On August 18th, so, about 3 months ago I declared I wasn't going to be drinking til the end of the year. It wasn't that my drinking was in any way out of hand - in fact it was aggressively the opposite - but I knew that drinking didn't fit into the overall vision I had for myself and what I wanted to achieve in the last months of 2017.
Well, a plan is only as great as its' execution, and a few weeks ago, I called time on my tee-totalling. I wasn't brought to the bottle after a hard weeks' work, or to steel my nerves before a first date, I had simply planned to cook dinner at my house for friends and I wanted to rebel with a wine or two. I've never really been great with constraints, and this was no exception.
If you know me you’ll know I’ve never been a big drinker. Growing up, my Mum waxed lyrical about never having touched alcohol before, until my later years when she fessed up to ‘drinking bong water’ once. By all accounts I wasn’t exactly born into the lush life.
I had three drinks that night and it didn't feel great. Then last night, it was my annual agency conference and I had four drinks -- which to some mightn't seem like a lot, but if your body isn't used to alcohol that can have quite a toll on the untrained liver. I spent today in a glass case of emotion. sick to my stomach, and again questioning whether I wanted alcohol in my life or not. It's a question I posed to some girlfriends tonight and the suggestion was that maybe I'm just a 'one drink' kinda gal. Or no drinks. I don't know yet. But as always, it's a conscious choice that I get to make.
It would have been easy to chastise myself for not having the inner fortitude to commit to something, or for letting me (and my readers) down - and believe me, these self-sabotaging beliefs are hard-wired in me - but instead I felt -- kinda lighter. Like I 'messed up' but it didn't take anything away from my other achievements. I gave way less fucks than I thought I would have. You see, radical acceptance is about honouring all of the parts of you that make you whole, even if the end result looks different to what you thought it would. Some days you'll win, some days you won't. Whatever happens, to surrender to the process is to forge a path to personal freedom.
I feel pretty proud of myself for choosing to not drink for two months. It meant that I could spend my Friday and Saturday nights in hanging out with my flatmates, studying, writing or reading. It created the space for me to connect with my friends on a more authentic level. It allowed me to wake up each day without shame and regret and a nausea that could last the entire day.
I'm not entirely sure what my decision will be tomorrow or next week, but whatever you decide to commit yourself to just remember - it's yours, nobody elses. Find the inner accountability to follow through with your intention and if you wobble, fuck it. Get curious about why you're wobbling and course-correct. Was the goal or expectation unrealistic? Are you someone who needs outer accountability in the form of a coach or a support group? Are you just not aligned to it at all? Ultimately, it's not about what happens it's about what you do with what happens.
Your life is a direct reflection of what you believe you deserve, so make choices that support that.
Do I worry that people will stop inviting me out because I'm (probably) back on the wagon? Do I worry that I'll get asked out on a date and I'll be mute because I'm sober? Absolutely not. My health and happiness is far more important than someone's perception of me. And besides, I can promise you that alcohol does not make me more fun and I am the actual worst to be around the next day.
So for now, and until further notice, you'll find me at the club sippin' kombucha.