If you knew me prior to December 22, 2021 than you know that I loved a good craft cocktail. I love a dark bar, trying a new restaurant, experiencing all the things Atlanta and other cities have to offer. At the beginning of quarantine in March 2020, I was dating a beverage director and for two months all we did was eat and drink. We’d make fabulous recipes and start drinking at 11am most days. I wrote blog posts on how to stock your home bar, shared my favorite cocktail recipes, and my Instagram has always been full of the best local spots for a well-crafted cocktail. I’m jumping head. Let’s first get to my backstory.
I had never been a big drinker and I never really considered myself one even after I gave it up. I was never exposed to good liquor, proper ratios and people who knew what they were doing. It was typically beer, white wine, champagne and rosé. Those being my only options, I never really cared too much for drinking. When my ex-husband and I got divorced in May 2019 and I eventually started dating and going out more with girlfriends. I found myself exposed to a whole new world of insanely delicious alcoholic beverages. I remember going on a first date to Marcel, with a liquor rep, and he introduced me to the Classic Daiquiri and I swear that my whole world changed that night. From then on, my love and quest for a perfectly crafted cocktail consumed most of my child-free nights.
I always considered myself to be a social drinker. I never drank at home alone, only when I had a girls night or party at my house. I only drank when I was going out. The problem was is that I was going out sometimes 3-4 days a week. I was spending a ton of money on alcohol, not living a very healthy lifestyle, eating shitty food, making poor choices when it came to men and how I ended dates. I was going places I wouldn’t go sober, doing things I definitely wouldn’t do sober and making a whole lot of dumb decisions not only as a woman but as a mother.
Before Christmas 2021 I became really sick with Covid and bronchitis, which turned into a 6 week long illness and was so painful. It was at this time that I felt God & the Universe were giving me signs that I couldn’t ignore. I would see TikTok videos of people who didn’t drink, I was being promoted the 75 hard challenge which obviously means no drinking, alcohol-free lifestyles and how to live alcohol-free books kept popping up on my sponsored social channels. None of this was searched by me and I’m not even sure how it came to light. I never even vocalized this so my phone wasn’t listening. It was God knowing I needed to change. It was easy to make it through the holidays without drinking because I was so miserable and sick. I can’t remember a holiday or social gathering where I didn’t drink, unless I was pregnant.
I’d like to think that one of the things I’m good at is never questioning a decision once it’s made. I’ve never been one to go back-and-forth about anything. I know what I like, I have very few regrets and when my mind is made up, I don’t run a pros and cons list. While I was reading the book Quit Like a Woman one of the lines that stood out the most was when Holly writes that she that once she made up her mind officially to stop drinking, that she never questioned the decision. So much so that she got it tattooed on her arm. It was such an easy concept to grasp for me because I, too, never question a decision. Once my mind was made up to quit alcohol, I haven’t had a single regret or desire to resume drinking. I love knowing that I will never wake up with a hang-over, that I’ll never get a DUI, that my words and actions while drunk won’t embarrass me and the best part is knowing I am leading by example to my kids who are watching,
The only thing part of drinking that I miss is the social aspect. It seems we as humans can’t do anything that doesn’t involve alcohol. Just got engaged? Let’s drink. Broke up with your boyfriend? Let’s drink. Promotion at work? Drink. Fired? Drink. Every day at 5pm? Drink. Just finished breastfeeding? Drink. Sunday Brunch? Drink. Boarding a flight? Drink. Vacation? Drink. Choosing not to drink in a society and culture so obsessed with alcohol feels rebellious and amazing. Not to mention I know my body is thanking me.
My journey to quit drinking isn’t some sad, broken story. I never hit rock bottom, I didn’t have anything horrible happen to me or anyone around me, thank God. My story is all about reflection and giving up something that wasn’t serving me or bringing value into my life. I can honestly look back on every time I had a drink and without hesitation answer that it’s never made my life any better.