Real, Raw, Hard Honesty - a reader question answered (Day 25: Sober October)

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I have had a couple of topics for today swirling around - but then I got the following question:

"So I had every intention in doing Sober October - I’ve done so many breaks before, but this one has been unbelievably hard. (...) The frustration is the hardest and also thinking about the commitment or lack of one. Would love to hear about real, raw, hard, honesty. How many breaks do you think you did before you committed to this?"

So, here is my response. It's pretty long but I think an accurate description of my journey to achieve an alcohol lifestyle over the last year.

Honestly, I could never string any time together. It's a bit blurry - I didn't pay attention that much because I never thought I would get that far.

Last September/October I started getting serious about trying to quit drinking. I was drinking every day - probably a bottle or more a night and over the weekend could probably not keep track.

I think in September I may have gone 8 days - which was a freaking MIRACLE for me. I had signed up for This Naked Mind Alcohol Experiment. It was a free thing I saw on FB so I started to think about alcohol in a different way than ever before.

BEFORE, I thought wine and beer was semi-healthy for me but I knew it was making me tired, irritable, bloated and stressed out. And, if I took a few days off, I would feel great and then think I could control myself with one or two glasses of wine. And, I could maybe for a few days - but then I would start drinking more and more and pouring wine earlier and earlier. It just always came back harder and harder. And drinking wasn't fun for me.

Last October, I signed up to do Sober October with James Swanwick and I may have gone 13 days? And THAT was a freaking miracle! And after that I think I didn't try too hard to quit drinking. I was drinking less (because I had learned so much about what alcohol did to me) but still drank heavily over the holidays. My husband and I are huge red wine lovers and, during the holidays, we always go pretty hard. We'll split two bottles of wine each night and then get into the beer. I'm nervous for the holidays because it's always when I let loose.

By January, I had signed up for a half-marathon in March because I needed to focus on something healthy. I was so disgusted with myself for drinking and eating like crap for weeks on end. I was just shoving everything in my mouth it felt like.

AND THEN, I would go maybe a few days here and there. I ran the half marathon in March. And I just saw the year laid out before me just like every other year and really REALLY wanted to change.

I hated one of my clients. I was so frustrated and didn't feel grateful for ANYTHING in my life. And I knew it was alcohol.

So maybe in May (?) I started the 100 Day account. I wanted to put it out there to document things and see if I could connect with anyone else. And I slipped up, too. But I kept getting tired of apologizing to the IG followers and on my newly created blog. Like, "I had a beer again. I am at Day 1 again." And then I guess it just stuck? I kind of got sick of MYSELF for making excuses all the time and just not sticking to what I promised.

I have bad days - today, for example. :-) I have thought about drinking ALL DAY and I don't know if it gets better. I hear it does.

The only thing that keeps me from drinking is I know I won't sleep.

  • I know I will feel like crap.

  • I know I will disappoint myself AGAIN.

  • I know I will break out and feel even WORSE than I do now.

  • It won't make my day better.

  • It won't make my kids less whiny.

  • I will numb out for a bit but I will have to deal with it all later on.

The last time I drank I drank one bottle of red wine and almost a bottle of white. It was like I was trying to get myself sick so I could remind myself why. I know that sounds so bad. But I was SO sick the next day. I just try to think of that and psych myself out.

Anyway, raw and honest? If you want it, you will find a WAY to fight through it eventually. If you don't, there will always be an EXCUSE (from Rachel Hollis).

  • For the longest time, I thought I wanted to be sober, but I didn't want to tough it out at 5 p.m.

  • For the longest time, I wanted to be alcohol free, but I didn't want to feel uncomfortable around my friends and family.

  • For the longest time, I wanted to see if I could do it - but I didn't want to change my habits.

I hope this makes sense or resonates with you a little (I hope ALOT!). I also used to envy those who had gone a while without alcohol and I finally DECIDED that I AM one of those people and I COULD do it. I think of Gabrielle Bernstein or Clare Pooley or Bradley Cooper or Robert Downey Jr. Those are all bad ass people who choose not to drink. Why can't I be that way?

O.K. So, this weekend is our 11th anniversary and we are going to Asheville to celebrate. I am SO fretting it because I know I will romanticize the role wine plays and want to indulge. But it's conversations like these that keeps me from going back....what do you think? :)

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