On this day last year, I had my last drop of alcohol. I’ll never forget that day, and it’s given me cause to celebrate every year by giving up something that is holding me back.
To be clear, I don’t have any hang-ups with alcohol. It’s just not for me. So this is not me preaching about the benefits of sobriety, though I believe there are many.
Last year, I was on my trip across the country, specifically in Ouray, Colorado. I was so excited to go there because it was where I had chosen to set a novel I was ruminating on (which has since been put on the shelf).
To be honest, I was let down by Ouray. The people were fantastic, it just wasn’t what I had imagined visually. It’s what you get for Google searching images of tiny mountain towns.
One of the stops I made was to a local brewery. I had worked for a brewery for a while at that point, so I was excited to try a bunch of breweries as I was going on my trip. The beer was good, and I left. Wanting to work off the buzz, I went to a nearby trail to hike to a waterfall.
Before I go further, I should mention one thing that happened before this trip. To make a very long story short, I had a potential relationship fall apart after a night that I had spent drinking. Though I have no confirmation, I believe it’s because I was acting differently under the influence. So, with that backdrop…
I started up the hill toward the waterfall. I stopped, already breathing heavily. And I did that again about 6 times on the way to the waterfall. The path was less than a half-mile long.
It was definitely a combination of my being out of shape and the booze, but either way, I was embarrassed. Embarrassed that I, someone who had run a marathon, couldn’t make it up a hill. I felt like I was limiting my experience on my trip by not only being out of shape but also by being in an altered state.
I had long been using alcohol to achieve that altered state, to avoid dealing with the work necessary to be a better version of myself. And I had finally had enough. As I drove out of that tiny little town, I promised myself I was done with alcohol.
So, I’ve made it a year. And for the most part, I haven’t craved alcohol. I have my moments, like most sober folks, but I’ve taken that pledge to myself very seriously. And I know the work I’ve done can be undone in a second.
Yesterday, my horoscope gave me new inspiration. Here’s what it said:
Sugar, junk food, gluten—goodbye! You’re motivated to improve your health habits today as the moon in Sagittarius, your sixth house of wellness, forms a supportive trine to go-getter Mars. Any other day, you may gripe about having to give up a beloved indulgence, but now, you’re a veritable machine when it comes to eating clean and green—and adopting a fierce exercise routine to match. Use this healthy mojo to kickstart a whole new regimen, instituting lasting structures and habits. Pretty soon, you won’t even recognize your stronger, glowing self.
It was very poignant. So, every year, on my sobriety day, October 21st, I’ll be committing to removing a limiting behavior in my life. I am now addicted to growth and not being stagnant, and I have a laundry list of things that I know I can be better at. Starting with my health.
I’ve always kind of been able to eat what I wanted, even when I went plant-based. But as I’ve toyed with my diet, I’ve learned what really causes me to have a drop in focus and discipline. And my dependency on alcohol was replaced by sugar and dairy, both of which have been extremely limiting for me. So I’m starting there. No processed sugar, and reverting back to being plant-based as frequently as possible.
I’m not perfect, and I know I’ll have moments, especially because these addictions are much stronger than any others I’ve dealt with. But I’ve managed to make it a whole year without a drop of alcohol, so why not those as well?
My purpose in writing this was simple: I believe that speaking an action helps to manifest it. And I also believe that sometimes people just need a nudge. I am by no means an influencer, but if anyone takes anything away from my story, it will have been worth telling. Peace, love, and positivity.