Elizabeth Finch
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The 7 Tools I Leaned On When I Quit Alcohol

Posted by on Oct 6, 2017 in Featured, Health Tips, Healthy Lifestyle, Self Love, Sobriety, Wellbeing | 2 comments


I am asked weekly if not daily by all the beautiful women in my life, whether I know them well or whether they are an online acquaintance, why I quit drinking alcohol and what it’s done for me in my life by doing so.

I think about how I want to answer this question a lot, but honestly it’s hard to convey every single thing behind my choice. I’ve talked about it before in a previous blog post and have shared my top 5 learnings on my one-year mark of living sober.

But my reasoning for quitting alcohol seems to be ever evolving. At this point I’ve summed it up to this: drinking was taking up too much precious space in my mind. It wasn’t living rent free.

It was too much of an unhealthy focus and something I leaned on way too often to help me with life’s stresses. It was taking me out of alignment from the INTENTION and VISION I have for my life. It was also stopping my MOMENTUM.

Bottom line: alcohol was keeping me from being the best me.

So, I chose to take it out of the equation altogether, since my experience with trying to moderate my drinking hadn’t really been successful.

Was it easy? No freaking way.

Has it been worth it? Hell yes it has.

Typically after someone asks me why I chose to quit it, the next thing they want to know is HOW I did it. So many people say to me, “I’m not sure that I could ever really give it up altogether!” Believe me, I felt that way at one point, too.

For me, quitting alcohol has been a beautiful journey of self acceptance.

I also used to think that alcohol made me more fun, funnier, more outgoing, wittier, and better in social situations. It certainly helped me to forget, albeit momentarily, about life’s problems.

I now know that my light didn’t shine as brightly when I drank.

Because anything that changes who we really are, dims our light.

When we step fully into who we are, and we embrace her and we get to know her and find out what’s behind our silly thoughts about not being smart enough or witty enough or fun enough when we are sober, when we find out where that voice in our head (ego) is coming from, and then we start to act authentically from that place of acceptance and love…that’s when our light shines really, really brightly.

For me, over consuming alcohol was a way to try and change myself into something I wasn’t because at that point I didn’t like or fully accept who I really am. But what I was really doing was holding myself back from being my highest self.

Because who we really, truly are, is completely amazing. Total, pure amazingness. Just as we are, being purely authentic.

We can’t be in contact with our higher selves when we aren’t being who we really are. I know the drunk Elizabeth isn’t the real Elizabeth or the best version of Elizabeth. But only you can know that about yourself.

So, how was I able to step into sobriety? I simply had to find my way.

When I first said the words to myself early that June morning and I knew in my heart it was time for alcohol to go, I didn’t really know anyone personally who I felt I could turn to or confide in or seek guidance from, because I didn’t really know anyone who had made the choice to start living sober on their own.

I don’t personally identify as an alcoholic, and I do believe it’s a person’s choice whether they do or not. I know a few recovering alcoholics, but not really well enough to talk to them about this and I honestly didn’t really feel like it was the same thing. This was a choice I was making to better my health and my life mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically.

I know that isn’t really a choice most recovering alcoholics get to make. I’m grateful that it was a choice I was still able to make on my own.

If quitting alcohol is something you are considering or have considered before for yourself, trust that it IS possible. Here are…

The 7 tools I leaned on when I decided to quit alcohol:

1. I started by changing my perspective.

When I was researching, I came across a recommendation for a book called Kick the Drink…Easily! by Jason Vale. I downloaded the e-version so I could start reading it immediately.

This book was exactly what I needed to solidify what I was already feeling about my drinking — that it was all or nothing for me and no in between. I knew that was something I needed to take very, very seriously and this book confirmed it for me.

But, this book also gave me an entirely new perspective on alcohol. It helped me to switch my mindset from thinking, Gosh, this is going to be so horrible! How will I ever have any fun without a glass of wine in my hand?! to, Alcohol truly is not good for our bodies and I won’t be missing out on anything by quitting it, in fact I’ll be gaining so many benefits! 

And now I know that I’m better without it in my life. At this point I don’t long for it or even want it in my life or my body in any shape or form. Daily exercise and meditation is now what I lean on to deal with pressure in my life.

2. I drew the line in the sand.

For me, there was no in between — I had tried moderating my drinking in the past and it never worked. So, I made the choice and drew the line in the sand. I downloaded a sobriety tracker app on my phone to start keeping up with my progress. I didn’t put it off — I knew I had no time left to waste. It was time to get started.

