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A Year of Sobriety

(This post originally appeared in the May 27, 2022)

"Maybe a year of not drinking is the answer" I wondered last October as I started thinking about the hole I felt inside. What would it be like if I chose not to drink for one year? What would I learn about myself? Why was I drinking so much wine in the first place?

These are the questions I asked myself over and over again as New Years Eve 2021 approached, even as I questioned if I could actually do a year without drinking. Even my husband said, "But there would be a carve out for date night, right?" No. There would be no carve outs, just commitment to being with my emotions and going deeper into the why.

And so, New Year's Eve happened. I drank my final glasses of wine as we celebrated with friends and took on my first challenge the next morning as everyone else enjoyed mimosas.

Have I maintained my commitment? Absolutely.

When I've wanted a glass (or glasses) of wine, I've tuned in to what emotions I was feeling and explored what was behind them. This Emotion Wheel by Abby VanMuijen has been an invaluable tool. So has reminding myself that feelings aren't inherently good or bad, they just have different energy and pleasantness as author Marc Brackett points out in Permission to Feel.

Soon, I'll face my biggest challenge yet: an all-inclusive vacation in Playa Del Carmen with one of my best friends. The challenge isn't whether to drink. Either/or-ing this decision is way too simple. The challenge is diving into making an intentional decision that feels empowering, self-honoring, and quieting of my inner critic.

What will I do? I'm not sure yet. Keep an eye out for my next newsletter. I'll share what I ultimately decide and how I arrived at that decision.

Until then, sending all my love.


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