We Are So So Free

A terribly sad thing happened in my little corner of the world today. And it’s made me realize that it’s time to write honestly about the thing I probably most didn’t want to in this world and “out” myself. Still, my chest is about to split open knowing I NEED to. For me and for someone else maybe too. May it be of benefit.

When I was young, I drank A LOT. We had a bar we hung out in underage. When I was of age, I bartended my way through nursing school – and was damn good at it. It’s a wonder – with all the driving I don’t remember – that I’m still here, thanks be to God. Just telling the truth.

As I got older, I shifted to wine. And I didn’t go out. And I didn’t drive anywhere while drinking.

With those basic safety measures in place, moms whose “need their wine” are so socially acceptable that we all laugh and share memes on the daily about it. And for some people, who are healthy with their drinking, that is totally fine.

In fact, before I go any further, I will quickly say that this is the judgement free zone. This is a heavy post but it isn’t meant to be nasty or ass-y. In other words, if you’ve got an awful, shameful drinking story, I’ve got three to match it. No judgement here. We’re all just having a chat. Okay?

So, for me, I am not a healthy drinker. I wasn’t when I young. I am not capable of being one now. It has never served me. And I knew that in my heart for a long time.

A glass of wine? Try a bottle. Or, since it’s been a truly awful week (and, with health problems, that can be any damn week) maybe I need the big bottle? (FYI: that’s actually two bottles)

Since I’ve always had a fairly high alcohol tolerance, I didn’t even start really feeling drunk until it started interacting with some of my medications. So, I slowly started to reduce my wine consumption but didn’t give it up – though, as a nurse, I would have told anyone else to JUST STOP ALREADY!

A month or so ago though, something changed. The switch finally flipped. I was ready to be done with it. I just knew.

I threw away all the half and quarter bottles of wine. I looked online until I found a resource that suited me for help. And I stopped.

My chosen resource was Hip Sobriety. Holly and I are the same age and she is someone I can easily relate to. We are into the same things: yoga, natural health, books. We understand one another.

Her blog posts as well as a few online seminars I’ve caught have been amazing.

So far, here’s what I personally know:

1. I feel absolutely like a new woman. Yes, I still have my health stuff, I hurt, and it blows. But my energy level is much better than it was and I feel like myself again.

2. Now that I’m not wasting my energy, I am doing new things. After thinking for several years, “I wish I could go to the Integrative Nutrition school but that can’t happen for me,” I actually picked up the phone, got moving, and discovered that, yes, it can and did happen for me. Once I started to make positive changes, really awesome things started happening.

3. I’m finding new ways to handle life stress. I am the Queen of Lavender. It’s diffusing in my bedroom, it’s diffusing in my car, I have it my jewelry, it’s in my soap. . . I’ve learned to deep breathe and meditate. I’ve learned the value of mantras, not the least of which is the one I adopted from Holly, “I am so effing free.” I realize that doesn’t have a deep spiritual ring to it, but, when this stressed out mom is ready to jump out a window or run for a wine glasss, it works magic to come back to center and remember that I’ve chosen freedom from what used to bind me.

4. I’m looking forward to many new adventures in the future. One thing I’ve done with the start of school is vision boarding (As I told my better half, I love hippie school):

I’m so excited about my school and future trips and shows and all of the other amazing things I want to do. And I’m so grateful to be in this place now.

All that said, up until now, I didn’t want to share this part of my life publicly. I think I was being prideful and didn’t want anyone to know. And that ends now.

Because we all have struggles. And if we are honest about them, we can help each other.

In my community, a precious young woman lost her husband in an alcohol related fight three years ago yesterday.

And yesterday morning, she was killed in a car accident where drinking was also involved.

My heart is just broken.

And I feel like I need to say more to my readers.

In a recent seminar I watched, I learned that the average time between when a person begins thinking that alcohol is a problem for them and when they stop drinking is seven years.

Seven. Years.

I honestly can see that. I’ve been there.

However, you don’t have to wait for something awful to happen to stop.

If alcohol is a problem, if you always drink more than you intend to, if you realize it’s just not serving you and your life would be better without it, please do whatever you need to for help.

If you need to go inpatient, go.

If you are a 12 stepper, go.

If you want something faith-based, google Celebrate Recovery. I 💜 Celebrate Recovery.

If therapy is your thing, go.

If you need someone to talk to, there is a huge online community.

Don’t give up.

It is so possible.

Get help.

And you won’t be sad and missing out on anything.

You will be better than ever and the door will be open to everything.

You will be so so free.

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