The scariest thing about giving up a life with alcohol is facing life without the only thing that is fun — alcohol. In this week’s episode of She Just Glows: The Podcast, I explain how I found myself in a place where I had no other outlets, and how I changed that.
I was at the beach the other day, and this woman’s shirt caught my eye.
‘Day Drinking: My Favorite Hobby,’ it read.
I understand this way of thinking completely.
Actually, I don’t just understand it, as in I “understand” the thinking behind this mentality. I understand it, as in a deep, visceral action from the depths of my soul.
I don’t just get it. I’ve lived it.
Drinking is fun. Until it isn’t.
For me, day drinking was always the thing. I used to joke that, on vacations, I’d much prefer to start drinking at noon (or earlier) and then head to bed around sunset. This was the way to get all the fun out of vacations, and life, I reasoned.
Until it wasn’t.
Now that I’m about 15 months since my last drink (in a decision that started as a “break” and I just haven’t ended yet), it’s become so clear to me why I drank.
Alcohol was easy.
It was an escape that was cheap, convenient, didn’t hurt anyone and I really didn’t even need any “time off” to enjoy it.
I could enjoy alcohol while mothering, and no one thought twice about it.
Over my first few years of mothering, I started using alcohol to smooth over the rough edges of tedious or lonely day.
Ever so slowly, I taught myself that alcohol was fun. (And in my defense, it was.)
In a few more years, alcohol wasn’t just fun. It was “the” fun.
This grew into a mindset of ‘If alcohol isn’t there, how can it even be fun?’
And slowly, alcohol edged out all my other passions, hobbies and things I used to do to relax or have fun.
Eventually, it was only alcohol.
As a young mom, with all the demands of little kids and the tedious stresses that come with them, alcohol smoothed out the edges of a rough day. There wasn’t time to get out for a run or money to get my nails done at the salon, but I could buy an $8 bottle of wine and sink into that warm feeling that was manufactured gratitude and the can-do-it-ness of knowing I had survived another day.
And yet as I started feeling that alcohol was taking more than it gave, this realization became terrifying. Because if alcohol is all I do for fun, but it’s hurting me and I don’t like it anymore, what is the alternative? A life with zero fun?
Drinking became my outlet because it was easy.
Alcohol was easier than getting to a yoga class or a massage, or truly taking care of myself. With one pour (or 5), I could regain positive thoughts about my day, and my life, and keep chugging along.
Eventually, I realized I was drinking because I had no outlet.
What You’ll Learn In This Podcast Episode:
- How + why alcohol has become your outlet
- A visualization exercise that measures how enmeshed alcohol and fun are for you
- The Slow Slide that starts with “alcohol is fun” and becomes “alcohol is the only fun”
- 5 tips to rediscover what’s fun again + find alcohol-free outlets
You can listen to She Just Glows: The Podcast on Apple, Spotify, Audible or anywhere you listen to podcasts.
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