Get inside bailey's head
Warning: It can be scary and full of profanity in there!
Growing up, I was always the designated driver. In fact, the bar staff would allow me into the bar before I was 18 because they knew I was everyone’s safe ride home. On occasion I would indulge in a bottle of orange vodka or a flask of lemon gin but for the most part I was the safe one. My fear was that I would drink and be unable to get home or to where I was staying.
I tried many times to enjoy alcohol, but would constantly find myself hating the taste, drinking it anyways because of peer pressure and waking up with a killer hangover.
I never really started drinking alcohol until after I had children. I would meet up with friends and enjoy a glass of wine or a paralyzer and one led to two and two led to three and…you get the point. My relationship with Bailey’s in my coffee became waaaay to friendly and I found myself putting it in my morning coffee like cream.
Moving out to the mountains and starting my new healthier lifestyle really helped to shift these habits. Not that I quit drinking altogether but I toned it down to casual drinking once in a while.
One Christmas a few years ago, I remember visiting with our family and I asked my cousin if she wanted a drink. She said “no, I don’t drink anymore”. I vividly remember thinking, huh, that’s an interesting choice and could never wrap my head around why she quit or why she wouldn’t just have one. For years after that I wondered what it would be like to quit drinking. Would it be hard? Would I wish that I could have just one? Would I even ever make that choice?
Recently, a friend and well-respected colleague of mine, Donna McArthur started a new project called Sparkling Sobriety. Donna, had decided to make the same choice as my cousin had and start living a sober life. She encouraged people, including myself, to take a look at my relationship with alcohol, and so I did.
I started looking at what situations I was in when I was drinking. Who was I with? What was happening in my life when I felt the need? What was the environment? And most importantly, was I enjoying it?
One sentence that Donna said to me that really stuck was to the effect of…
“My amount that is ‘too much’ could be a totally different amount than your ‘too much’. It’s all a personal perspective.”
I thought it would be a hard choice to make, to quit drinking. But after exploring my relationship with alcohol, quitting drinking has been one of the easiest choices I have ever made. No more hangovers, no expensive alcohol, no more calories in alcohol form…it’s great!
It’s taken a little while for me to get used to going to someone house for ‘drinks’ with my sparkling water or ordering my virgin mojito. One evening a friend invited me over for wine and I said I would love to come and said “will you be offended if I don’t drink your wine but just bring my own sparkling water?”. She replied with “will you be offended if I do drink my wine?”. Touche my friend, touche.
Now am I saying that I will never drink again? No. I know I will sometime down the road. But as for right now, I am 100% happy with my sober lifestyle.
PS: If you are interested in exploring your relationship with alcohol, reach out to Dr. Donna at Sparkling Sobriety!
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