Are you tempted to try alcohol-free life but nervous about what will happen?
It’s change, and change can be scary. It’s not easy, and famously, nobody likes it.
When we move from one thing to the next, we sometimes leave behind a breadcrumb trail of nostalgia and longing. When we think of venturing from an alcohol-filled life to an alcohol-free one, we can find ourselves dreaming of times gone by.
You might be worried that your non-drinking life will be different from your drinking life. This is almost certainly true, and the thought can be terrifying. Leaving the cushiony padding of what you know and entering something unknown isn’t usually at the top of people’s to-do lists. Especially when you suspect that unknown future will be drastically different from your current life!
It’s not just the stark difference that is difficult, though. It’s sometimes the transition itself. The in-between stage – the stage where you are neither here nor there. The stage when you’re not sure how to respond when someone asks, ‘so you don’t drink?’
You end up fumbling and saying, ‘Umm… I don’t know, not right now. it’s hard to explain.’
But that in-between stage will eventually fade.
Ultimately, no matter how difficult transitions are, and how much we try to avoid them, they are essential parts of life.
They are a time of growth.
A time when we sit down with a notebook and pen and think ‘right, what do I really want from life?’
Change is the most natural thing of all. It’s the daffodil blooming in the spring, it’s the wave crashing on the shore, it’s the sky settling after a storm. Things are supposed to change; the world is in a constant state of flux. You could say that’s where its beauty lies.
Your old life and things you did in the past made you who you are. They are an integral part of your journey and your story. However, it is important to remember that change is an opportunity for us to grow and exist fully. We shed our old skins and are reborn. It’s something worth celebrating, not something to fear.
My first year of sobriety has been so turbulent. I’ve been up and down and round and round and come out the other end a totally different person. I have different values, norms, and goals. I have different hair and live in a different place. I have a different hopes, dreams, and routines.
I don’t know where I’ll be in a few months or years. There could be a bunch of scary and uncertain changes I choose to make in my life. I’ll likely be interested in new things, speak about new things, and have new people in my life.
Sometimes all this change is too much, and I want to go back to how things were before.
But I can’t.
In any case, my life before giving up drinking was a lot worse. Trust me.
If we hold on to the past too aggressively, we never appreciate the moment that we are in. Even if that moment is a bit ‘in-between’ things.
When I feel overwhelmed by change, I take a moment to notice my surroundings. Being grounded helps me realise how things are constantly changing, we just don’t always notice it. It’s the meanings we attach to changes that make them negative, rather than the changes themselves.
Take flowers, for instance. From blooming to perishing, their journey is inspiring and beautiful to watch. Use your senses to notice these changes in nature; they can make transitions in our personal lives feel less daunting. And, of course, they remind us that we are alive.
Believe me when I say going alcohol-free is a change you won’t regret.
Don’t be afraid.
It only gets better from here.