Sharing this very personal choice I recently made is scary for me but I’m finding it more important to be brutally honest with my community. I subscribe to the idea that an omission is a form of lying and although I know I’m not lying to you and I don’t HAVE to share this information with you guys, I know what sharing one’s truth does for ourselves and for others. It’s liberating and sometimes allows others to be honest with themselves. So in the spirit of freeing myself and gaining accountability with others, here’s my truth.
Claudio and I have made the decision to give up drinking alcohol. This isn’t made to be temporary or experimental. It’s a permanent life decision. There are so many reasons we have decided to cut out drinking from our lives but I’ll share the most important reasons why.
To be very transparent, those of you who are close to us know that we have given it up before. We went as long as one year without it. The first time we gave it up was about 7 months into dating each other. We used to drink when going out to dinner together and sometimes would drink way too much. Did we have fun? I would say yes, however, we would feel horrible the day following. We sat down one morning and decided we hated the physical affects of drinking and we gave it up for a year.
We gave it up again, then started. Gave it up, then started. It was a vicious cycle.
We realized that we would drink emotionally. Meaning, we would be happy about something and decide to celebrate with champagne. Stressed, well you relax with wine, right? Family gatherings OBVIOUSLY required a cocktail or beer to get through. We noticed that our choices and reasons to drink were purely emotional decisions. Not logical. It was always because we wanted to enhance a certain feeling or get rid of a feeling.
I know myself well enough to know that feelings are caused by the thoughts I have. I know that if I want to feel a certain way, I think something that will create that feeling. My AMAZING life coach, Brooke Castillo, has taught me that well. However, with alcohol I was forgetting that. I was using alcohol to supposedly create the feeling I wanted…..relaxed, happy, fearless, excited, engaged, stress-free, etc. It was so backwards to the other areas in my life.
So thats when I knew we were drinking for the wrong reasons. We also sat down and asked ourselves what positive impact alcohol has in our lives. We could not find one good reason to drink. But we did find many reasons why alcohol was very bad for us.
I have a very unhealthy relationship with alcohol. My father was an alcoholic and I was subject to seeing a lot of physical and verbal abuse from my father to my mother most of my childhood. My parents divorced in my teen years due to all the abuse he caused my mother. I thought I suffered from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) on account of my childhood experiences. I have since learned (through therapy) that I have generalized anxiety and it comes out when I’m around people who are drinking a lot.
One interesting thing about me is I can drink one glass of wine or one cocktail and be over it. I can literally “babysit” a drink for hours and not notice. I don’t need to drink a lot in one sitting. I don’t feel the need to get “buzzed”. I don’t like the feeling of being drunk. I have no idea why that is. I don’t think I’m that much of a control freak that I don’t allow myself to be intoxicated, however, I do know that I am always aware of how much I drink and if I do decide to drink more than two cocktails, I’m extremely self aware of the decision. In other words, it’s never the “alcohol” making the decision for me. I never feel out of control and or like I’m a different person when I drink. I’m the same sober or with a few cocktails in me. I hope that makes sense.
I’m not going to discuss my husband’s decision to stop drinking. I feel that if he wants to share that, he can. I think he does have very different reasons than me but I’m only here to share my experience, my past. But what I will share is that his drinking affected me negatively and in order for us to have a happy and healthy marriage, it was imperative that we both not drink anymore.
MY DECISION IS NOT ABOUT YOU
I also realize that many people will have their opinions about us not drinking. I’ve learned that it makes others extremely uncomfortable. They’re compelled to heckle us about it, joke that I don’t “let Claudio drink” and many other dumb responses. But what I’ve learned is anyone that gives us flack about not drinking is someone who doesn’t love us or want the best for us. Us not drinking makes them feel bad about themselves because they realize they have a problem or reminds them they shouldn’t be drinking either. Our loved ones and friends support our decision and don’t even ask why. Instead, they look at us and say “That’s cool. I should probably stop too.”
Drinking alcohol has truly become a societal standard. It’s been so normalized that its “weird” or questioned when you share that you’re fine with water or juice. Please know that my decision to not drink has nothing to do with you drinking. Don’t take it personally. I’m not judging anyone about their habits! I think some people handle alcohol fine, can control themselves and their consumption. It’s just not for us.
The biggest reason for me sharing this is to gain accountability from you. Sharing that I have given up drinking is a way to keep me accountable to you and myself. I implore you to call me out if you ever see me drinking. I don’t think that will happen but stranger things have happened. Keeping this choice a secret isn’t healthy because there isn’t anyone to tell you something if they see you breaking your new promise to yourself.
So there it is guys. I’m wondering if any of you can relate to us and our decision to be sober? Thank you for taking the time to read this!