I didn’t share right away with other people in my life, besides my husband, that I was quitting alcohol entirely. Even though I knew in my heart that my choice had been made, I didn’t feel ready yet to deal with people trying to talk me out of my choice or even questioning why I was doing this. I was slowly building my strength and my confidence until I was ready to share, so…

3. I went inward.

In my early sobriety, I focused on going inward and really feeling out my emotions. I used meditation, yoga, prayer, and spent loads of time journaling and getting my thoughts out of my head and onto paper. I truly believe that writing about what we are feeling is an incredibly important tool for all of us. 

And this is why I say that for me, sobriety has been a journey of self-acceptance. I have learned to love who I am more, to depend on myself more, and to seek answers inside myself instead of from outside sources.

I have learned to trust myself more and trust the signs that my body gives me through what I am feeling. My relationship with myself and my connection with God has grown so much throughout this entire journey, and I’m so grateful for that.

4. I gave myself space to feel what I was feeling.

Because I was still figuring all of this out and listening to my emotions, I stayed home a lot in the beginning and honestly stayed away from events and parties for the most part. I wasn’t quite feeling strong enough yet to explain to others why I was no longer drinking.

Up until this point, I had been the life of the party and the one popping the bottles of wine open. I knew people would ask and I just wasn’t ready. Thank God my amazing husband was understanding, and we spent a lot of those early nights at home, watching movies and being mellow.

5. I was very, very gentle with myself.

If I wanted a bath, I took a bath. If I wanted dark chocolate, I indulged in great dark chocolate and I didn’t limit myself. If I wanted ice cream, I had a big bowl of my favorite dairy free ice cream. (I LOVE to make ice cream sundaes at home! It’s my favorite indulgence on the weekend — I load up coconut milk ice cream with a scoop or two of almond butter or peanut butter and berries…yum!)

I gave myself lots of grace and room to do whatever felt good to me without any judgement whatsoever. But everyday…

6. I moved my body.

Even though I was eating more indulgences than usual, I kept up my daily exercise. I did whatever felt good to me that day. If yoga was what my body was craving, I did yoga. If an easy run outside was what I wanted, I did that.

I have learned throughout this journey that I have a lot of energy in my body (honestly I believe we all do), and moving that energy around is crucial to my overall wellbeing. I do believe in the importance of taking a rest day each week to let our bodies just be, but if I go too long without movement, I begin to feel anxious and agitated — another reason why I believe I used to over drink.

Our bodies are not meant to be sedentary, it’s detrimental to our health. This has helped me to understand the importance of regular daily movement for me.

7. I mastered a few really great mocktails.

Because I was still trying to move out of the mindset that everyone got to have a fun drink in their hand but me, I experimented with all kinds of great mocktail recipes. 

Having a mocktail in hand helped me to feel like I didn’t have to just carry a bottle of water around when I did get out and go to parties and events (water bottles scream Sober!, and when people see you holding one they inevitably will ask if you’re pregnant.)

This is one of my favorite mocktails, but now I mostly just prefer sparkling water or soda water, with fresh lemon or lime.

Once I did start to tell people what I was doing and why, I found the more I shared, the stronger I got with sharing why I made this choice. And I also began to relax and understand that people were asking me questions about it not because they were being judgmental, but because they were actually curious about a sober lifestyle and whether it might be a good choice for them, too. 

Wrap-Up

Alcohol was hindering me and holding me back. And along my journey of living an intentional life, I’ve learned that the things and people who keep me from being my best self, I simply don’t have the space for in my life anymore.

Now I call this setting boundaries, which is something I’m learning more and more about. Setting boundaries in our lives certainly pertains to people, but I believe it also pertains to unhealthy habits and setting boundaries with ourselves, too.

It’s taken me a lot of work to get here. I’ve done so much personal growth and development work over the course of the last two years. But now that I understand what intentional living is — getting crystal clear on what I want my life to look like, and then taking inspired daily action to bring myself into alignment with those intentions — it’s a heckofa lot easier to make my choices.

Love,

Elizabeth

2 Comments

  1. Love this honey! I want to hang out with you more. Great chatting Friday 💖💖💖 you beautiful girl!

    • I’m so glad you love it! Let’s do it, I’d love that! xx

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