I haven't really said anything on the internets about my not drinking this year. Mainly because I wasn't sure what it was. I just felt like I needed to stop drinking, but I mostly was using the reason, "My skins in rough shape, let's help my body by eliminating some things/foods and help my body deal with this intense amount of stress I take on each day."
Sure so I stopped dairy 100% also, but that was easy. So I call myself 97% vegan. I just love eggs, and free range chickens with beautiful lives bring me these babes, so they stay.
Still alcohol actually was easy also. I tried to quit smoking cigarettes maybe 200 times before I actually quit. I've never tried to stop drinking. I've had a relationship with alcohol before I was born, (no my mom didn't drink while pregnant), it's just in my family. I was so afraid of that little bit of cray that lives in my mom growing up. (Look I got it too, part of intentional living is owning all sides of you.) So I didn't drink much mostly growing up, because I couldn't ever lie to her, she always knew.
Until I met the older boy. We all know where it goes from there. Insert party girl phase. I won't go into detail here, trust me I share all kinds of not so flattering stories in my book. I loved parties, and loved alcohol, and it loved me. I've only gotten sick a few times, and a few of those were maybe because of some other things, and a few unfortunate me not know some other thing was in there moments.
Girlfriends are your biggest asset in college. How many times we all saved each other. So fast forward to becoming a drug and alcohol therapist. So that was interesting. Who knew an addicts daughter becoming a drug and alcohol therapist. How predictable. I won't down play my role in that job though, because I saved a lot of people's lives. There were a lot of lost souls deep into some heavy life threatening things/ and yes alcohol. Alcoholics who were on their death beds and still needing that bottle. Helping is what came natural, but even still I drank. I mean I have seen alcoholics in all shapes, sizes, colors, and tolerances; but never did I think I had any "problems" with alcohol, so I drank.
Okay fast forward to Steve & I's relationship with alcohol. If you've watched the documentary you know Steve & I already have an interesting relationship with alcohol (if you haven't plug, do so :)), so of course we loved bar nights. Sitting at the bar with our many drinks and packs of cigs just talking about everything there is to talk about. Steve and I were fun. I mean we are fun now, but it's a tame fun. We were wild. I like wild. I never wanted to loose it. So we just brought the party here. Everywhere we would go I would bring travel mugs of wine even the hospital), I would drink at least a bottle every night, smoking my last pack of cigarettes for the 3497th time and just unwinding; tipsy and pass out every night.
During these times, I was having fun, lots of people over, fun parties, socializing, etc....but was I being a good person? I mean I don't think I had started to get it. I was trying to, reading all the right words about how to be the person I wanted to be. How to lead with kindness and love and to be mindful of my feelings and behaviors, words, etc. Those are my ambitions in life, I don't think I was absorbing anything. My priorities then were to socialize with as many fun people as possible and keep the party and attention going for as long as possible.
Then comes the inevitable crash and burn that leads to the point of the story. Turns out drinking kind of fed into some not so flattering behaviors in me, that I just never wanted to admit. I would make excuses for my behaviors, "Oh I'm not being short tempered with Steve because I'm tipsy, it's just really stressful and he caught me at a bad moment."
I would rationalize this in my head, that it was justifiable to snap at a helpless man needing his full time care giving wife to help him with who knows what this time. It wasn't okay. I had to see it wasn't okay, and stop making excuses for myself before I could do anything. You know marriages obviously I'm not the only one who would cut or fight, Steve and I are good fighters. We are warriors it's just sort of in us. Learning to tame the beast is the biggest challenge for a warrior. There is always a time and place for that warrior in life, and snapping at a helpless man for something is NOT the time or place.
So yes, my 6 months without alcohol has given me a new understanding that I only recently admitted to myself and now I'm admitting it out loud. You might be wondering why? I wonder how many of us are looking at our dark sides? How many of us actually look at that not so flattering behavior? Then how many of us try to figure out why it's happening? And how many do the work?
I know I wasn't doing all the work. I wanted to be something that required work and commitment of me and I was spinning my wheels why nothing was working. It's because I wasn't actually do any work. I spent my nights sipping wine stalking free people peeps on insta, because in my mind that was my next challenge. I was so in-congruent and it was showing up all over the place.
Now could I have gotten to where I am today, feeling my wild side still having a place while taming the beast, without cutting out alcohol? Sure maybe. Am I suggesting everyone stop drinking? Nope. Certainly not. This is just me admitting that in MY journey it wasn't working, it took me 6 months of not drinking to actually admit it to myself. Will I ever drink again? I don't know. I often day dream of Steve and I sitting in Italy eating endless pasta (Yes even with gluten) and drinking loads of wine, so who knows. I just know right now, with what I want in our life, and where WE are. Alcohol just doesn't fit.
There I said it. In writing even.