“There is no way I can get thru the holidays without drinking!”
“It’s so hard not to drink on the weekend, I can’t do it!”
“I can’t go to a party and not drink.”
“Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies", says Stevie Nicks.
These are lies I told myself so I could continue to drink. The truth was I wasn’t ready to stop. I always had an excuse – after the wedding next weekend, after this work trip, after this birthday party coming up.
If we are not ready to change, we will find every excuse, including lying to ourselves, not to. Change is tough. Big change requires a period of time, feeling uncomfortable. We don’t like feeling uncomfortable so we stay stuck in our old habits, our old routines, our comfort zones --even though they may be killing us.
We all know people who never change. 25 years can go by and they still have the same set of friends, same job. They still go to the same bars and restaurants, still talk about the same things. They still live in the same house and still drive the same old car. It’s like the music to their life is stuck on repeat. Some are even still wearing the same clothes!
I never want to be afraid of changing again. I believe that we are supposed to change. If we aren’t evolving, we aren’t learning and if we aren’t learning we aren’t growing.
The toxic relationship I was in with alcohol kept me small. It kept me from growing both emotionally and psychologically. It stunted the potential I had for living my best life.
The alcohol didn’t want me to thrive -- it wanted me to stay small and dependent and stuck in a cycle of telling myself lies. My music was stuck on repeat for too long. Drink, hangover, shame, drink, hangover, guilt, drink, hangover, anxiety, drink. So I decided to stop lying to myself and start telling myself the truth:
There is a way I CAN get thru the holidays without drinking.
It is hard not to drink on the weekend and I CAN do hard things.
I CAN go to a party and not drink.
I CAN become a non-drinker. I C-A-N do it.
Will it be easy? No. At first, it is very uncomfortable. It feels hard because it is NEW. My entire first year sober was new. All 365 days were new.
I learned how to celebrate a holiday or special occasion without drinking.
I learned how to enjoy my weekend without drinking.
I learned how to vacation and not drink.
I learned how to go to a party, not drink and still have some fun.
I learned how I was going to relax without alcohol.
I learned how to manage stress, fatigue, sadness, grief and loneliness without reaching for a drink.
I learned how to feel comfortable in my own skin without needing alcohol for anything.
I also learned:
That my hardest day sober hasn’t come close to being as uncomfortable as my hardest day actively drinking.
That the less new it became, the less hard it felt.
That staying sober takes practice and hard work.
That I CAN do hard things.
I CAN be happy and enjoy my life 10x more without drinking a drop of alcohol.
I grew. I evolved. I changed. I’ve changed so much that I don’t identify with drinking Megan anymore. I will always love her, but I had to let her go in order to spread my wings and fly.
Telling yourself the truth can set you free.