Where to begin? December 18th, I had my last sip of red wine on my sisters couch. That night, I just told God "I'm done". Alcohol has controlled me for ten years! I finally decided to take control. Boom.
I was on the fast track of being SOOOOOOBER. I didn't really tell anyone... I just would go to social settings and not drink. People would ask why I'm not drinking, and I would jokingly respond with "I'm pregnant" then say "HAHA JK I'm just not drinking anymore" after this poor person stares at me for a couple of seconds, their automatic responds was... "You just need to control yourself when you drink". As if I didn't already try that.
I spent the first three months to myself by working and re-watching The Office twice (which explains the blog inspiration). I convinced myself since I don't drink no one wants to hang out with boring sober Alex on the weekends. But as I look back, I think I needed those three months of detox from people and my old habits of going out. After those three months, ya girl was ready to socialize! Turns out, my friends still liked me. AND they actually want to hang out with me. Don't you just love when you create these negative thoughts in your head and they are NEVER true? Fun times.
I don't know if I would of accepted the opportunity to spend the summer in Honduras if I was still drinking because I suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out). It's a real thing.
But this past summer was my most favorite summer in my whole life. It even beats the summer where I got to invite boys to my birthday party for the first time.
I learned this past summer how much God has got my back! Yes, I forget how much God actually cares about me every five minutes but those two months in Honduras... God showed up and showed out. I carry this past summer around with me to constantly remind myself that "We got this"!
Working with Friends of Los Niños has brought me to another chapter in my life. BE 4 ONE is in the processes of becoming a non-profit. Haha! THIS IS SO CRAZY TO ME. I'm the creative of an organization. What a dream! Scary, anxiety, rollercoaster ride of a dream but it excites me SO much!
I'm not saying I wouldn't of taken the opportunity if I was still drinking but I think I know myself a little bit... and I don't think this past summer would of happened if I wasn't sober. There's a timing for everything!
Here's what I have learned a year without alcohol:
1. BYE unnecessary anxiety, depression, and regret.
Alcohol is followed by the worst emotions of all time. Waking up that next morning after a night of drinking way too much and knowing you talked so much crap last night IS NEVER FUN. I'd binge drink on weekends then deal with anxiety, depression, and regret three days later then it'd be Thursday and I was back to drinking again. Woo!
This year, yeah duh... I'm human I still dealt with anxiety and some "funky" moments. But nothing compares to those hangover mornings. I dealt with good anxiety (if that's even a thing) in business and taking leaps of faith. The "funky" moments came from things not going the way I expected because I still don't understand why everything can't be perfect? Ugh.
"sometimes our anxiety isn't a result of our situation, but how we're thinking about it." - Steven Furtick
The feeling of regret still tries to creep back into my life on things I did over the years. That's not fair or healthy to let happen but sometimes I made this transformation process harder than it needed to be. I had to tell myself to let go and be transformed. Somedays that sentence would work, other days I'd think of the most embarrassing things I did years ago. I'm not saying I've changed but I've defiantly have been transformed with a new heart. It's still a work in progress but it's so interesting to me what I'm not interested in anymore. That's God. What you were so overwhelmingly interested in where it was practically your idol in your life and to now where you could care less about that interest.... You let God in. Congrats! And here's just a reminder for you, Jesus died for our sins and worrying about the past is saying we don't believe what Jesus did for us. So BYE regret.
"Here is the simple but profound truth; you cannot go where you are going without leaving where you have been." -
2. Acne + Weight Loss.
Like I'm in my twenties, why am I breaking out like a thirteen year old boy? And WHY am I swollen all the dang time? Alcohol was like "Oh I don't know. You should go out and buy all these products and solutions to try and figure it out." but like NO, alcohol you're the flippin' problem. And the late night fast food.
Cutting alcohol out of my life has my liver C E L E B R A T I N G! And I'm losing weight without really trying. (I'd lose way more if I'd actually get up from this computer and take a walk). My face is clearest it's been in five years. I can actually walk out the door without having to cover up my whole face. To the people who know me.... You think I loved myself before all this mess. HAHA. I LOVE LOVE MYSELF........ on good days of course.
3. My parents like me and I like them.
Now this may just come with age, I can understand that. But I actually have a real relationship with them. Now my mom and I are very similar and we drive each other insane. Now we're fully insane and love each other, when we are on the same page. Let's hope we are on the same page today ;)
Pre sobriety, I was the worst to live with. I was hungover three days out of the week. I would smack a face mask on to hide the post binge drinking puffy eyes from my parents but what I realized I was hiding more than that, I was hiding so much denial with myself. *If I hadn't already over done it, I was going to add the GIF of Dwight wearing the face of the CPR doll, true Office lovers will understand.*
Right now, I'm living with my parents. I'm saving money, okay! Haha. I travel to Honduras too much to rent a place... blah blah blah. BUT I actually enjoy being around my parents and I like to think they like being around me too. My dad even said "Alex, you have been a pleasure to live with this time around." That says A LOT coming from my daddio.
4. Going out with friends can still be fun
I've traded the club sodas + vodka for Topo Chico's and sometimes I'll even get a little crazy and order a Dr. Pepper. But here's the deal friends, drinking isn't bad by any means. When you're using it in moderation and you have control over it. That's awesome. That's just not me. Go hard or go home, right? *rollllllling my eyes*
Some nights, I have fun with my friends and I get drive them home. ALSO, you know how drunk people can just tell you the nicest things and how much you mean to them? And you're drunk too so you don't remember all the special things they said? WELL people still tell you the nicest things when you're sober AND you actually remember what they told. My response is just "tell me more".
I will be honest, some nights it's flat out awkward and you'd rather be at home on couch watching the same movie you have seen 2352 times. Pick your battles. One night you feel being super social and want to get all dressed up, I promise you will have a good time if you got that mind set right. But if you're not totally sure and thinking about how nice the couch would be, literally sit your butt at home and enjoy yourself. You deserve it! It's a normal decision if you're sober or drinking.
5. Some people just won't understand.
AND THAT'S OKAY. DO YOU BOO BOO! I swear some people look at me like I'm missing out on life, but they don't know me and my weaknesses. But the funny thing is, the years of drinking had me missing out on a greater life. God saved me over two years ago in Honduras then the following year God spoke to me over my problem with alcohol. Psshhhh you better believe I ignored Him over that matter for many months. Until the day, I said "I'm done" and God came into my life and guided me through this year. He took away my desires to drink just by speaking those two words. I let go. I let God.
"It's okay to live a life other don't understand." - Terri Savelle Foy
I would legit laugh in people's face when they would say "you don't need alcohol to have fun." Get out of here with that and I'd think they sounded SO stupid. Unfortunately, I am that flippin' person now but I deff don't preach it because I know how annoying it is! But I get asked a lot if I will ever drink again, and I'm not going to give you a yes or no answer. Right now, I just don't see the point of drinking again. I feel so flippin' good and I'm happy!!! Why mess that up?
2017 was a good year! Mainly because I actually remember everything that happened. I learned a lot about myself and who I want to become. I learned more about the God who loves you and me. And all I can say now is, listen.... I experienced the dark days, thankful days and the days where you couldn't feel any more alone. If you have considered to stop drinking. Please don't be afraid to reach out. Email me. Text me. Call me. But don't stalk me. Thanks!
and if you have made it this far...........
"Impossible is where God starts, miracles are what God does."- Christine Caine
MERRY CHRISTMAS + HAPPY NEW YEAR FRIENDS!