One year ago today I made the choice to stop drinking and start addressing all the things I’d been drowning.
Looking back, I realize the decision to do that came from a deep place of self-love, which was weird to me at the time, because I’d been so conditioned to beating myself up for so long.
I beat myself up about not being able to have a baby and going through a brutal time with IVF and surgeries to do that. I drowned my feelings about past relationships and a marriage that looked great from the outside, but was fatally flawed in ways I didn’t even know about yet. I hyper-analyzed everything I’d “failed” at and created this internal narrative that I wasn’t *anything* enough yet. Wasn’t happy enough, successful enough, accessible enough, good enough, or worthy of anything that a voice inside me in rare moments of clarity kept shouting at me that I was.
I stopped drinking and started to feel what I needed to. I examined some deep stuff I’d been avoiding *forever* and finally began to release it. I exercised, gardened, cried, cooked, read, listened to a million podcasts, went to therapy, cried some more, and started to settle into this new life I was building. And something began to shift.
I had really resigned myself to believing that I would never truly love myself, or be deserving of that love either. I played every negative thing people had ever said to me and I’d said to myself on an endless loop, and I was just done with it. Quitting drinking made me start to see the truth of things, and let go of destructive narratives I’d created.
Here are some things I’ve learned over the past year:
- You are not your worst thoughts.
- You know what to do more than you think you do. Stop over-analyzing and listen to your gut. Don’t ignore the warning signs and the flare-ups you feel when you’re doing something that feels “off.”
- Your brain is a plastic organ. It can heal.
- New patterns are uncomfortable because they’re unfamiliar. Keep working at it.
- Vulnerability is tough but necessary. So is honesty. Find the people you can be both those things with.
- Control is an illusion. It’s a lack of trust.
- Perfection doesn’t exist either.
- Power comes from acceptance.
- Everything begins with self-love.
- It doesn’t matter how things look on the outside. What matters is the truth that you sit with in stillness, and whether or not you’re happy with what resonates. If you’re not, you can change it. I promise you can.
- Just do the next right thing.
Today, I am the healthiest, happiest and most complete that I’ve ever been. I’m present and grateful for so much. I’m kinder, softer, and more positive in general than I ever thought was possible. Quitting drinking is better than anything I’ve ever done. And I’m prouder of it too. It’s amazing what starts to happen once you get out of your own way.
And to EVERYONE who was so supportive of my this past year, I am the luckiest and I love you all so much. No one can do it alone. I am forever grateful to the many, many people in my life who love me and root for me every single day.
For anyone reading this and thinking “I could never do that,” believe me, you can.