Reflections at 4 Months Alcohol-Free

Dahlia shining her light on a cold autumn day. Courtesy of Ella Iles.

Four months ago, I attended my beloved niece’s wedding. Before attending, I had been challenging myself, once again, to moderate my drinking. All was going nicely at the start of the wedding weekend. I had navigated a bridal breakfast featuring mimosa followed by a lunch by drinking sparkling waters. It was the wedding where things went a little off the rails.

During the reception, alcoholic drinks were available in a back corner of the room. I assumed since no one was actively pouring while we were sitting for dinner, I would be ok drinking one glass of wine. Moderating is a fallacy, I knew this, but always at the moment, I forget.

I look back at that evening embarrassed by how I must have come across to my family, my son, my extended relatives. At one point, I was yelling and cheering so loudly during the toasts; my sister-in-law had to turn around and reprimand me in front of all of her friends, including the Minister. I barely want to think about how I behaved on the dance floor, forcing poorly timed swing dancing moves on my husband while spinning uncontrollably out of reach. I was a drunk that evening, and I am a drunk when I drink. Alcohol is not my friend. Drinking alcohol diminishes who I am.

So, on July 19th, 2017, I quit. At 50-years old on about my 100th try. Gratefully, something had finally shifted. I realized that I was at that proverbial fork in the road. If I didn’t make sobriety my number one priority, I would live out the rest of my life as a woman who had succumbed to alcohol’s vicious cycle of misery and defeat. I could not let that happen. And I admitted to myself I couldn’t do this alone.

I made an active effort to get myself the help I needed and will continue to need for the rest of my life. I required hand-holding first. I know there is a beautiful group of people in this world who do this in local meetings but even getting to that step was a challenge for me, so I decided to release my therapist and hire a sober/growth coach. It was a far better fit to share weekly with a woman who understood my journey. I also joined a private online forum where I felt safe to share and learn about how other people were managing day-to-day. These two supports have become integral to my recovery and are the reason I’ve made it to four months.

What I’ve learned so far:

  • Alcohol deludes our brains, and I had to cut ties with it completely. I can’t moderate alcohol, period.
  • The first 45 – 60 days suck. It’s hard as hell to ignore the allure of drinking wine every night. There is no way around this. I had to act like I was sick and did everything I could to rest, eat well, pamper, relax and support myself.
  • The pace of life had to slow. Stress is a trigger. I used alcohol for years to juggle multiple careers, family, and a social life. The sugars in wine gave me a “manic” edge that fueled my busy life…at a considerable cost to my health, wellness, and sanity. I can no longer keep up a fast pace and that’s just fine.
  • I feel clearer already. I feel my body healing. In the last two weeks, I finally started to shed the weight and inflammation that I had acquired over the last decade.
  • My relationships are far better with my husband, my sons, my true friends. I’m in-tune, available, patient, content and act from my heart.
  • I’m realistic about life. How much sleep I need. When I can attend a party and when I can’t. How much I truly need vs. want. How to be a good friend. How to accept life as this fascinating “moveable feast.”
  • I can figure life out. My old fear-based outlook on life is giving way to a healthier, acceptance-based way of being.
  • Life is not perfect. It’s not supposed to be. Life hurts, sometimes a lot. But there is a richness in living through all that life brings about and I’m so grateful I can finally live free from poison.

I am free.

If you’re out there wondering if you can do the same, YOU CAN. Truly you can. And it’s so worth it. It’s not easy. You need support. Fortunately, there are a lot of us out here available to meet on Twitter, FB, Instagram, in private online chat groups, in-person meetings.

Reach out and begin today.

Love, Diana

4 COMMENTS

  1. Untipsyteacher | 20th Nov 17

    Wonderful, Diana!
    I am so glad you are seeing the good things that happen when we get sober.
    I have an embarrassing wedding story too. I’ll have to tell that one day.
    xo
    Wendy

    • Diana at Living an Alcohol Free Life | 20th Nov 17

      Ok the stories we can tell. At least I can laugh at myself and be rid of the shame. This story is not uncommon! Looking forward to hearing yours. Have a lovely Thanksgiving week. xo

  2. Renee | 20th Nov 17

    You are a gifted writer! Thank you for sharing I can relate to how wonderful living AF is and the key word is FREE! I am still struggling but I am drinking less… it is such a challenge! Don’t take your sobriety for granted! I had many years AF but I let my guard down and it is much harder to quit this time !! 🤞🏻

    • Diana at Living an Alcohol Free Life | 20th Nov 17

      Thank you for sharing your experience here. It helps me to hear about relapse and how difficult it is to get back the freedom. You are clearly working hard at this and I send you big sober hugs. You can get back your freedom. xo

Leave A Comment

Leave a Reply