Hey Brooke! This feels like my graduation from overdrinking. I just got back from this weekend’s big Pride Weekend in Dallas. It’s basically a 2-day drink-a-thon that ends with a huge Parade on Sunday (and even more drinking).
Last month, I was out with my partner and friends in the same bars … not drinking… while dancing, and actively working through my anxiety. (It’s entertaining tryting to dance AND do mental models on “I have NO CLUE how to dance!”) However, this time, I wanted to go further. I didn’t want to spend 2 days working through anxiety. So I asked myself “How do I want to feel?” and I came up with “relaxed, excited to hang out with friends” and I made a conscious choice to have fun.
REALLY long story super short – I had a blast! Usually, as the newly sober one, I’m annoyed at the drinkers around me. But this time, I chose “accepting”. When they came up to hug and love on me – and whispered in my ear they’d like to adopt me (I’m 46, not sure I need adopting)… I really just loved them back. Anytime I noticed a little anxiety, I remembered it was just a thought – and focused on the moment… the lights, the music, the smiles on the people dancing. I relaxed back into the moment and the anxiety went away.
I saw so many people overdrinking… yelling at their partners on the street over minor issues magnified by alcohol… blurry-eyed people hanging over their breakfast, trying to work through a hangover… and thought… “Wow, I totally GET all of that – because I lived it first hand…” AND simultaneously thinking how grateful I am now to have all of that behind me. Not only not wanting to want alcohol – but being able to release the anxiety that I believed the alcohol was relieving me of. What was behind that anxiety was just me being relaxed in the world and enjoy the moments as they came without expectation.
I arrived back home this morning with my partner – with great feelings, great memories, and a feeling of satisfaction and gratefulness. In March of this year, I was 100% sure stopping drinking would be next to impossible. Now, thanks to your coaching (and all of your great advice along the way), my overdrinking is a closed chapter … and I see so many more new, exciting chapters opening up in my future.
Thank you so much, Brooke! I’ve tried SO MUCH stuff before to quit – but you and your model is the only think that worked. Here’s wishing you all the best! 😀