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Logo Put It Down Lifestyle The 25 Days program helps you get your relationship with alcohol exactly where you want it in your life without judgment or shame.

Twenty-One Things

Updated: May 11

I began my sober journey at the end of February 2020. I had spent another night drinking and another morning full of shame and self-loathing. I was beating myself up and feeling totally defeated and lost. I thought I was alone – the only person in the world feeling this way.

I discovered a program (before The 25 Days existed) that met my needs, and I jumped in with both feet. At the time I didn’t realize how many wonderful resources were available to gray-area drinkers like me (I didn’t even know what “gray-area drinker” meant), but in my research since then I’ve discovered there is a plethora of information and support at our fingertips.

This list is 21 things I have learned or experienced since that morning in February 2020. As you'll see, it's not all about alcohol. It's about digging deep to find out who I am without an addictive mind-altering substance as the focal point in my life.

"'s not all about alcohol. It's about digging deep to find out who I am..."

1. I'm an introvert and that's OKAY! In fact, it's something to celebrate! Introversion is a beautiful thing and an integral part of who I am and how I was made. I won't apologize for it anymore. And it certainly was a gift during the pandemic.

2. I can step out of my comfort zone, face my fear of rejection and invisibility head on and live through it.

3. I have my own back. I can't control other people's opinion of me. My opinion of myself is what matters.

4. I can deal with my urges and triggers, invite them in, talk to them like they're a toddler having a tantrum, and calmly not give them what they want.

5. I can sit with my feelings instead of pushing them back or numbing them. I can drop into my body when I'm feeling an emotion and identify what's happening in my body physically, name it, and take its power away.

6. I can change my thoughts. My thoughts drive my feelings. It's always a thought; and if I change my thought, I can change my feelings and my actions.

7. I can use my mind to manage physical pain. Drinking alcohol makes it harder for my body to handle physical pain, because it diverts everything to try to get rid of the toxic substance instead of dealing with the pain.

8. Alcohol is just a thing. It's neutral. It just sits there. It can't make me drink it. I have all the power over alcohol. Freedom from alcohol's hold over me is so empowering. I feel like I can do anything.

9. I am not a label. Fear of labels kept me stuck.

10. I can be a fun person without alcohol. I can laugh and have a great time and be goofy and silly. In fact, I think I'm more fun now. I'm more energetic, authentic, and truly happy.

11. Nobody cares what's in my glass. It doesn't matter. It's the people I'm with and the atmosphere or environment surrounding me that makes the situation special, not what's in my glass.

12. If someone questions why I'm not drinking, it's about them and their relationship with alcohol, not about me. It's okay to disappoint people. I'd rather disappoint other people by not drinking than be disappointed in myself the next morning.

13. There's life after 5 pm! Who knew? I used to stop everything at 5 pm, drink, and plop in front of the TV. I can do things after 5 pm -- even drive! I have so many more hours in my day since I don't spend them either thinking about drinking, drinking, or being hung-over from drinking.

14. I'm creative again! To keep my hands occupied during the first couple of days of sobriety I pulled out my old sewing machine from the dark recesses of a closet where it had been sitting dormant for years, dusted it off, and started sewing. Now I sew almost every day.

15. Physically there are so many changes. I'm less puffy. I haven't had severe sinus issues or allergy issues since I stopped drinking. I used to suffer from sinus ick at least two times a year. My digestion is better, I sleep better, my skin is clearer, my hair is curlier, my eyes are brighter and whiter, and I have more energy.

16. I have a better relationship with my husband. My emotions and moods are more balanced. I'm not crying one minute and laughing the next. I don't get as snippy with him and try to pick fights over ridiculously stupid things that I don't even remember the next day.

17. I've made new friends I didn't even know I needed but now can't imagine life without. I am not alone on this journey.

18. I've been encouraged and inspired, and, hopefully, I have encouraged and inspired others.

19. I discovered the happy, goofy, energetic girly girl that's been hidden underneath all the alcohol, excuses, and shame. She's been crouching in that darkness for over 40 years, and now she's free and I'm really proud of her! She can do hard things.

20. JOMO = Joy of Missing Out! I get to miss out on chasing the buzz. I get to miss out on the blackouts, hangovers, driving under the influence, and wondering what I said or did the night before that I need to apologize for.

21. I can drink all I want whenever I want. I'm an adult. I have free will. I'm choosing joyfully not to drink today. As Susan Creamer from Hola Sober says: I will look skyward and say, "Not

today, lady, not today."

"Not today, lady, not today." - Susan Creamer

When I began my sober journey, my goal was to take control of my drinking instead of letting it control me. But it turns out when I changed one thing -- eliminating alcohol -- it had an amazing ripple effect that I didn't anticipate. When I changed one thing, it changed everything!

So, if you wake up one morning and feel similar feelings to the way I did that February morning in 2020, I encourage you to check out podcasts, programs, blogs and books until you find something that supports your journey!

1 Comment

Aug 18, 2022

Very interesting. Thank you.

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