I was tired. I found myself waking up at 4am too many times with anxiety, and embarrassed for my words and actions. I was tired of not feeling a thing. I would numb my pain with poison and I put up a wall from feeling true emotion, joy, sadness and it led me down a dark road where I was broken and alone.
Most everyone around me saw me as a happy, free-spirited, funny, young lady who had a lot of experience but what they didn’t see was everything I kept inside. Those were my fears, my pain, my insecurities, the battles I fought with myself, the disapproval I felt for who I had become.
The truth is that I was scared of dying without truly living.
Throughout some extremely unbearable situations and difficult times alcohol was there, it was my shiny black knight for about 10 years. It was wine, whiskey, and beer. It was weekend day-drinking, and weeknights having one too many glasses of pain numbing substances that distracted me from resolving my real issues and clouding my mind and body with delusions and misconceptions. Alcohol was destroying my life and it took me 10 years to not only realize it, but to make the choice to walk away from it altogether and live a more authentic and fulfilling life.
Not everyone was on board at first. Those I used to party with, they faded away. My weekends changed. How I spent my time was completely different from before. My life became better than I had imagined because for such a long time I relied on alcohol to ease my mind, relieve my tension and cure my boredom. But all of that led me to making terrible decisions, ones I probably wouldn’t make sober.
In my early twenties I used to go out to the desert with my ex- boyfriend and all of this buddies to go camping and ride dirt bikes from sun rise to after the sun set. These trips always consisted of a lot of alcohol, in fact every trip, every vacation, every outing consisted of a lot of alcohol. I would ride dirt bikes, do stunts, crash hard a countless number times launching off hill tops and whatever else to feed my adrenaline craving, all while under the influence. At the lake I would wakeboard, wakeskate, and have tubing wars, under the influence.
Every social event involved alcohol. Every breakup was fueled by alcohol. Every moral hangover was reflected on a decision I made while drunk, or intoxicated. But, finally after nearly 10 years of this madness I decided to stop it all and create a better future for myself. I decided to change, and chase my dreams with a clear mind and a stable outlook on every aspect of my life, relationships, goals, and career.
The changes I made did not just happen over night. It took time. It took dedication in knowing what I wanted, what I didn’t want, and most importantly, staying away from negative influences in my life that distracted me from getting sober and free from this ongoing cycle of addiction that was ruining my body and my life.
These are the 9 things that changed since I quit drinking:
1. Skin and hair began to appear healthier.
My skin became more supple, less puffy, and radiated more color. My hair felt healthier, and appeared to be more shiny. Who doesn’t love that?
2. My social circle changed.
I became distant from some people I used to be close with because their choice in lifestyle no longer aligned with mine. Our visions of a good time were different.
3. Dating became real.
I couldn’t recall the last time I went out with a guy and we didn’t share conversation over a couple of drinks. Those drinks diluted my perception of the person sitting across the table. I would say things I regretted later. I would choose men who were not a good match for me. In fact every guy I chose to date was completely wrong for me.
I have always been intimidated by good-looking, strong, intelligent men that I would settle for the ones who had less to offer, less attractive, insecure, and those who I could control in some way.
But that is not what I want. That is not the man I will ever settle for now. That has completely changed. It’s as if my standards have risen from the dead. I do not waste time being indecisive like I did before I got sober, instead I take more time now getting to know the person I’m interested in without rushing into anything.
4. My regrets are at an all time low.
I have less to wake up and feel bad about in the morning. Everything I do, I do with honesty. I say things I mean and I follow through with every promise that I make.
5. I’m in the best shape of my life.
Instead of going home after work and pouring myself a big glass of wine, which has a bit of calories, I go straight to the gym or I find something adventurous to do outside like cruise down to the beach, run, and watch the sunset.
6. My goals are clear and focused.
No more delusional goal setting after several drinks. Oh gosh, I remember those nights. Yeah that doesn’t happen anymore. I set logical and reasonable goals every single day and I cross them off as I go. If you don’t already create to-do lists, start now. Post-it-notes are my best friends. I have real friends too, don’t worry.
7. I have healthy, stable relationships.
Those words I would let slip out carelessly, and those text messages I used to write and regrettably send out after a few drinks are no longer composed. The people I have chosen to surround myself with are people who truly care about me. Sure my circle is smaller, but that is not a bad thing. Being that (believe or not) I am a rather private person and a bit reserved (introverted extrovert if you will) I do not like too many people getting close to me. I like my privacy and I appreciate those who respect that. What I choose to reveal about myself is up to me. My true friends are loyal companions who share the same values I have for life, love, and friendships. I am thankful for each person in my life because they all inspire me and I love them for that.
I am especially thankful for The Quad (Mom, Dad and Rick). No one gets me like you do. <3
8. My career is sky rocketing way beyond the moon.
Somehow I have manged to land the best job of my life.
I can honestly say I have never been happier doing anything else. I guess it helps that I have had about 100 truly awful jobs before this and that has helped me appreciate all of the good things that have presented themselves.
That also goes without saying that I did work my little booty off to get to where I’m at. None of this happened over night. I had to suffer through a lot of bs to get to where I’m at.
I should consider writing a book on some of the ridiculous jobs I’ve had and oh my gosh don’t even get me started with the interviews. But now I have a job that I love, and a boss who is beyond amazing, whom I respect a great deal for all he does.
9. I feel every single thing.
Every thought, every vibration, every joy, every sense of sadness and pain, I feel it all. At first, it felt strange to me, because I was a bit numb for so many years. Learning to balance my emotions, let go of my fears, and practice new techniques to help cope with pain and excitement soon became my main priority. Meditation, and exercise became the only medicine I needed.
Image via We Heart It