Chasing What Feels Good

And after 12 days of Dry January, I cracked. I was strangely nervous about making this choice for fear of the judgment and harsh criticism that I thought would come from my ego about breaking the promise I made to stay dry the entirety of January. Surprisingly, I have zero regrets or feelings of guilt. I’ll start by saying: I have always been really intense about committing to habits, a blessing and a curse. Before I was conscious of this trait, I would absolutely berate myself for “cheating”, crippled with anxiety about choosing to do anything “bad”. As the years have gone by, I have had to really give myself permission to loosen the reigns and I’m proud that I’ve become strong enough to let this roll off my back. 

Even in 12 days, I feel like I have so much more clarity about my relationship with alcohol. It feels like I was in college a lifetime ago and I guess it has been a full year since my friends and I were living our best life pregaming date parties and spending nights out til 2am at the bars. Not unlike most, the pandemic changed life as I knew it. I found myself in March sad and anxious wondering what comes next. Add in a lot more free time to practice my mixology 🤪 I found myself drinking excessively almost every night. The year has gone on and my habits have ebbed and flowed, but, by the end of the year, I found myself not being mindful whatsoever about my choices. I do not feel that choosing to drink makes you good or bad, but when I found myself slamming down drinks on a Tuesday to completely numb anxiety or stress, I knew I needed to change something. Being “dry” makes you feel things in a completely new way and you search for new ways to cope with the challenges of life. I found myself eating cookie dough for dinner after a bad day at work or (literally) driving way too fast around town. These are moments that we all go through and I’m grateful that I can recognize when I’m feeling this way. Throughout this 2ish weeks, I have really recognized the moments that I feel like I “need” a drink. Is it because I am just feeling naturally anxious? Stressful day at work? Frustrated with someone? I tried to really feel through those moments. When I chose to drink this weekend, I was spending time hanging out with friends on a Saturday and enjoying the company of people I love. I think there is a huge difference between these scenarios, but neither is “good” or “bad”. They are all moments we go through on the journey of life. 

On the flip side, when I woke up Sunday morning with a raging headache and exhausted from a night of tossing and turning, I realized how much alcohol makes me feel like shit! After 12 days of feeling leaner, full of so much energy, glowing skin, etc, I realized that this is not how I want to feel. I think it was necessary for me to allow myself a couple of drinks to notice the difference. So now, I’m choosing to stay fully dry for a few more weeks. I’m not forcing myself and I think that’s the difference. Choosing to move through life with grace and mindfulness is how I want to live. Even in social and fun scenarios that alcohol will be apart of in the future, I want to move forward with extreme mindfulness. My relationship with alcohol, unlike just about every other area of my life, is something I have never analyzed in such great detail. This clarity that I’m experiencing is something that I really enjoy. Personally, it’s important for me to affirm that I can be fun, engaging, vulnerable, and confident without having to have a couple of drinks. Being able to work on letting people in without the veil of alcohol has been cool for me. Again, my goal of writing in detail about this journey is not to declare that I can’t or won’t drink again or something that I want to use to make anyone think their choices are good or bad. The goal in living is to not judge ourselves for anything that we choose to do. Instead, we can move forward in a conscious way and note how what we choose to do affects the way that we feel. I think I’m realizing slowly every day that the “why” behind my love for wellness is that our lives flow more easefully when we genuinely feel good in our own skin. And it feels so damn good to feel good. I hope that we never stop chasing what makes us feel good.