I know, I know! Many who have known me for a while may be shocked. And many more are thinking 20 reasons and doubt there’s a good one! I get you. In past years, I would have rolled my eyes seeing a title like this. Even just last year I would’ve thought, but is a whole year of SOBRIETY really necessary though? I totally understand AND here is this post to shed some light on why I have chosen to do this!
Sorry for the book
Haha, laughing because I always say this, sorry for the book! I wanted to give a little background on each word in case it relates to someone. So bear with me as this is a bit lengthy. Feel free to scroll to the bottom if you are just here for some tips on support!
In no particular order, but the most important is # 20 if you want to skip to that. 😉
- Anxiety. I’m not one who struggles with anxiety on the regular. I tend to get social anxiety at times, but in general it’s not an all day, every day thing. Unless, I drank last night. If I drank last night then it’s guaranteed I’m waking up with my heart racing. Did I drink too much last night? Was I being obnoxious? Was I acting like a different person? Or was I responsible? Did I black out? “No… Are you sure?” Did I black out? “Yes… You screw up, who knows what you did? Will anyone tell you what you did? Will you ever know what you did?
- Laziness. Some people can drink the night away, wake up the next morning, check everything off their to-do list, AND THEN go kick butt at work all day. I cannot. I want to sleep in, eat, and veg out on the couch while trying desperately to escape my alcohol-induced anxiety.
- Weight. I’ve been on a rollercoaster with my weight for the past 6/7 years. Weight wasn’t a concern to me until around age 20. Freshman 15 plus first pregnancy 50 threw me into being “health conscious.” Quotes because I pretty much starved myself and did cardio 6 days a week and wound up looking sick on my wedding day. I’ve never made a huge lifestyle change to become consistent and maintain a healthy weight. As of now this will be my biggest change and it can only be beneficial.
- Time. I’ve struggled the recent years, just in keeping up with life. It seems there’s never enough time to accomplish all that I need to. Well, drinking never leads to me spending any time doing anything productive, actually quite the opposite so…. insert sobriety!
- Kids. My kids deserve the best. Me drinking isn’t the best. Too many times I have prioritized bedtime over a tickle fight and stories because I knew my favorite beverage was waiting in the fridge. So backwards.
- Health. Technically speaking, alcohol is poison to the body. I used to view it as a liquid candy bar for the calories, but honestly that’s too innocent.
- Career. I’ve always been indecisive about my dream career. I don’t ever remember having a career in mind (for longer than a year at the MOST) that I was certain about wanting to pursue. This year I need all the extra time and clear thinking I can get to buckle down and seek God about figuring this out.
- Addiction. I’ve had addictive tendencies in the past with alcohol and other things (more on that another day). It’s been a good couple years since I’ve fallen into a slump with it, but I could still see some weeks early last year where I would begin to fall back and want drinks not only once or twice, but maybe 3 or 4 times a week. With my past, that’s more than I’m comfortable with because I know what it can turn into. Sobriety is a good way to not feed a potential addiction.
- Identity. I’ve been searching for that. It’s something I’ve struggled with severely. After years of doing what it takes to fit in just to feel accepted and liked, I found myself wondering who am I? What does Nicole like? Is this Nicole’s style? What is Nicole’s personality? I’ve grown so much in the past 4 months (Shoutout to my “Table Family”), and in that time I was having less and less desire for alcohol. I know without it in the mix at all, the growth is about to be crazy!
- Friendship. It’s reallllly difficult to form a friendship when you don’t know who you are. I got to a point where I realized that I don’t know how to hang out without alcohol. If you are reading this.. and we aren’t super close.. and we have ever hung out together without alcohol.. there is 110% chance that I was sweating bullets on the inside wondering how to literally function. If I said something that didn’t make sense, please don’t judge, I was just trying to fill the space and probably stumbled over my words and forgot what I was going to say because I didn’t know how to form friendships without alcohol.
- Family. Obviouslyyy biasedddd (said in a singy song voice), but I have the best family. I put them through it and they never left my side. Actually, recently my mom and oldest sister have been shedding some light on what things looked like on their side through my darkest times and it has been overwhelmingly sobering (fitting lol). Because of the extent of my past, they would still worry about me if they knew I was drinking any alcohol even up until last year. I think they deserve the relief of sobriety as much as I do.
- Fitness. I love fitness. From the time I was picking daisies in a soccer field at age 3 up until I graduated high school, I was always in a sport. If none were in season, then I was practicing for them. Over half of my life I was more active than not. I’m ready to get back to that. On my health rollercoaster, I’ve had some good recent years, but also some not so good. Drinking does not make me want to go to the gym..and I want to get back in the gym.
