Three years ago, I made a decision that would change the course of my life and my family’s lives. I woke up March 16, 2019, and decided I couldn’t live the way I had been living anymore. I had to do something different. I chose sobriety for my life, and it was the best and hardest decision I have ever made.
WHAT LED TO MY DECISION
From the outside looking in, I had an amazing life. I had four healthy kids, a beautiful home, a thriving marriage, a good job, and by all accounts, I should have been so grateful and happy for my life. Inside, however, I was miserable. I would wake up and show up for my life as a mom, and then dinner time would roll around and I would have a glass of wine because I just wanted to relax. That glass would inevitably turn into another glass, and some nights the whole bottle (or two). I would wake up hungover and filled with anxiety, shame and self-hatred. I would promise myself I wouldn’t drink, and then 5:00 rolled around and I would cave and repeat the same cycle. This went on for YEARS!
I couldn’t feel grateful for my life because I had been using wine to not just numb my overwhelm and constant worry as a mom, but I had numbed my joy and my purpose.
My story doesn’t involve AA, rehab or your typical rock bottom story. It just involves a mom who was showing up as a shell of herself. I was showing up for everyone in my life except for myself. I knew deep down that alcohol was keeping me from the life I was meant to live. I felt a gentle tug on my heart for a few years to stop drinking, but my mind always convinced me otherwise:
- I know other people who drink more than me.
- Life will be so boring if I don’t drink.
- I won’t have any friends if I stop drinking.
- It will be SO hard to live life sober.
- Being a mom is hard, and I deserve a glass of wine. There is no harm in it.
- Every mom I know drinks.
Our thoughts and beliefs are powerful. Our beliefs will always create our experience, and our experience will always confirm our beliefs.
The drinking, at the time, was my biggest problem, but looking back putting down the bottle was the easy part. It was what came after that really stretched me. Once I stepped into sobriety on March 16, 2019, it became clear that it was my thinking that created most of my struggling that just led to my drinking. It was the way I saw the world and the way I thought the world saw me. I was filled with so many fears and insecurities as a woman and a mom and wine was really my only tool to ‘feel better.’
Drinking was my thing, but we all have a thing. We all have a thing we use to feel better. Maybe yours is drinking too, or maybe it is smoking or overspending, scrolling, eating, exercising, etc. Whatever you use to feel better, please hear me that there is a better way. You aren’t meant to just survive and get through motherhood. You don’t just deserve to feel better through whatever temporary solution you have found. You actually get to feel better; like truly, truly feel better! And it started with changing what’s going on inside, not what’s going on outside of you. You need to recognize that you want to make a change and make the same decision I made three years ago.
Decide to do things differently. Commit to taking full ownership for your experience and believe with all your heart that you can choose differently…..today. And then
In celebration of my life-changing decision three years ago, I thought I’d share some of my favorite transformations that have come from one decision to live sober.
- Better skin
- More energy
- Better gut health
- A new passion for reading
- More fun
- More time to do things I love doing (hiking, kayaking, dancing)
- Stronger connections with my husband, my kids and my family & friends.
- Clear memory of what I say and do.
- The ability to feel present for my life.
- Living with purpose and hope.
- Better and more authentic friendships.
- Living with more awareness.
- A stronger faith.
- SO MUCH MORE
This is a decision I choose every day, and it is one I am so grateful for.
What is one small decision you can make today to start creating a life you are excited to live? Do you want to stop using something like alcohol to feel better? Or maybe for you, it is starting a new morning routine.
Whatever it is, can you commit to doing it differently?