Fall Alcohol Cleanup

“All the life events we circle our wine bottles around thinking it will be SO MUCH BETTER if I have that hefty glass in my hand while doing X is such bullshit.”  – by Me

For those of you who don’t know me well, I quit drinking 532 days ago  that’s about 1 ½ years. Oh…you may be saying she had a problem, she had issues. Nah…I had enough. Had a bad night, took days to recover and thought “There has to be a better way, I don’t like ME when I’m like this.”

My choice was wine. Loved my wine! Loved my glass! It was a ritual, a habit, a cave in which to hide. But then! I got older. My body reminded me that age was creeping in. I couldn’t recover as quick the next day. I kept berating myself when I would drink too much. You know what I’m talking about ladies…book club night, Wednesday night out because, oh I don’t know, it’s Wednesday. I was planning my week around Happy Hours. I’m not alone in this…don’t deny it to your inner self. You’re there. You want to stop. How? How do you continue to surround yourself with your friends and family while doing activities and be (gasp) sober?

Well, put on your big girl panties and let’s do this.

How much longer do you want to wake up, having that meh feeling in your body and mouth, having to drink too much coffee and then eating a big greasy breakfast to function? Oh, did I mention? There’s the guilt…the guilt because you had started back at the gym and now you have to work-out double time to get rid of the alcohol you ingested that went right to your gut. You know what I mean…the bloated morning after belly.

I could keep going, but that’s not the point of this. My point is to tell you that you CAN be with others and you CAN have a fun time and you CAN be OK.

Here’s the thing – your life will change, period. What was once so much fun under the influence, won’t be. The people you found so enticing and engaging will not be that way anymore. Why? Because the alcohol fog will have lifted and you will see your life with clarity. You will feel empowered in ways you never thought possible. Now, don’tmisinterpret me when I say empowered. I don’t mean you’re better than the next person due to quitting – I’m referring to that inner power of being able to shut off that internal whiny voice of needing a substance to stand tall and be proud of who you are.

Will you upset folks around you? Yes! You will. That’s their stuff, not yours. Not for you to justify your actions to, not for you to explain why you’re doing it, not for you to get on a soapbox and regale them with the woes of alcohol that toxic shitty substance we’ve been brainwashed to put into our bodies to “relax.”

If you want to stop, then stop. Make the commitment first. Commit to you and only you can do this.

Robert Downey Jr. was on Oprah once and she asked him how he was doing with his rehab. Great! Really? How is that possible, she asked. You’ve been in and out of at least a dozen with no relief. What’s different this time? He responded “I did it for myself this time. No one else.”

If you want more information on how I quit, email me at info@elainelilley.com and I would be happy to talk with you. I’m always happy to share my joy of freedom from alcohol with anyone who wants to listen. Please don’t email me to debate the virtues of alcohol. **

**Disclaimer: I am not a certified Substance Abuse Counselor. For those in need, please contact your local agency. This is about my journey.