Depression: Why I'm Giving Up Alcohol
Let’s get it clear, I’m not a raging alcoholic (whatever that even means) but after many years of trying to fit in, I have come to terms with the fact that I am just not made to consume alcohol. While I'm out "having fun", it’s great in the moment. I feel like I’m being social, I’m making an effort to get out and plus this what youth is about right? The next day is a completely different story. While everyone I went out with is fine, dandy and resuming life, I'm hurled into a painful mix of regret, self loathing and the familiar sadness of deep depression. My hangovers are not "This morning is rough but I’ll be fine and ready for round two tonight”. My hangover goes a little something like this "How could I let this happen. I'm so stupid, I'm worthless and this is going to be a long week of feeling shitty. I don't wanna see anyone or talk to anyone, I just want to lay here and cry”. It doesn't matter if I had one drink or many, the depression still follows.
I will talk more about depression in my next post but today is about my decision to stop drinking for now.
In 2015, a few weeks after I moved back home, I had a really bad alcohol related experience. I went out one night, had a few drinks and some crazy shit happened. I woke up with no recollection of most of that night and a cleaned out bank account. I'm convinced that I was drugged but I have no evidence.
That weekend scared me so much I made the decision to really chill on the alcohol. I stuck to my word. I slowed down on the drinking and going out all together. I developed an increased distrust in people and became a little more aware of the situations I put myself into.
I go out occasionally, sometimes I have drinks, and sometimes I don't. I have drinks to be social. People always say I'm quiet so I figure it will make me talk more and I won’t be as "boring" as I imagine they think quiet people are. For the record, I'm not quiet or shy; I just take an abnormal extended period of time to warm up to people.
This weekend I had a great time out with friends. I watched some really talented people perform. I met some really cool people doing really amazing things. I also had a glass of wine and 4 shots of tequila.
When I woke up I felt awful. As the day progressed I fell deeper and deeper into the black hole. That place I try so hard to avoid because I know once I enter it, it’s a long fight to crawl out. This is not the first or second or third time this is happening. This always happens and I haven't done anything about it. When people don't change a bad habit, I believe it’s because their bad habit is serving a purpose in their life. I had to ask myself what purpose this bad habit was serving in my life.
This may sound a little extreme but I think I'm a chronic self sabotage(er). You know how they say people get addicted to feeling bad? It’s a little like that for me. In this case, when I'm feeling bad because I'm hung-over, or because someone hurt me as a result of stupid decision I made while drinking, or dealing with being depressed as a result of drinking, it takes away from me actually having to take responsibility for bigger things in my life. I have something else to blame and be sad about. The alternative would be to eliminate all toxic situations and fully step into joy and greatness; instead I leave something around to trip me up just so that when I need to, I have a little pain to wallow in when I "need" it.
Does that make sense?
Yes I have been on this journey to transform my life and move into my greatness but sometimes I feel like I'm still half ass-ing. I've made a lot of changes and have grown tremendously but I haven't fully committed to getting uncomfortable in my transformation process. My fear is still standing in my way. I self sabotage because then I don't have to take full responsibility if I fail. I could always be like "well I wasn't really trying anyway". It’s easier to stay low and unhappy then to try and be disappointed.
Alcohol is a depressant. It’s a cover and hiding place for many. With no excuses, I have no one and nothing to blame for my not trying to be better.
My Dad has given up alcohol. Watching how he’s transformed in these last few months has inspired me. He’s just so calm, peaceful, and productive. There is this sense of self love, self appreciation and respect for self that I want more of in my life.
The more I grow, the more clearly I hear my spirit. There is this little voice inside me that keeps getting louder and louder. It’s telling me that this is the next step in my ascension. I’m at barrier and this is what I need to do to push past this plateau.
Do you have anything that is holding you back from your next level in growth? These things come in many forms: a bad habit, toxic relationships, unhealthy patterns of thinking, limited belief systems and more. Usually the things that we think we could never live without are the things we need to let go of the most.
I read a quote thing today that said "Synchronicity... a wink from the universe". I got a lot of winks from the universe today. How crazy is it that once I made the decision to give up alcohol, this happens (none of them knew about my decision by the way:
- That night a friend checked in with me to let me know that we need to spend more time together. I think she is one of the most amazing people I know. That friend does not drink and I asked her to be my sober accountability partner.
- The next morning at like 7 am, a friend I haven't talked to in a while sent me a "have a good day text" and a quote about discipline building character. That friend does not drink.
- That morning one of my clients shared a story about how he stopped drinking over four years ago and how it was one of the best decisions he's ever made.
- That same day I got a dinner invite from a family member who does not drink at all.
I went to dinner and had something called a Virgin Low. It was Passion fruit and Ginger ale in a martini glass with a cherry in the center.
My spirit, creativity and productivity are going to thank me for this. I don’t know if this will be forever but at least 90 days (I started a three phase ‘bulk’ then ‘cut’ fitness program the same day as well). After 90 days I’ll re-evaluate and see how I feel.
I think I will be just fine. Today is Day two.
Here’s to a sober 90 days.