Alcohol had control over my life for ten years. I started drinking on my fourteenth birthday where I believed alcohol was my gateway to being cool. Having a fun time always seemed to be locked up in a box and alcohol was the only key. Fast forward through drunken high school nights and blacked out college years to 2016, where I tried giving up alcohol twice and failed. But on December 18th 2016, I had a different kind of determination after I had my last glass of wine on my sister’s couch. That night, I told God "I'm done.”
1. BYE Anxiety, Depression, and Regret
Alcohol is followed by the worst emotions. Waking up the next morning after a night of drinking way too much and knowing you talked so much crap last night is never fun. I'd binge drink on weekends then deal with anxiety, depression, and regret three days later. Then it would be Thursday already and I was drinking again. This was my cycle for years.
Please know, I am human and I still deal with anxiety and some "funky" moments being sober. But now I have good anxiety (if that's even a thing) in business and taking leaps of faith.
The feeling of regret still creeps back into my life for things I did years ago. I have to tell myself to “let go and be transformed.” It’s a process of training your mind to believe you can and will be transformed with a new lifestyle. It is amazing to me what I'm not interested in anymore. That is God! Things and events I was so overwhelmingly interested in and now I could care less about that thing or event. I let God in! And here's a reminder for dealing with regret - Jesus died for our sins and worrying about the past is saying we don't believe what Jesus did for us. So, BYE regret!
2. Acne + Weight Loss.
I'm in my twenties, so why am I breaking out like a thirteen-year-old boy? And why am I swollen all the time? Alcohol would tell me "I don't know Alex. You should go out and buy all these products and solutions to try and figure it out." NO, alcohol you're the problem (and the late night fast food)!
Cutting alcohol out of my life has changed my skin and my body! I’m rarely swollen and I'm losing weight without really trying (I’d lose more if I’d actually take a walk). My face is the clearest it's been in five years. I’ve gained so much confidence by cutting out the one thing that is considered the liquid courage.
3. My Parents Like Me and I Like Them
This may just partly come with age; I understand that. But pre-sobriety, I was the worst to my parents! If I was around my parents hungover, I would always smack a face mask on to hide the post binge drinking puffy eyes. I was so irritable towards them when they’d ask me questions about the night before or ask any question for that matter. I would waste my day in my room sleeping off the weekend binge.
Today, I have a real relationship with my parents and I enjoy their company. There’s no more hiding my shame and weakness from them. My parents have become my friends.
4. Real Friends Will Stick Around
I think this was the scariest thing about the choice to become sober- the thought of losing friends. I spent the first three months of sobriety to myself. I believed my friends wouldn’t want to hang out with boring sober Alex. But as I look back, I needed those three months of detox from people and my old habits of going out. When I started socializing again, I’m not going to lie… I was nervous! But my friends still liked me and actually wanted to hang out with me.
Listen, if one night you feel like being super social and want to get all dressed up, you will have a good time! I still have fun going out with my friends and I get to safely drive them home. But some nights, it’s flat out awkward and I'd rather be at home on the couch watching the same movie I’ve seen 200 times. It's a normal choice whether sober or not.
5. I’m More Open to Opportunities
I was offered a two-month mission trip in Honduras.
I know I wouldn’t have accepted the opportunity if I was still drinking because I suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out). But this past summer in Honduras was my favorite summer of my whole life. It even beats the summer I got to invite boys to my birthday party for the first time.
I learned last summer how much God has got my back!
To know more about my journey in Honduras, please go to www.alexwolfphoto.com/a-summer-in-honduras[BWS1]
6. Some People Just Won't Understand…
AND THAT'S OKAY. Some people would look at me like I'm missing out on life, but they don't know me and my weaknesses. The funny thing is, the years of drinking had me missing out on a greater life. God saved me over two years ago in Honduras, then the following year God spoke to me over my problem with alcohol. The day I said "I'm done”, God came into my life and took away my desires to drink.
Today, I’m a year and three months sober from alcohol[BWS2] . I remember when I would laugh in people’s face when they would say "You don't need alcohol to have fun." I often get asked if I will ever drink again, and I'm not going to give you a yes or no answer. Right now, I just don't see the point of drinking. I feel so good and I'm happy! Why mess that up?
I wish I could go back to talk to my fourteen-year-old self and tell her alcohol isn’t the answer. “Don’t be basic, doing what everyone else is doing. Be different. Change the game.”
Being sober is not a weakness and you are not broken. It’s a choice that makes you powerful. Sobriety helps you learn more about yourself and have the chance to become the person you want to be. I experienced the dark days, the thankful days and the days where I couldn't feel any more alone. If you have considered changing your drinking habits, please don't be afraid to reach out. Email me. Text me. Call me. But don't stalk me.