So you're on the fence about sobriety and you want to quit drinking, but you're not sure for how long or when to start. I know, because I've been there SO MANY TIMES:
"I'll quit for 30 days but WAIT, it's a holiday."
"I'll stop after my birthday, but WAIT, then it's my vacation."
"I'll quit drinking all next week, but WAIT, my first day was so stressful, so I'll start again next week..."
You overthink if you have a problem with drinking or if it's a case of not being ready to give up alcohol altogether just yet. Then you begin to plan how you can moderate your drinking, to just the weekends or one drink a night, yet you fail miserably every time you try.
You remain stuck in inaction, all the while continuing to drink while you try to figure out how to limit or quit your drinking.
In this post, I'm sharing my story on how I got sober without AA, what happened when I quit, why I stopped, and how I created a beautiful sober lifestyle since my last drink on December 31, 2016.
HOW DID YOU QUIT DRINKING ALCOHOL?
I became aware of living a healthy lifestyle in my early 30's and began dabbling in detoxing diets/foods to support my body's ability to eliminate toxins from my body.
I discovered the Paleo lifestyle and was introduced to the Whole30 program around that time as well. If you are unfamiliar with the Whole30, it is an elimination diet of major food irritants (gluten, dairy, processed sugar) and all alcohol for 30 days.
I began incorporating Whole30's into my New Year's resolutions as a way to reset the previous year's over-indulgences and to take a much-needed timeout with drinking.
Every New Year, I would participate in a Whole30 and feel absolutely AMAZING upon completion, yet I would celebrate crossing the 30-day finish line with my beloved friend wine, and within a few short hours, erasing all the hard work I would do in those 30 days.
I would do longer stints of the Whole 30, completing Whole60's, Whole75's, until 2016 came along, and I decided I wanted to go for 90 days with the Whole30.
So on December 31, 2016, I indulged in all of the red wine, knowing that I wouldn't be enjoying wine for the next 90 days. Little did I know that that would be my last glass to date.
And when January 1, 2017, came, I began my sober journey, which would turn into the wildest and most rewarding experience of my entire life! I committed to 90 days, and when I put my mind to something, I see it through, and that was the beginning of the end of the beginning.
WHY DID YOU QUIT DRINKING ALCOHOL?
With so many people exploring their relationship to alcohol, a whole new dialogue is entering the sober arena. It's safe to say that our culture equates addiction and being an alcoholic to sobriety, leaving little to no room for any other reason to get sober. But thanks to the sober curious movement, there is a WIDE spectrum of reasons why someone may choose to quit drinking alcohol and get sober.
For me, I was sick and tired of debilitating hangovers. I was tired of losing an entire day (or two) to recover after a night of indulging in too many glasses of red wine. I was tired of drinking being my only habit. I was tired of the constant anxiety. I was tired of the shame and guilt I would feel the next day, feeling like everyone hated me or was whispering behind my back. I was tired of not having the energy to do the things I wanted to do to improve my life, like eat healthily and working out. I was tired of alcohol being the only way I felt comfortable to be me, even though I was a washed down version of myself when I drank.
I was sick and tired of being sick and tired with my hangovers and all the personal damage that followed because of it. Drinking was causing me more harm than good in my life, and I was ready for a major BREAK with my pal, my confidant, my stress reliever, my bff....wine and alcohol.
WHAT HAPPENED WHEN YOU QUIT DRINKING ALCOHOL?
As with anything in life, you cannot have the good without the bad. While there is a myriad of amazing benefits that you'll experience when you quit drinking alcohol, there are also some not so fun things you'll experience when you give up the jungle juice.
Here's a list of some of the positive AND negative things that I experienced when I quit drinking, including other common symptoms:
NEGATIVE: (experienced within the first 14 days)
incessant thoughts about alcohol
POSITIVE: (experienced around day 15-20 and on)
decrease in body weight
surge in creativity
increased connection to spirituality
increased interest to live healthy
more meaning in life
WHAT CAME NEXT WHEN YOU QUIT DRINKING ALCOHOL?
