This week’s blog post is about my 90 day alcohol-free journey. YES, you read that right… NINETY days with no alcohol AT ALL! I am currently on day 78, so I have a little less than two weeks left. To put things into perspective, the last 78 days have included the Fourth of July, Labor Day, my birthday, close friends’ birthdays, multiple vacations, concerts, and countless social events. Initially I was going to wait until the full 90 days were up before I wrote about my experience, but I felt compelled to write this now because I have so much to share already. Also, I feel like why hold back my experience, when it could give someone the extra push they need in order to fulfill one of their goals.
So one of the first questions I get when I tell people about my 90 day challenge is “Why?”. There were a multitude of reasons behind this challenge, but the main one was in order to catalyze growth within myself. I’m a little over a year out of undergrad, but aspects of that social culture still lingered over my head. Aspects that are not conducive to the woman that I aspire to be. Therefore, I starved that entity of myself in hopes of shifting paradigms. Throughout the last 78 days, my mindset has shifted tremendously and the manner in which I perceive social settings has changed.
Not drinking has helped me deal with one of many people’s fears, which is social awkwardness. I can only speak for myself (but I know I’m not alone), but I believe social skills have dwindled within our society and we use alcohol as a way to cope with our social awkwardness. I’ve come to realize that our social interactions with people mostly incorporate alcohol. From brunch with your friends to dinner with your colleagues/boss, some form of alcohol is accessible and/or included. Now I’m not here to make generalizations about everyone, but I am referring to my personal experiences and what I observe around me. We have trouble interacting or having “fun” without having a drink or two. You ever wonder why you meet someone new or are networking and the meet up includes : “Want to grab a drink?” It’s because alcohol will give you whatever it is that you need to be the person you seek to be in those situations. Whether that be courageous, laid back, or more upbeat.
From this experience I have been able to build my self-discipline which has trickled over into other aspects of my life like health, school, and work. I don’t go out as much, or spend nearly as much money as I once did. The last 78 days have given me the courage to be the odd one out and not care how anybody felt nor what they had to say about it. I have not buckled under the peer pressure, and let me tell you, it has been a lot of peer pressure. Most importantly, I’m perfectly okay with telling people “No” and not feeling bad about it. I used to feel that need to be on everyone else’s “level” when going out, but now I’ve created my own level. It has added to my ability to stand up for what I believe and what’s best for me. I feel as though I sound a bit dramatic as I write this, but the struggle and growth from staying on track with this challenge has instilled this new person that I’m growing to love. The last 11 weeks have been TOUGH, but everyday I prove to myself that I can put my mind to whatever it is that I truly want to believe. Everyday I’m deciding to Live In My Truth. After my 90 days, yes I will drink again, but I’ll never truly look at it the same. I encourage anyone reading this to pursue a goal that they have been wanting to do, but have been putting off due to fear. This is something that I’ve been wanting to do for over a year now, but I feared the backlash I would receive. I’m thankful for everyone around me that has been supportive and if I had to do it again I’d jump at the chance. My friend said my next challenge should be not leaving St. Louis for 90 days, lol not a chance!