Stepping Out From Under the Influence

I used to look in the mirror the morning after a binge drinking session with heart palpitations and my head pounding, glazed eyes looking dully back demanding that ALCOHOL DOES NOTHING FOR ME! My problem with drinking and addiction, which stemmed from trying to numb trauma, didn’t really set in for me until I was in my late thirties. I’d spent most of my life bending under the influence of a culture that normalizes routine alcohol use and almost broke under the influence of the myths I believed. Through that numbing, I lost a part of my light inside for a while, but finally, now in my mid-forties, I have stepped out from under the influence of alcohol.

Today I look in the mirror and see a bright sparkle in my blue eyes and I see love and authenticity reflecting back. I smile because I am 486 days poison-free, booze-free, addiction-free, hangover-free, anxiety-free, and leaning into beautiful sobrenity more & more 💕❤️


Yes, you read that right! Living alcohol-free is for me a blissful combination of sobriety and serenity. It’s not at all what I expected. Sobriety has healed my heart. It’s allowed me to be fully present with my feelings and move through them. Sobriety gives me back my power and allows me to move forward in my life with self-love and calm.

Why Did I Let My Drinking Get So Bad?

I drank because I loved to drink but I also drank because I believed the myth that alcohol calms anxiety. I didn’t understand or have the knowledge I do now, that booze is the worst thing for you if you’re prone to anxiety. As a non-drinker, I hardly ever feel anxiety apart from occasional normal anxiety. As a drinker, I was at the stage where I was experiencing panic attacks and going to the emergency room due to my anxiety. I know now through reading books like Alcohol Explained by William Porter that booze causes an unnatural rise in dopamine and then the brain chemistry goes out of balance causing anxiety and sometimes depression. Living as a nondrinker I’m free of that and it’s very healing.

How Have I Stayed Alcohol-Free for Almost 500 Days?

I’d been told about an online community called Boom Rethink the Drink. I joined that community, read people’s stories there, and was instantly inspired and hopeful that I too could fall in love with my own sobriety. I loved that in some posts, it was as if I was reading about my own story and I could really relate. In others not so much but I wanted to offer my support and say that I cared. I found my new “influencers” and became an “influencer” myself in a community of strangers across the globe all united in trying to better themselves by walking away from a substance that is addictive and harmful.

Don’t Let Alcohol Be Your Story

Have you ever thought about how much the stories of the people in your life influence you and affect your own narrative? I used to be “under the influence” of alcohol and under the influence of a culture that loved to drink too! Many things influence us. For the positive and the negative. Other people’s stories influence us. You watch people, people watch you. We live, we learn, and hopefully, we learn soon enough that we have “One Life, one chance”. Life is long, but it goes by fast.

In the beginning, when I first stopped drinking, it was like learning a new skill. I felt shaky and raw but all the while determined in my choice. I felt reactive to everything around me, especially my husband. At times the thought to escape popped up in my mind but alongside that so did the remainder of the choice I’d made.

It’s Not About Willpower

I read Allan Carr’s book, The Easy Way to Stop Drinking which cemented my decision to go alcohol-free. I loved it for its insightful views on the illusions that addiction causes. Once I stopped being “under the influence” of booze and our cultural booze mythology, I stopped seeing booze as something enjoyable or supportive and have come to really dislike it. I love that my mind has been and continues to heal from addiction. Having this mindset that living alcohol-free is a beautiful thing and not a hardship is super helpful with healing and all about the influence of the stories I chose to be affected by now.

Using willpower or still wanting something that I can’t have doesn’t work for me. If that were my mindset, remembering alcohol as something worth having, I’d be still caught in the trap. Staying sober for me is about staying connected to a new conversation. Re-writing my narrative has been about turning away from the influence of the drinking culture that surrounds me and turning toward a different influence. The influence of a community that’s choosing NOT to drink.

At times I’m surprised at how much I love living my life alcohol-free. Years of loving to drink until I didn’t anymore makes me think I was just ready to say goodbye to it, a relationship that no longer worked. Understanding that and falling out of love with booze and in love with my sobriety has been both surprising and so refreshing. I am no longer letting booze be my story.

I chose to become a nondrinker with a strong list of why’s
Why I used to drink booze :
  • I started out drinking socially and for fun
  • I drank to self-medicate anxiety
  • I drank to numb painful feelings and trauma
  • Addiction slowly crept in
Why I chose to quit alcohol : 
  • I was tired of feeling trapped
  • I was tired of hangovers & feeling bad
  • I didn’t want booze to be my story 
  • I accepted booze was taking more than it gave and that I’d become addicted even if I only drank on weekends mostly 
  • I wanted a better way to be, to live.
  • Because booze causes anxiety – scientifically proven (crippling anxiety)
💗 Why I CHOOSE beautiful sobriety:
  • ☘️ Better physical health 
  • ☘️ Emphatically better mental well-being 
  • ☘️ Anxiety healed
  • ☘️ Empowerment, pride, and self-confidence in knowing that I’ve crushed addiction 
  • ☘️Neurological healing / Brain growth 
  • ☘️ Less risk of cancers, heart disease, stroke, dementia & other illnesses.
  • ☘️ Personal growth and commitment to myself, my inner child and holistic wellness 
  • ☘️ Sobriety is loving myself wholeheartedly, and being my own bestie.
  • ☘️ I’m happier in self generally 
  • ☘️ I’m self-soothing in healthy/effective ways on difficult days
  • ☘️ Enjoying life’s experiences for what they are, without the need or want of a carcinogenic substance 
  • ☘️ Hope & excitement for what long-term sobriety can do for me & my life 💗

I get a bit emotional about sobriety because whilst it’s not always easy and not the norm in society, it’s been so positive and helpful for me. I’m at the stage now where it’s become my new normal and I love it. 

I love how sobriety helps me to grow, to look within, and see my own strength and light. It was always there beneath the dullness that addiction and anxiety smothered. Sobriety re-lights that fire in my soul that booze slowly tried to put out. It allows me to look deeper at myself and heal those hurts, to see that sparkle in my eyes as I look in the mirror and say I love you. I have fallen in love with sobriety, it gives me so much more than booze ever promised.

You can read more on alcohol and anxiety here Alcohol and anxiety from Drinkaware and here Anxiety, Alcohol and Sobriety from our Boozemusings blog.

We are an independent, anonymous and private community who share resources, support and talk it through every day. It helps to have a community behind you in a world where alcohol is the only addictive drug that people will question you for NOT using

You can read more about us Here  And join  Here


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