one of the top addictive substances on the planet. When used unwisely, it can be a main factor in destroying relationships, ending lives and keeping people from realizing their talents and potential. Yet, it is the only addictive substance around that if you don’t partake in it, most people think you’re nuts or that you have a problem. What if this same crazy-thinking was applied to heroine?
- Waking up feeling fresh, clear-headed and raring to go is like putting magical jet fuel on my relationships, health and business life.
- Removing any kind of destructive distraction in life–whether it be too much alcohol, ice cream, television or social media–forces us to face feelings, fears and realities. Doing so requires a ton of hard inner work and the building of new, positive habits (I’m also on Day 4 of a 21-day total plant-based diet!).
Has taking a break from the sauce been hard? Heck yes! Super hard! However, after the first few months sans the boozy woozies my desire to drink has completely and miraculously melted away. And I don’t need anyone around me to change their own relationship with alcohol. Drink away friends and colleagues…drink away!
As I sign off on this beautiful Day 200 of taking a break from the booze, I want to thank my rock star friends from the One Year No Beer movement. Personal development guru Tony Robbins says the quality of our life is a reflection of the quality of our relationships. As such, I am grateful beyond words to be on this booze-free challenge with such adventurous, fun and courageous souls.
Cheers and love,