I knew it was something I needed to do. I didn’t fully know why. Here is what I learned from taking 365 days away from alcohol.
- Alcohol was like cotton padding in my life. When there is fear, it is comforting to fill the empty spaces. Alcohol was like cotton padding, filling the spaces of my mind, the empty corners of my heart, and the idle moments of my days. It made the fear small. Unnoticed. Unattended to.
- Silence is Golden. Wine filled my head with thoughts, noise, distractions. Once the empty filler was removed from my world – a quiet I had forgotten about came to the forefront. My inner landscape took on the silence of a forest floor, covered in a fresh padding of snow. Hush. Every sound, clear. Sharp. Noticeable.
- I have to feel it. ALL of it. Taking notice meant… feeling it. The fear. The worry. The excitement. I could truly hear now, the calling. My dharma calling out to me, calling me closer, calling me onto the path I was always meant to walk.
- ALL the time. When things got difficult, there was no longer an escape. Feel it. All of it. Until the feeling decides it’s done. Not when I decide I’ve had enough. No escape. This is my life and I’m smack in the middle of it. No more cotton padding to numb what is.
- I learned what it is to LIVE my life. No more hiding. This is it, baby. And it’s one hell of a ride. I no longer close my eyes.
- I don’t need alcohol to have a good time/connect with my friends/bridge a social gap. I did not lose a single friend along the way. Those that I used to drink with… we just didn’t drink anymore. I haven’t been on as many brunches as I had in this one year. Coffee became our new shared indulgence.
- I am supported beyond my wildest imagination. When I declared my Truth, my friends, my loves, my family, showed up to reflect it back to me. Not once was I made to feel “wrong” in my decision. Not once was I pressured to flex on my stance. Not once did anyone that I love, in any way, ever challenge me. No. They showed up and supported me. Quietly, but without a doubt, supporting me, without judgment.
- I learned that I can work very very hard. That my dharma can easily consume me. My passion can over take me. I’ve learned that I am the only one who can save me from myself, creating balance and love, along side the pursuit of my dreams. Create balance. Not escape commitment.
- I learned that who I am is kinder without alcohol. And yet my inner mean girl exists even without it. So I see her. I send her love. And I ask her to shut it.
- My life is AH-MAZE-ING. I no longer want to miss a moment of it. Not through filling my head with noise. Not through becoming an obnoxious mean girl. Not through laying in bed hung over. Not by escaping the pain. Not by escaping feelings that when I sit with them I can now see…. are excitement.
No I am not still 100% sober. But I am 100% clear. Present. In my Truth. The alcohol – just a little trinket on the sidelines now. It gets no attention. It is forgotten when I’m preoccupied with my journey. And if I never have a drink again – not a single thing would be lost.