Booze-Free…for Now.

wine

Image found via Pinterest.

I have been extremely  hesitant to share any of this publicly. I kept telling myself to wait. Wait until I had more days under my belt. Wait until I had a handle on it. Wait until I had it figured out.

But here’s the thing. Whether I have 44 booze-free days stacked up (which I currently do) or 440 or 4400, it doesn’t mean I have a handle on it or that I have it figured out or that I will never drink again.

I am still not sure that never drinking again is even my goal.

All that I am sure of is that I what I need right now is to rethink my drinking.

My relationship to drinking has always been something I’ve never quite been comfortable with. I had my first real drink when I was thirteen with my cousins. We stole cans of Budweiser and I hated the taste but forced myself to drink it by taking big bites of a ham and cheese sandwich on Wonder Bread to help wash it down.Why? Why at 13 was it so important for me to finish that awful beer? I wanted to fit it.

In high school I drank to fit in and to be less anxious. I became a way more fun version of myself instead of the usual studious, honor society version of myself.

In college, the trend continued. Drinking was fun. Drinking made me feel more confident. More comfortable in my skin. It made it easier to approach guys and their attention was something I craved.

I actually didn’t drink much while my children were young. I jokingly now say that that was a blessing because I probably would’ve turned into an alcoholic if I had  turned to wine every time I was stressed. But it probably isn’t a joke.

For the last couple of years, I haven’t had a drink on New Year’s Eve because I don’t want to tarnish the beautiful blank slate ahead of me by being hung over on the first day of the new year.

I’ve participated in Dry January the last 2 years.

I stopped drinking for over 50 days earlier this year (after a particularly terrible hangover) but then had some wine the day my best friend had open heart surgery, telling myself that if there ever  time the I “deserved”a glass, it was then.

We drank a bit on our trip to Europe but not as much as I would’ve expected.

This latest foray into not drinking didn’t start because of a hangover. In fact, we had friends over in June and were drinking Moscow Mules and I was tipsy but not drunk. I wasn’t even hungover the next day. So why did I decide to try sobriety again? I think it was because I thought I should’ve been more drunk than I was. And that disturbed me. Was I trying to get drunk? Was that my sole purpose in drinking? And how much more would I have to drink to get to that feeling I was apparently chasing?

These are questions that I still don’t have answers to.

I still don’t know how long this will last.

I do know that I managed to not drink over 4th of July, on my birthday, at the art fair, at Girls’ Night Out and on our anniversary. Every time I am able to show up fully without the blurry haze of alcohol distorting my experience, the better I feel.

What I know for sure (right now anyway) is that as a yoga teacher, yogi and human being I want to be the most authentic version of myself. Looking back to the that very first drink, I can see that my intention in drinking is to be other than who I am, to feel something other than what I feel. That is not being authentic.

Sharing this before I know where it will end up or how it will end up is me being real.

I am booze-free, for now.

(I will continue to share my journey here as it and I evolve. This is not a judgment at all on those who do drink. This is an exploration into why I drink and if it really enhances my life or diminishes it. I plan to share the ups and downs, resources I have been drawn to that I have found helpful and what I am learning about myself along the way.)

Advertisements

Leaning in to Joy.

Things are going good right now. Great even.

My almost 30-year marriage is strong.

Our daughters will both be done with college by this time next year and are making their way out into the world.

I love creating and holding space for my yoga students.

I am connected to my writing on a daily basis.

I’ve lost over 30 pounds and feel amazing and strong and my back keeps getting stronger every single day.

My best friend of over 30 years moved less than a half an hour away so we get to play whenever we want.

I have a beautiful community of women to lift me up toward my best self.

I love our home.

So, it’s all good.

So, why is this there this sense of unease lurking at the corners of my life? This sense of don’t get too happy, too content because that’s when the rug will get pulled out from under you.

It happens. I know it happens. Loved ones die, marriages end, diagnoses are made.

It happens all the time so it’s only matter of time before it happens to me, so I better be prepared. Better be vigilant and not get too complacent or too smug in my life, in my joy.

The first time I heard Brené brown describe “foreboding joy” I felt chills. That’s me. I do that. all the time. Of course, I never connected it to vulnerability. I didn’t know that the antidote to it is gratitude.

Now, when I feel the shadow of foreboding joy hovering over me, I take a breath and practice gratitude.

I lean into the joy.

I make a conscious decision to choose joy in that moment.

choose joy

Image found via Pinterest.

Wednesday Writing Prompt.

glitter hands

Image found on Pinterest.

Each breath she takes from the truest space of her heart brings light. Each word she writes from the darkest space of her soul brings light. Each time she shows up to these spaces, each time she resists the resistance, more light is drawn to her—drawn into her so that she can spill it back out into the world. Light glitters behind her eyes, weaving into the spaces between her ribs, pulsing through each cell, shimmering on her skin. As she lives from her all parts of herself—the dark and light, the strong and the vulnerable, the anger and the peace, the fear and the courage—her most authentic, fierce self shines and glitters its way into the tiny crevices of the world around her.