Dare to Dream
Welcome to my blog!!
I am excited and a bit astonished at the idea of having my own blog, let alone my own business. This is something I’ve dreamed of, but in a very unattainable way. Like something that was not in the realm of possibility for me. That was a different me that thought like that. That was before I stopped playing small; before I stopped letting fear and doubt rule me. It was before I came to the realization that it was only my limiting thoughts and beliefs that were keeping me from attaining any goal or dream. And this entire shift in thinking; this entire shift in being, all started with one simple goal: to get control of my drinking.
The Beginning of a New Life
In the early morning hours of December 30, 2019, I had what would be my last drink. Part of me knew then, that it had to be forever as I had grown to depend on it too much to cope with life; it would always be a slippery slope for me. But I could not think in terms of forever, so I told myself I would give it 1 year and re-evaluate. It was not long before I started to notice the benefits of living alcohol free (or AF for those in the know ?). And with this new understanding of what life can be without alcohol, coupled with the very raw memories of the dark place I was in when I was drinking, it was easy to choose the AF path indefinitely.
In that first year, my anxiety was much more manageable (I no longer needed medication), I was much less irritable and on edge, I was no longer riddled with fatigue or waking up at 3am in a shame and guilt-filled panic. That is not to say my journey was completely glorious. To portray it that way would be a lie. There were some points where I felt as down and out of sorts as I ever did when I was drinking. But I knew without a doubt that alcohol would not make it better. So, I learned new tools and learned to sit with those uncomfortable feelings. I stopped hiding from life. It was hard at times. I had my share of tantrums. But I have never regretted not turning back to the bottle. Not for a single second; not even once. I went through (and still go through on rare occasion) moments of craving; wanting to join in the “fun” or just tune out. But I immediately remember why I am doing this in the first place. I remember that my kids are less on edge now that their mom isn’t on a short fuse. I remember that I actually enjoy my life now, even though almost nothing else has changed. I remember what alcohol stole from me; the joy in life and the light inside that makes me, me.
My Reason for Choosing an AF Life
I struggled almost 40 years with who “me” is and alcohol was the mask that hid how much agony I was really in. No one knew, not really. I thought alcohol was the cure; or at least the answer to quieting the noise in my head. It wasn’t until I got far enough away from it that I began to see that it was alcohol that was making my problems worse and burying me deeper and deeper into nothingness.
Today there is nothing you could say to convince me that a drink would be a good idea in any situation. I’ve finally seen what life can really be. I finally have the positive outlook on life that I always thought was impossible for me. That was other people; that wasn’t me. Except it was!! It was in me all along, but I was too lost in my own despair to see it and using alcohol to cope with the pain of it.
I would never tell anyone else they need to choose an alcohol-free life to be genuinely happy. But I will certainly shout from the rooftops about the possibilities that become available when you take off that mask. I will tell you all about the things I have discovered now that my mind is clear, and my heart is open. For me, alcohol was not the answer. For me, it became my kryptonite. If you are wondering what lies beneath the mask of alcohol for you, that is not a coincidence. There’s a reason that little voice in you brought you here and is whispering to you “what if alcohol is keeping you from realizing your dreams?”