Today I am celebrating. I will do so with a nice workout, a long walk outside and a warm mug of herbal coffee. I am celebrating two years of sobriety.
It’s been an interesting journey since December 16, 2009, when I decided that alcohol no longer served me. I was a daily drinker. I LOVED to imbibe with wine. It calmed my nerves, soothed my feelings and made everything feel like it was okay. But it had become a habit, and one that was not healthy.
I recall that it was a great tool for relating to my family, because if I was buzzed it didn’t matter if they rejected me or told me that my work and pursuits were meaningless. It didn’t matter that they thought I was a princess (although I worked for everything I had). It didn’t matter that I was an outsider because I no longer wanted to rescue them, to serve them, to support them emotionally and financially. To cope with family trips to Long Island, I would load up on bloody mary’s while on the ferry from CT. Then continue a binge while with them. Everything felt fine this way.
I used alcohol to not only stuff my pain but to amplify my happiness and feelings of acceptance. At art exhibitions, parties and other social gatherings, a little spirits aided my spirits. I was blessed that driving home didn’t prove to be fatal for me or anyone else.
Ultimately, this path was not sustainable. Per, Wikipedia, There is a strong correlation between 'high levels' of alcohol consumption and an increased risk of developing alcoholism, cardiovascular disease, malabsorption, chronic pancreatitis, alcoholic liver disease, and cancer. Damage to the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system can occur from chronic alcohol abuse. Long-term use of alcohol in excessive quantities is capable of damaging nearly every organ and system in the body. With more than two glasses of wine a night (how easy was that), I was a ticking time bomb.
It was time to take responsibility. With the help of my partner Tao (who also decided to stop consuming), and the meetings, people and stories of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), I began the arduous journey of sobriety. Instead of wine, we drank Kombucha. I love the GT’s Synergy Gingerberry flavor, and it’s a wonderful healing elixir. Google it or check out this link to find out more.
Many friends and colleagues witnessed me toting Kombucha to various events over the past two years, and I’m still doing it. Emotionally, I continue to face the feelings I was stuffing with the drink, and work on any issues that I may have around family, self-esteem, acceptance, etcetera.
My AA meetings have fallen away, but the principles stay with me. I’m grateful for this choice that I’ve made, to be healthy, to stop a potentially treacherous path and to choose differently other than what society says we should be doing to celebrate.
As I continue on this early part of my journey as a holistic health counselor, I hope to inspire others and give them support around this issue. It can be difficult to see for oneself, but rather than travel down the path of hitting rock bottom, there are options.
Take control. Face the fear. Let it go.