I wanted to share with you all that I am at the end of a “100 Day Sober Curious Reset”. The term Sober Curious was coined by Ruby Warrington (https://www.rubywarrington.com/books/sober-curious/) as a way to explore our relationship with alcohol. I attended a summer weekend workshop with Ruby at The Omega Institute and made the decision to start the Reset after Labor Day. I have been doing the exercises in Ruby’s book The Sober Curious Reset, which have been great. The reasons for this Reset are many and varied but ultimately, I wanted to see what it was like to socialize, end a bad day and/or get through certain activities without a glass of wine in my hand. Here’s what I discovered:
1. It is a little different to socialize without a glass of wine. But not necessarily in a bad way. I’m not actually funnier or more charming with wine in my bloodstream. Depending on who I am with and what we are doing, I’ve been having just as good a time without drinking. This is in no way a judgement on social drinking, it’s just a personal exploration.
2. Not drinking has encouraged me to find other social activities besides sitting around and drinking. So far, I’ve done several Breathwork Sessions, a Full Moon celebration, a drum circle, a clay workshop, many walks in nature, been to a bunch of concerts, gone to the beach, a lecture at the local museum, the symphony, hosted some community organizing meetings, brought mocktails to a Halloween Party, to a byob restaurant and to a bunch of gatherings with friends,
gone to the Salt Cave and gone to bed early. Not drinking has greatly enhanced my creativity in finding things to do! One great organization that is doing fun things for people in recovery is Sync Recovery Community at syncrecovery.org…check them out!
3. It feels really good to wake up every morning feeling clear headed and knowing I didn’t need wine to cope. I never drink to the point of feeling really hungover but even a glass or two of wine the night before can leave me feeling a little fuzzy and dehydrated. Not to mention mad at myself for pouring a glass when I said I wasn’t going to. I have a new morning routine of opening the blinds, getting back in bed, drinking a glass of water and writing in my Gratitude Journal.
4. We often drink (or smoke or eat sugar or shop or scroll) out of boredom. To quote Ruby, “the truth is that time spent being bored is an essential part of the creative process”. Even though being bored feels uncomfortable, if we just allow it and sit with it, creative ideas come.
5. There are other great ways to “switch off” and relax. A few of my favorites are watching funny dog/baby/horse/cat videos, being out in nature, even just for a few minutes, just sitting and breathing and relaxing my body, singing and dancing along to an uplifting song, soaking in hot water, smelling something good like a candle.
6. Not drinking away my feelings has certainly been a challenge. Even though I am a Wellness Coach and I practice mindfulness meditation daily, that glass or two of wine was a quick and easy way to push away feelings. Feeling and dealing with life’s emotional, mental and physical challenges is uncomfortable but in the 100 days of not drinking, I have learned so much about myself. I’ve had the awareness to loudly hear the limiting beliefs I have about myself and challenge them. I’ve been forced to face uncomfortable relationships and find ways to make it better. When I feel anxious, which is sadly one of my struggles, I have to organically calm down my body, reframe my thinking and release any emotions that are stuck. This is hard but ultimately so much more healing for me than pouring a glass of wine. Again, no judgement for pouring that glass, I totally get it, just speaking to my personal journey.
I am so very grateful for this time and all I have learned. Will I go back to my beloved Chardonnay? At the moment, I plan to take it one day at a time, focusing on what is best for my mind, body and spirit. Because I deserve nothing less…and so do you! If you want to connect with me around “Using Substances to Manage Stress”, please reach out here. I love you!