(The cards in the photo are from a participant in My Great Big Fantastical Life, an exercise we are doing making what we call, Grace of My Being cards. The Supra Oracle deck is one of my teaching tools in the circle and the pink salt is for sorting chaotic energy.)
Starting with, I have no idea what moderate drinking even is. There are guidelines, there are formulas, but whatever, to me it was drinking less. A shit ton less. Like three drinks in three months, not a daily drink moderation.
Recently I was asked why I didn't just land there, if I could drink less, why didn't I choose that? Why did I stop drinking?
I assumed that would be an easy answer but I've found myself thinking about the question for weeks.
It feels more like not drinking found me, invited me inside of it.
There was a insane amount of emotional space taken up when moderately drinking; should I drink at that party, if I'm not drinking will I fit in, one drink leading to the next day feeling to have another, not wanting to seem 'other' in social situations.
And the biggest one, I was no longer allowing myself to manage my anxiety through drinking, but keeping the door open for moderation was causing me deep anxiety.
I wanted to stop drinking but didn't want to BE a person who had stopped drinking. That was not the identity I had ever lived towards.
I realized those three drinks I had in those three months weren't about me. They were about wanting to fit in, conform, please others. I knew inside that my time with alcohol (as I always say, for today) was over. For today, I choose not to drink. The times I chose to were not for myself.
Once you receive the invitation to release alcohol and get a glimpse of your own integrity it is really hard to take those sips without it consuming your brain space.
Thinking about if I would drink or not, or if it was moderate enough, was exhausting.
More than anything, living into my integrity has been iterative living kicking my ass on most days. I can't play from integrity if I drink. I don't feel kindness when I drink.
Those were my deal breakers. It has taken this entire year to feel like I know what the ground is since I stopped drinking.
You redefine everything, your identity, the way people respond to you, your position on alcohol, the way you look at people in a group who drink and slowly become other.
That is brutal.
There is a softening, it does come, and it feels in so many ways like starting over. A return to a young self that you get to raise through a smarter, grown up body.
Dave and I used to drink almost every night of the week and Bloody Mary on Saturdays. Now we giggle more, fight less, talk deeper and longer, eat cookies with milk, read more books, love sweeter, walk in the woods every day together at the time when we would have been pouring a glass of wine, begin Saturday's with pancakes and hot chocolate and honor each other in our choices.
I'm not writing this so I can convince anyone to stop drinking.
I honestly am not invested in your drinking.
I am invested in my integrity and living into what that means, one part is being honest about my journey with alcohol and giving space to hold my point of view and share stories just as I would any other part of my healing work.
Because this decision has redefined everything for me. I can't leave it out of the story.
And for you: to take care of you, if my stories about drinking/not drinking will trigger you or confront you in a way that isn't kind to yourself, please support yourself and stop reading.
Integrity and kindness. I'm in it.
I'm working on dreaming up some new offerings and ways of being of service. I imagine I'll start to attract more women who are sober curious or doing the dance of moderation that eats up their brain space, just as I was last year.
I want to infuse Spiritstyle and the parts of self and how integrity and kindness are woven into those in our adventures into iterative living.
I'm looking at healing as a daily practice and how integrity is leading my moves, holding space for me to fully feel myself in my life.
I'm writing weekly for My Great Big Fantastical Life and Business Circles and we are doing chakra work and stepping into archetypes and taking self portraits and playing with our sacred adornments.
And the sneaky whisper of living sober for almost a year and being blown away by how connected and alive I feel is becoming louder.
I'm not a brand.
I am a woman who a decade ago couldn't feel herself in her life and knew that she would do anything to find herself again. I went to school. I started a business. I left a marriage. I lost relationships. I made some shitty choices. I had ridiculous amounts of fun. I fell in love. I grew my family. And then I got sober (which is still HARD work) and started living through kindness.
I feel new. I can feel myself in my life. That's what I'll share with you here. My stories.
I'm also obsessed with the idea of sharing simple useful things.
Like did you know that snake plants thrive in neglect? Anyone who thinks they can't grow plants, go grab yourself a couple of these gorgeous plants and watch your neglect of them lead them to glory.
Or how an investment in a few specific throw pillows can transform your living room.
And how marinating red onions in lime juice is basic magic.
I may start a little Instagram thing around useful ideas. I'm going to go search hashtags.
My family is going to NH this weekend for a weekend of no Wifi and I'm going to have the kids plan and cook all the dinners. I'm going to swim twice a day while we are there and it is going to be freezing and I actually feel excited about that!!
I was there last weekend alone cleaning out the house and I found a half bottle of tequila, my favorite, my go-to drink. I poured it down the sink, while holding my nose and then I let the hot water run down over it and I said, thank you.
Thank you kindness.
Thank you integrity.
Thank you beautiful life.
I never wanted to be here, and this is the most joyfilled and peaceful I've ever been. Thank you.
I see you. I appreciate you. I adore you.
Did you know I have a shop on Instagram?
This gold and brown dress in size XL is available! Hop over here to browse. New listings are on Thursdays at Noon Eastern. Next week some beautiful Summer dresses, kimonos, Spring into Summer shirts and more. All sizes are featured though it will vary from week to week as thrifting is a lovely exercise in chance!