- Rest. If you know me, you know I’m always tired. My sweet children won’t sleep through the night.. I don’t know what that’s about lol. During the day, they’re both non stop. It’s a lot to keep up with! By the time they get to bed (and I know I only have a couple hours because one of them will wake up before 2 am guaranteed) I have a million things to get done, I also want to relax, and I also want to watch a show. So I stay up late most nights. Add alcohol to the mix and I’m all sorts of behind.
- Depression. Alcohol is a downer. It’s not good for those with depression. I’ve got some struggles I’m working to overcome and I can’t label myself without the schooling, but I know alcohol adds to depression and it’s not beneficial to add to my mix. (ha.ha. no pun intended.)
- Role model. I’ve had a dream of speaking to younger girls to teach and give insight on certain dangers you may see when going into college. Speaking to those who have already fallen into the dangers and giving them hope on climbing out is also apart of that! I cannot see how I would accomplish this with excellence unless I am a good role model of that which I feel requires sobriety.
- Budget. We are really trying to budget this year. We’ve fallen into the good ole American dream, complete with debt to pay off! Considering alcohol is not a necessity..it’s quite expensive! Especially for the weeks that turned into 4 nights of enough alcohol for 2 people with a growing tolerance. (Not proud, very annoyed.)
- Wisdom. Some have a couple drinks and you’d never know, but others get a little buzz and must have more. It was really unknown if I would follow my self-given limit for the night or not. Would I remember wisdom? Or would I decide that ehhhh 1 more is fine.. and it’s never just 1 more. Also, when the latter happens, my decision-making skills are trash and unpredictable. Just no good.
- Chances. Those poor decision-making skills I was just talking about? Jesus has carried me safely through enough of them. Even now, I’m embarrassed of some past situations that I allowed alcohol and myself to get me in. I could have easily died or put others in harms way. Shout out to my Savior, but that’s enough of that.
- Conviction. This is all personal so some will feel it and others won’t. The past few years (on and off) I’ve woken up after a night of drinking with an enormous weight of guilt to carry. Even if I just sat in the living room watching TV and drinking, I would wake up with guilt. For me personally, the Holy Spirit was just tryna be like, “hey… don’t do that.” Sobriety=no guilt from drinking…obviously haha.
- Kingdom. The whole reason I am here on this earth and Jesus has saved me from all the messes I’ve put myself in. To further His Kingdom. I’ve lived enough years with one foot in and one foot out. Nothing has changed, I’ve always slid backwards or stayed stagnant. I’m over it. This year, people will begin to see Who I live for before the words leave my mouth. This year, I’ve already (after weeks of mentoring, learning, and practice) joined the worship team after Jesus gave me a vision of that very thing 5 years ago. And this year, I will lead people to Christ because Jesus won’t just be a good ole pal who I call when I need Him. He will be front and center in all that I do. For me personally, alcohol just can’t be apart of that. And I’m cool with it…
I’ve seen a good bit of sobriety support circulating lately. There are a lot of great tips out there, I just wanted to share some that have been especially helpful to me on my own sobriety journey.
- Invite your sober friends to do things with a focus. Coffee, a walk in the park, lunch, or shopping for home decor, ect. A broad “let’s hang out tonight” can insinuate drinking is apart of the plan, but giving them a specific focal point tells them what the plan is. A focal point also helps if they have struggled making/keeping friendships without alcohol because they don’t have to worry about what to converse about.
- Encourage your friends to be themselves. When they post something, comment with some love. If they have unique traits, point them out. Let them know you see and appreciate their personality. Many starting in sobriety thought that they required “liquid courage” to remove insecurities so getting that support soberly helps show it’s not necessary.
- I’ve seen this many times, but it’s absolutely worth mentioning again. Do. Not. Ask. Where. Their. Drink. Is. If anyone ever wants a drink, it is really no concern of yours anyways (or it shouldn’t be).
- If drinking alcohol is a “neither here nor there” thing for you…join them! Making that change alone can be extremely difficult. Thankfully, my husband is on the journey with me now and since he has joined it has been significantly easier. You know what they say..strength in numbers!
If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol, there is help! Don’t let life pass you by while letting a beverage (that’s deteriorating your body) control your life. I’m excited to see where life goes this year without alcohol ever clouding my vision!!
Check back here for more related posts in the near future!