One year ago, I stopped drinking. It was one of the easiest and best things I have ever done. You know how much I loved my Vodka and Prosecco so let me explain. I wasn't going to post about is but I do see the value in sharing it so here we go. Also, if I had read this post in 2015 I would have rolled my eyes and said “QUITTER”! Ha! I am fine with any and all reactions to this post. Warning - this is a very long one!
Looking back, I was never a drinker. I drank very little in college. Maybe a wine cooler here and there. I certainly was never drunk. Maybe tipsy at a cast party once? Godspell was intense yo! I was not a drinker much in my twenties. I would go out and have a few beers or White Russians but never was alcohol something I thought about or pursued. I really didn't become a drinker until 36/37years old.
Around 2012 I started drinking heavily and often. We had a house on Cape Cod. I loved entertaining. I loved drinking. I had been doing YouTube for a few years and working from home and pretty isolated and suddenly had lots of real life friends and the drinking was a big part of it. I had the time and money and lack of direction that made it easy to fall into.
By 2014, my marriage was ending and my career was boring so I was drinking a lot to numb, to ignore my feelings, to avoid communicating properly with my ex husband. I knew what I was doing. This is not like I woke up this year and realized this - hyper self-aware as always, even while drunk.
2015 the party continued. I was "celebrating" single life and my new independence. I also was deep in YouTube funk so would much rather have a friend over and day drink vs. make another stupid video about a Kardashian. The online persona I had created taunted and tortured me.
This was the time alcohol really tricked my brain to think it was helping. Oops! Sneaky alcohol! In my defense, I was on Cape Cod, I could have easily turned to Heroin! Jokes!
By the spring of 2016 I wanted to stop. Maybe? Not really. Or at least drink less. I did. For a week. Maybe two. All through the rest of 2016, I was mindful of how much I was drinking. Trying to count drinks on my calendar. It was tedious. I hated it. I cried about it. Prayed about it. Journaled about it. Obsessed about it. Took online quizzes to see if I had a drinking problem. Pretty much everyone does if you take that quiz!! HA!!
I really gave so much power to alcohol. Posted on Facebook about it. And when 1 or 2 people expressed they were glad I had stopped drinking so much it totally annoyed me and made me want to drink more. Haha!!!! Of course I wrote back "thank you for your concern" but I wanted to write back "Go fuck yourself." HaHa!!!
I was never a drink 1-3 drinks drinker so cutting back was not enjoyable. I didn't want a glass of Prosecco. I wanted a bottle. Or three. I have always been a very fast drinker. Alcohol, soda, water, I am always chugging something. We would go out to breakfast and the waitress would bring me 2 diet cokes right away knowing I would down them and want more.
And my tolerance for booze was nuts (especially for someone so tiny!......I'm being funny). I could drink so much and was certainly proud at YouTube events when others were hurting and looking at me like "How is Buck not hungover "? Thanks for all the free drink tickets. Love you! Haha!
I started being very aware of people on Facebook who had stopped drinking and quietly took inventory how great their life had improved. Thank you. Many of you know who you are as I have reached out privately. I love Facebook!
By January of 2017, life was going very well. I launched my coaching business. I was making the money and having the success I had not experienced in 3 to 4 years. I was happy, fulfilled and had purpose, yet I was still drinking a lot.
I was behaving like 2015 me but living a very different life so it seemed silly 2017 me was still getting hammered. A drunk YouTuber seemed fine to me. A drunk Life Coach did not.
Alcohol no longer served me or suited me and yet I continued to drink a lot.
I knew I was drinking more than I needed or wanted to but my lower brain had full control.
Quitting sounded boring. I loved Bloody Mary's at the airport didn't I?
I would watch Real Housewives and see Kim or Eden talk about being sober woman and I thought ewwww. LOL. That is not me. Mind you I think alcohol is the least of their problems. ROFLMAO!
I was life coaching my clients and all the work I did with them certainly rubbed off on me. I wanted to show up to each call as my best self and as a role model to them.
I had a client tell me about a book he read called "Stop Drinking Now, the Alan Carr EasyWay". He said he had no desire to ever drink alcohol again.
Two days later I read the book and became a " Happy non-drinker"! I love that term. I have given up nothing. Nothing.
