I am very open about the fact that I struggled with a crack addiction growing up and have been free of drugs for many many years. I always kept alcohol in my life because I never had an issue with it and would only drink once every few months. But even drinking every few months proved to have a detrimental impact on my well being and it wasn’t until I quit that I made this realization.
One year ago I got really intoxicated at a stampede party and got into a physical altercation with someone who meant a lot to me. I blacked out and wasn’t thinking with my rational mind. After this day I chose to quit drinking and my life has completely changed since.
Most of my life I have struggled with anxiety and one of the reasons I drank was to take the edge off in social settings. It gave me liquid courage to show up as “me” and not worry about being judged.
This weekend I went to the same party where I got a little wild last year and was 100% sober. I had so much fun and really settled into my own throughout the day. I faced my anxiety head on instead of masking it with drinks and when I did that my anxiety left me because I replaced it with courage instead of alcohol.
When we practice facing our fears they leave our being and are replaced with courage and confidence. When we repress our fears they stay trapped inside of us and control us into staying stuck in who we don’t want to be. For me this was what alcohol represented in my life so it had to go.
Here is how my life has changed since I chose to give up alcohol one year ago:
1. I have much more strength and consistency in my workouts
Drinking for me was a set back and it was like pushing reset on all my fitness progress every time I would tie one on. I would find it hard for at least a day or two after drinking as it would impact how hard I could go at the gym. I would have to cut back my weights because my strength on Monday was not matching where I left off the week before.
2. My confidence has improved
I have always been socially anxious and used alcohol as liquid courage. Going out socially and being sober allowed me to practice facing my fears and transform them into courage because I am no longer held hostage by my social anxiety. I now know that I can do everything I needed alcohol for sober.
3. My testosterone levels are up
Alcohol is directly related to males having low testosterone levels and since being alcohol free my levels have increased from blood test results. I notice having more energy, higher sex drive, and an overall better mood.
4. I don’t have that stubborn belly fat that is impossible to get rid of when I was drinking
This is due to calories, hormones and the lifestyle that comes with not drinking.
5. My choices are a reflection of who I really am not what alcohol is telling me to do
I don’t rely on alcohol to help me be myself. It feels good when I make courageous choices sober because I get much more reward then if I was pissed drunk. I can actually be proud of me for choosing courage over the comfort of needing alcohol to be myself.
6. I save so much money and can now travel more
Drinking isn’t cheap, let alone the whole night that comes with drinking. Whenever I was drunk, I would spend so much more money because I didn’t care. The “I’ll deal with it tomorrow” mindset never got me anywhere but broke and unable to do the things I really wanted to do with my life like travelling and buying nice things for myself.
7. I don’t sleep with people I wouldn’t otherwise sleep with
Promiscuity is a real problem for me when I’m drinking. I’m glad that this chapter of my life is over and I don’t have to regret who or what I did the night before.
8. My Sundays are spent doing active things that feed my soul
Instead of feeding my body with junk food because I’m hungover and craving sugar and salt, I feed my soul with things that make me feel good and set myself up for another great week.
9. My friend group has changed
I am now surrounded by people who support my health not pressure me into deteriorating it. When I quit drinking, not only did I change my intimate relationship, but my friend group shifted as well because I am no longer interested in occupying my time with activities that are built around alcohol.
10. I am more connected to myself and source
This is probably the biggest one for me. When I quit using substances to deal with my life, my life had to be dealt with. I had to find ways to express myself because I was no longer using repression as a coping mechanism. My spiritual connection to myself and God is what has allowed me to dive so deep into myself and become the person I am today.
If you are finding it hard to stick to your plan to achieve your goals you may want to take a look at your alcohol consumption because it can be one of those things that you don’t really realize how much of a negative impact it is having on your momentum.
Momentum week after week is what achieves goals. If you keep making choices that kill your momentum then you will be making it way harder on yourself to get the results you desire.