“First you take a drink, then drink a drink, then the drink takes you.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
I love Sophia Lauren. There is a picture of him in my house looking young and fresh. From what I have been told, he gets nine to ten hours of sleep every night.
When I look at this picture, I see someone who rejoices in the bliss of life. Food, laughter, sex, work, motherhood and self-care. A long time ago I looked at that picture and thought, “How can I admire someone so much and live my life with them that way?”
Have you heard about the halo effect? This happens when you know the right things for your body, mind, and soul, and when doing so you begin to excrete this powerfully beautiful and seductive energy that others cannot get enough of. I now realize that my association with the daily habit of alcoholism was actually reducing the brightness of my aura. It was essentially stealing my happiness, time, money, feeling, goodness and especially my sleep.
Who knew that my beauty sleep had been getting soaked for so long!
Puffy face, dark circles, dry mouth, red eyes, weight gain, and not to mention headaches, increased heartbeat, nervousness… these are some of the lovely side effects I experienced in the bottle.
In an attempt to reduce excessively I was unknowingly going through interrupted sleep and feeling fuzzy the next day.
Do I think that alcohol is bad or that drinking is the limit? No.
I know for myself that daily two, sometimes three glasses of wine took a toll. This led to stealing any sort of focus the next day and walking on everything I said I would complete the night before I was grounded in the embrace of my main squeeze Mr. P (Pinot Nair that is).
My relationship with alcohol was stealing my ability to step into a life that claimed my will.
I wanted to release weight.
I wanted to earn more money.
I wanted to write my book.
Until Mr. P released a hold on me, I knew that I would not come close to achieving any of those dreams.
Every morning I get up and ask myself three things:
- How do I want to feel today?
- What can I do to love myself today?
- What can I give to others today?
My answer to # 2 was often …
“Drink more water.”
“Start weight training.”
“Let the gluten go.”
The truth was a true voice, quietly and patiently saying day to day, “Take a break from alcohol.”
I just wasn’t ready to listen.
A phone call eventually inspired an experiment in courage.
For ninety days I promised a friend that I would include him on an alcohol reset. When I hung out on that fateful Sunday, I went for the nineteenth day in the calendar. Immediately scared like thoughts like “You’ve tried this before and it hasn’t worked” and “You won’t even make it through the vision.” “
Fortunately, that moment took something other than myself. If I was caught in something beyond my comprehension, it was because the next 120 days took off. In fact, after twenty-one I stopped counting. I was no longer connected to the calendar when I could finally have a drink. Why? Probably because I knew that the constant dripping drops of alcohol in my heart every night were not serving me, my purpose, my body or my pocketbook.
Why was this time different? Because I saw it as something that I got to “do” instead of “do”. I saw it as a gift, rather than a pure one.
What is on the other side of the toxic relationship with alcohol? More than I could imagine. Every morning I get up and think, “I’m so lucky.” It seems like I have occupied more time in my day and have a sense of purity each moment.
I have seen the sunrise from Candlelight, banana bread cooked before bed, and after 5 in the evening I did more work until 8 in the morning.
I’ve completed a Netflix show without sleeping … and I really remember everything I saw.
I have released twenty pounds.
I wake up hydrated.
My skin seems to have reversed over time to La Benjamin Button.
The list goes on and on.
The other day my mother gave me a compliment that made me cry… in a good way.
He said, “You know, it’s like your skin, your hair … you look like you were younger.
For so long I had been using alcohol to push away unwanted feelings of anxiety and heaviness. When I thought I was “taking the edge away,” I was really making myself edgy!
These days, I plan my fun how I want to feel the next morning. What I have discovered is that taking a break from happy hour can literally change your life, not just the other twenty-tour hours of your day.
When you have enough energy and vitality to embrace the day, you begin to find small miracles everywhere in the form of simple pleasures, a current conversation with a friend, or a moment that gives you a May send in the tailspin … but now you are breathing with patience and grace.
People often ask me, “Have you ever had a glass of wine … ever?”
Probably every two weeks or so if I have been social (and socially distant) with family or friends. Do i enjoy it Yes and no In fact, for some time I have had a glass or two and now there is no energy for me. Now it’s a “take it or leave it” kind of thing.
In fact, it is as if moderation leads you to moderation.
Why? Because I am no longer willing to sacrifice how good I feel the next morning for wine.
Revelation in reducing anxiety too! Why do I want to go back to something that was causing the exact experience that was emotionally traumatizing me?
Yes, there are people who can drink daily and do fine, and there are people who cannot drink at all. And then there are people like me who know that alcohol is not the kind of friend they want to hang out with every day, but probably do so often in very small amounts.
Drinking is sexy, elegant and consistent.
Are your words sexy Stumbling Outside a Restaurant Elegant? Not remembering a conversation with a friend?
The reality for me was that alcohol made me feel dry, angry and even a strange nausea. How are you feeling in making your day and your life. So, if you feel cluttered and disorganized, then you are creating a disorganized and disorganized day.
I used to get up and run to the kitchen. Waiting for me was one thing that would have to decide whether to beat myself up or pat myself on the back. Like the scale, open bottles of wine determine whether I was “good” or “bad” the previous day.
Only one-fourth bottle left? Dirty Girl!
Three-fourths left? Good girl!
So much time, energy, and thought was put into the act of drinking!
Finally, sleeping is best.
Four hours of alcohol-free sleep is more rejuvenating than nine hours of alcohol-infested sleep. Feeling your body buzzing (in a good way!) Is the best high of all.
If your inner voice is asking for a break, maybe it’s time to listen.