As I mentioned above, my goal was to quit drinking/detox for 90 days, and somewhere around day 75/80, something clicked.
I remember it very vividly.
My usual day of completion included going out with friends and celebrating my victory with all the foods I hadn't been eating, washed down with copious amounts of wine.
I began thinking about what I wanted to do this time, and I began feeling very anxious and panicky at the thought of going back to drinking.
In those 75/80 days, I had undone my attachment to alcohol and was living a life that included healthy meals at every sitting, an amazing outlet to feel my emotions through working out and tackling the things I had unknowingly been numbing out FOR YEARS with my drinking.
I had created an amazing life that was filling up with purpose, passion, and productivity, all within a matter of 75 days.
I was an all or nothing gal and discovered that lesson during this Whole90. I was working on moderation in all areas of my life at this time, and I didn't think it was a good choice to introduce alcohol back into my life when things were falling so perfectly into place the way they were.
I wanted to continue to NOT drink until I felt like I wanted to again...and that day, over four years later, has yet to come.
Since then, I have celebrated many achievements that only felt like a dream that included creating a healthy lifestyle, living along the sunny coast of Southern CA, and the ultimate reward: building my very own business where I help others discover a holistic approach to healing through sobriety, right here at Hypegirl Healing.
CREATING A SOBER LIFESTYLE
You'll hear this term as you begin your sober journey because building a beautiful sober lifestyle is the ultimate dream come true.
All the things that you hope for become attainable and achievable once you quit drinking and get sober.
You get to design a life that makes sense and brings joy according to your rules, and things like the company you keep, the foods you eat, the mindset you dwell in, or the people and places you allow into your life and take up your energy, are all up to you.
It's almost as though you're re-engineering your life according to your rules, and not what society and life dictated to you.
MY TOP TIPS TO QUIT DRINKING ALCOHOL
Every sober journey will be different, but being in the sober curious space as long as I have, I know that there are a few things that we all have in common that helped us to remain on this sober path.
For starters, surround yourself with like-minded people. Here at Hypegirl Healing, there is a free community for people who are all along this sober curious spectrum, to provide a space and to connect and share your experiences, ask questions in a safe space, and lend the priceless lesson that you're not alone.
Second, clearing the social calendar while you're first quitting drinking is critical. Missing plans truly TRULY is not going to kill you, so saying no to going out or keeping plans that involve alcohol is a power move during your early sobriety. Temptation can get the best of us, so not putting yourself in social situations that you normally would drink at is just an easy step to enforce while you're first quitting drinking.
Last, just because you're not drinking doesn't mean you can't enjoy the fancy glass! This is my NUMBER ONE TIP that I give to everyone who is quitting drinking. Use that fancy wine glass or martini glass and re-purpose it with your non-alcoholic bevvies. You'll feel festive and fancy without that rachet hangover.
Give it a try...it works like a charm!!
Deciding to quit drinking is exciting but can feel very isolating since we live in a culture and society where drinking alcohol so openly accepted and practiced. Every journey will be different, but my hope is that by hearing my story, you feel a little less alone and can maybe even relate to parts of my story.
Hypegirl Healing is here to help you with ALL of your sober needs, and whether you want to go it alone or be connected with others who are on the same path, there is something for everyone here.
Check out The Sober Handbook, which is a perfect tool for those who want to explore their relationship to alcohol and get to the root of their habit.
If you're ready to quit and want to level up your sober journey, check out the 30-Day No Drinking Challenge. Commit to 30 days and see just how much can change for the better in that amount of time.
I hope this post helps you feel a bit better about beginning a sober lifestyle and makes you feel more empowered to take that brave step forward into action!
I’d love for you to pin this blog on your boards on Pinterest, to give some inspo and information on this topic that others could find helpful!
For more sobriety tips, check out my other blogs here.
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