This post is kind of heavy. Grab your mug of coffee and proceed when you’re ready…
Last Summer I was involved in an incident that really shook up my world. What should have been a typical night out with friends turned into an absolute nightmare. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get into the details of the situation on my blog. It is something I’ve been torn on; part of me is afraid of opening up to, well, the many strangers that read this blog, yet part of me aches to reach out to so many girls my age in hopes they never get put in the same position. After the incident I was in a state of shock and dealt with it the way I have always dealt with crises. My emotions erupted for about 24 hours and then I forced myself to return to normalcy. You never would have even noticed on my blog, because I forced myself to cover it up. The morning after, I somehow convinced myself that I was supposed to move on. I had library books that needed to be returned. I had lunch plans with a friend. I had to go to the gym. I quickly realized that I needed to stop pretending like nothing was wrong, called out of work, and drove to my aunt’s house to be somewhere I felt protected.
I didn’t work for over 2 weeks and spent time with my family and friends who were an incredible support system. I can never thank these people enough for the care they gave me. I didn’t go downtown for almost month, but eventually felt ready. My anxiety while out was really high, fearing what could possibly happen again. Because of this, I drank quickly. And heavily. To not be scared anymore. To forget what had happened. To dismiss the flashbacks. It started to become a problem.
Looking back on the past six months, I’ve realized that no, I wasn’t heavily drinking most days of the week, but I was using alcohol as a crutch for problems, both big and small. Long day at work? Oh, a glass of wine will fix that. Stressed out about something trivial? A glass of wine can fix that too. I didn’t think that a glass of wine here and there really mattered, and that getting hammered on the weekends was anything out of the ordinary for a girl in her 20s. I’ve had some days when I woke up in a fog from the 2 glasses of wine at dinner, and some days when I feel horrible after acting like a wild college student. More importantly, when I think about all the time I spent doing that instead of focusing on the issues at hand and what I could do to resolve them, I’m bothered. That’s not the way to deal with things. The last six months have been full of stress, unresolved issues, and funky moods. I need to get back the happy-go-lucky girl that I really am. And I will.
I recently spent some time with someone who reminded me that even though I have a really difficult time talking about my feelings, doing so helps, and it’s worth being pulled out of your comfort zone and opening up. So here I am (somewhat) opening up to you! Last week I made the decision to temporarily remove alcohol from my life to remind myself of the much healthier ways to deal with stress. I know exactly what I’m supposed to do, I was just taking an easy route before. No more of that. For 25 days, I’m living my life alcohol free. I’m spending the time focusing – on what I want career-wise, relationship-wise, and in life in general, and figuring out the steps to GET IT. I stopped drinking a week ago, and I already feel a difference in my overall mood, productivity, and clarity. I’ve also noticed I’m eating more healthfully and my workouts are much more energetic. I know several people who never drink and I’ve often wondered how and why they choose not to. I know that most people have a healthy relationship with alcohol, and even though I don’t think mine is out of control, I do think I need to check myself before I wreck myself. So if you don’t think I’m totally wacky and you’ve actually read all of this, then join me on my journey over the next couple of weeks. Hold me accountable and I’ll tell you about how I’m stuffing my face with candy instead of alcohol and how awkward going out downtown is without a drink in hand. Yup, get ready for some funny stories.
What’s your drinking style? Ever feel the need to detox for a bit?
For those of you who abstain completely, do you have a reason?