I've been sober for 9.5 weeks! Crazy, right?! Almost two and a half months... when I first started, I thought I'd share an update on how it's going each month for the year, but now I'm thinking this might be my last update until the end.
It's just not as hard as I thought it would be and how many times can I write, "I went out and didn't have a beer?" I don't want to make light of the situation because I know that this CAN be extremely hard for some people and I respect their struggle and desire for change.
I've been surprised at how much this isn't that big of a deal for my own experience, which makes me grateful because it means that I do have control - which is why I stopped drinking in the first place because I was nervous and scared over the feeling of losing my control when it came to drinking.
Almost 10 weeks in and I'm happy to see my self-control showing up, taking charge and just creating peace with the whole situation AND just how little that negative voice in my head actually shows up. I thought I'd be tempted a lot more, I thought I'd go out to eat with Carl and hear, "No one is here and no one will know if you just have a beer - you said yourself it's not a big deal, so go ahead."
That hasn't really happened, or if it has, I don't remember it. I'm going for a year, regardless of if I think I've overcome the issue that made me start this challenge in the first place. I'm doing it for me. I want to know how it feels to finish the year - so I'm doing it.
That being said, I thought I'd share my various non-alcohol experiences since my last post.
I've wanted to quit architecture since I was about two months into being an architect and I didn't leave the profession until 5 years later. For me, I really like to know what's next or at least have a general sense of what to do next before just quitting. I like to plan, but planning can only go so far, at some point you just have to make the leap.
I'll admit, when I hear, 5 years, I think to myself that I should have taken the leap a lot sooner, but I wasn't emotionally ready. I didn't have the belief system built up that was needed to make that leap. For some, they can do it right away and for others it takes time. It took me 5 years and that's ok.
January 31st was my last day and you better believe we celebrated! Carl and I went to Haberdish, one of our favorite places - those biscuits are incredible [and are definitely not Vegan]! The thing I've learned with this whole sober thing is that, if you want a celebratory drink, it's crucial to go somewhere that makes an amazing cocktail!
If they make amazing cocktails - they'll make amazing mocktails! I went with my go-to "Herbal & Spicy" request and she came back with another delicious concoction with one of those flower ice balls in it! I've had several cocktails there since they've opened, and I've never managed to order one that came with flower ice - so it figures that my non-alcoholic drink came with one.
Before heading to our friends' place for the game, we stopped at Fresh Market where I bought two cream sodas, two root beers and a bottle of Italian blood orange soda with a few limes. I thought I'd try my hand at a mocktail andddd.... it was ok - haha.
I mixed an entire cream soda with some blood orange soda and squeezed half a lime into it - it didn't taste as good as I thought it would but it was still decent. After that I had one of the root beers and that was it.
Another thing I've noticed is that I don't drink as much in quantity if it's non-alcoholic. In the past, I would have purchased a six pack and drank the six pack over the course of the 4-5 hours that we were there. So, in my head, I thought I should get the equivalent of six beers, but in reality I only drank two with a splash of the Italian soda.
My friend and I had a really good conversation around why I stopped drinking and she went on to express she knew I'd be able to do it because I'm strong-willed. Never in a million years would I have thought I was strong-willed!
Yes, I do a lot and I challenge myself a lot and because of that I've gotten better at it over the years, but to me - it's all been very gradual - so I haven't noticed it as much as someone looking in from the outside. To me, I still have doubts and insecurities around my ability to do certain things and even if I push through and accomplish them - it doesn't mean that I did so without any struggle.
That conversation made me realize that my definition of strong-willed was wrong. Being strong-willed doesn't mean that you don't have struggles or that your willpower isn't challenged in the least - it just means that you push through even in the face of struggle and insecurity and for that - I'm proud to accept that compliment!
I talk more about this and the stories we tell ourselves in my very first Facebook Live over HERE>>
Parties & Celebrations
Every year, Carl and I attend a Ground Hog's Day party thrown by one of the Engineering firms here in town. We've probably been going for five years [we attended when we were at our old firm as well as the firm Carl is at now and that I just left.] They typically do a Casino theme for the party and this year they also added Mardi Gras.
The drinks are free, there's food and there's play money to use for any of the games. This year it was at Draught, a bar I've never been to before so I wasn't sure about their cocktail making abilities beyond just your typical ones. I asked the bartender if they had any kombucha and they didn't so I asked for a virgin Moscow Mule. He added a splash of cranberry, which made it super delicious.
I had two of those while I was there and they came in the copper mug like they usually do which makes it feel a little more celebratory and fun. We spent our time over at the Craps table - our favorite game and then I left after being there for about an hour and a half.
A few days ago we went to Leroy Fox in Southend for a Going Away Dinner for our friend Marija. We are REALLY going to miss her! She sits next to Carl at work and she also started going to church with us for the last several months. She's moving back home to Serbia, so at least we'll have an excuse to come visit her and also possibly throw Croatia into the mix!
I again went for the virgin Moscow Mule since they didn't have kombucha but didn't ask for the splash of cranberry like I had in it before and that was a mistake. I've been drinking A LOT of ginger beer and ginger ale and sometimes it can be a bit much, so if you're interested in a virgin Moscow Mule - add a splash of cranberry to tame the ginger.
That's all for now on my sober journey. Like I said, I don't think I'll be giving monthly updates as I originally thought I would. If something noteworthy comes up or I finally master the at-home mocktail - I'll let you know. I'd love to have a little archive of Go-To mocktails set up on here, so we'll see how that unfolds.
For now my Go-To drinks are kombucha, a virgin Moscow Mule with a splash of cranberry and my favorite - ordering an 'Herbal & Spicy' mocktail at places that really know what they're doing with cocktails.
Love & Blessings,