It has been effortless. I haven't stopped smiling since. If you asked why I stopped I could tell you 20 reasons. I couldn't think of one reason to continue to drink.
I continue to go out. I go to happy hour. I am still the life of the party. Lord knows I never needed alcohol to make me less inhibited. I continue to take my shirt off for no reason and talk about sex with strangers. Haha!
My skin looks better. I'm sleep better. My weight had gotten up to 170. It is 150 now.
The quality of my relationships and interactions is better. My self-respect and confidence are at an all time high. Everything is so clear now. My focus, my creativity, my general mood, everything is heightened and joy filled.
I save I would guess 10k a year in all the drinks I used to buy. 10k!!!! At least.
I am showing up for my life everyday. Drinking was my buffering and truly delayed me beginning my life's great work.
I have zero regrets. I had a great run! I was mostly fun/totally affectionate drunk. Right? Haha! It suited me to drink for a few years. This was the perfect time to stop. It all lined up just right.
I miss nothing about drinking. Nothing. I'll drink seltzer in a champagne flute to be festive. I liked the festive glass all along more than what was in it.
2017 me had grown and evolved so much. Becoming a "happy non-drinker" is the cherry on top! I love the semantics of that. It hits my brain in the right spot. I have quit nothing.
I also had given up diet soda so easily my brain had done lots of the work to prepare for this. The pre-frontal cortex is powerful once you get it working! Now I am rambling.....
I would love to write more about the book because it was magical. Truly one of the easiest things I have ever done in my life is stop drinking because of it. But I don't want to be preachy about that stuff but pick it up if you are interested. It's amazing.
Feel free to private message me if you want to chat more in depth about it. Happy to answer any questions in the comments too. I simply trained my brain to be a non -drinker just as easily as I trained it to be a drinker. Easy? Yes. I always tell my clients it is just as easy to think lovely thoughts about yourself as it is to think shitty thoughts about yourself. Okay that is enough.
This is a wonderful time in my life. I am so excited for what is next. I am so excited for you to meet this version of myself- totally authentic and totally not buffering.
Update - this post was from a year ago so I wanted to add some updated reflections.
I am proud of myself. I made a commitment to myself and honored it.
It was easy. I think I didn't stop sooner cuz I thought it would be hard to stop or that it would suck to not drink.
I am not "sober". I do not use that word. I did take a sip of beer or two during flip cup recently as I was determined to win and my club soda was done. I won bitches. PS - draft beer is as gross as I recalled!
If someone asks me why I don't drink, I simply say "I prefer not to".
If they question further, I follow up with "I have lived as a heavy drinker, a social drinker and a non-drinker and I just love the not drinking".
I still have no taste or desire for alcohol.
I did toy with becoming a social drinker again when I moved to Denver for like a moment for the "sake" of new friendships and possible new boyfriends. But that is silly and not a compelling reason to drink. So I worked through those thoughts.
I do love when people come up to me at a bar and comment they can't believe I am not drinking and this outgoing and fun without it. HAHA! Someone said the other day " how are you just like this??".
I love all my new friendships and that this is the only version of me they will ever meet. I love that I don't have to send awkward texts the next day after a night out. I am still obnoxious and sexual. I just recall it all! HAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I love the saving SO MUCH money. I love that I have maintained my ideal weight all year. I love I can drive everywhere and not worry about drinking. I love I can still go out till 2am dancing!
I realize alcohol took up a lot of space in my life. All my activities involved drinking so now it is so full of much more diverse activities.
It also took up a lot of space mentally. I go to events now and the line for booze is so long and I think "Oh if I was still drinking I would be irritated." HAHA! Also I think of things I went to that I needed to pre-game to get through. Like oh this is gonna suck - let's have drinks before we go to deal.
Now, I have nothing to "deal" with. I am living a life 100% of the time that does not need escaping.
That is the freedom.
That is the magic.
Still things happen in my life, dogs get sick, crushes fall through, I get up and sing horribly at karaoke and can't hide in the corner with a vodka soda. HAHA!!!
But I am here for all of it and I love being here for all of it!
I want to tell you all, if I can do it, you can do it. I promise you do not have to drink.