We all know that the pandemic of 2020 brought along with it so many different things, like more anxiety, more restrictions, more feelings of uneasiness and really not knowing what life was going to look like in the coming months and what all was going to happen in our lives. I do know that the spring of 2020 – March, to be precise – was when the drinking ramped up. My boys’ school decided to extend their spring break until June. And that is when other mommies and I started to hang out, social distancing around fire pits and drinking wine. At the beginning of the lockdown, it was fun because we would plan a ‘mommy wine date’ every other Friday or so, and we all would look forward to those date nights.
I have always had a bit of a tumultuous relationship with booze. I started drinking when I was 23 years old, shortly after I got divorced from my marriage when I was living in NYC. I definitely started to explore with drinking after my divorce and some weekends the drinking would be more than I had anticipated drinking. I am not proud of it, but in my 7 years of living in Greenwich, CT, I remember driving intoxicated back home from Manhattan numerous times. How I didn’t get pulled over by a cop is baffling to me!!! But regardless, I am not proud of doing it and didn’t like the way I felt after my nights of drinking.
Fast-forward to the pandemic. I remember feeling drained in the morning after drinking wine the night before – very low-energy, short-fused and FAT. I actually couldn’t wear my wedding ring because my hands were so swollen and decided to get my ring made one size bigger. Well, now that same ring is a bit too loose. I was recommended a book called This Naked Mind by Annie Grace by my girlfriend Maxine in the spring of 2020. Well, I read it and really allowed the words to sink in. Something inside me clicked. At the end of her book, the author encourages you to do a 30-day alcohol experiment. For 30 days, you log into her website every day, watch a 5- to 10-minute video and write a journal entry. So, I thought, why not?!?! What do I have to lose? I actually told myself that if I couldn’t stop drinking for one year, then I seriously had a problem.
May 31, 2020, 18 days before my 45th birthday, I decided that I was done drinking and I would give myself the gift of ONE YEAR ALCOHOL-FREE. I woke up June 1, 2020, and was ready to embrace my new lifestyle. It was my mindset – I went from feeling like I needed booze to embracing my alcohol-free life. I didn’t look at it as if I was losing something or missing out. I looked at it as if I was going to gain more! I was going to be present every waking minute. We all know that drinking takes you away from being present.
June 12th was when I decided to start Annie’s 30-day alcohol experiment. I would wake up, watch my video for the lesson and then journal. Doing this really helped me recognize why I was drinking, the false truths that I had told myself, and really what I believed the alcohol was doing was counterintuitive. The 30-day experiment went by fast, and at this point, I was already 42 days alcohol-free, as I had taken my last sip on May 31st. I decided that my life without booze was way better than having it in my life.
The month of June I celebrated our oldest son graduating high school, my 45th birthday dinner and then a few other dinner celebrations, all of which I did without drinking alcohol. I remember laughing harder than I ever have and enjoying each precious moment with my family and friends with more intensity. How is that possible?!?! How was I able to have MORE FUN without the booze!?!? It is because I had repeatedly told myself that wine added to my experiences and without it, I couldn’t have fun. This was absolutely not true. I realize now that I create my experience, and it can be immensely happy, full of joy and exciting without booze. I CREATE IT. NOT the ALCOHOL.
I have now been regularly meditating, regularly exercising and loving every day and every minute of my life. I can tell you this hands down: I DO NOT MISS DRINKING. As someone that LOVED WINE, I can’t believe I am saying this. It’s 100% true. Maybe the first 3–4 months I missed it a little, but now it doesn’t even cross my mind. I love waking up alert every morning; waking up to no swelling and no hangover is the best feeling ever.
As I write this blog, I’m 329 days alcohol-free. I can’t even begin to tell you how fast the past 329 days have flown by. As I approach my first anniversary of being alcohol-free, I can tell you this: Being alcohol-free has given me more riches and gifts in my life than I ever imagined. Why would I want anything less?? For me, it’s all about being in the present moment, enjoying every waking minute with my family and friends knowing I don’t need wine/booze to make it more pleasurable. I have all that I need inside me without the booze to make any life experience immensely enjoyable.
For now, as I sign off, I say this to you wholeheartedly: my life will be alcohol-free even after I celebrate my one year AF. I thank you for reading my blog and if you have ever struggled with alcohol or want to talk to me about your relationship, please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment or even send me a direct email at:
[email protected]. I am here for you and ready to serve you.