One Year No Beer’s 90 Day Challenge
Today I committed to One Year No Beer’s 90-day challenge!
The first task of the challenge is to ask: why I am I taking the challenge? To dig deep with my answers. So, here goes. Since 2020, I have invested a lot of time and effort into changing my relationship with alcohol. On reflection, I would say that, by and large, I have been pretty bloody successful at it. I have completed other sober challenges, honestly explored why I was drinking in the dangerous way I was, pushed myself to attend events sober, read mountains of quit-lit and got to know who I am sans alcohol. In truth, I very rarely drink anymore. The first time touched a beer this year was late March.
But it is not enough to leave it at that. I started this journey by saying I wanted to be teetotal; I am not there yet so, I am not giving up.
I have come a long way from the broken soul I was in 2019, but there is still a long way to go. England has pretty much been in lockdown for a year which has made abstaining from drinking easier. Now, everything is slowly beginning to open, I can already feel the pressure to drink beginning to mount. Mounting, not from the outside but from within. That little voice in my head telling me I will be a social pariah if I do not drink is already beginning to grow louder. It whispers that I should enjoy a few because the sun is out, because I am still young, because what is the harm? Everyone else is drinking; why not me? My summer social calendar has started to fill, and I have already wasted countless hours worrying about drinking.
Should I drink? What should I drink? What if I get too drunk? What if everyone hates me? Maybe I should stick to one type of drink? What if I slip back into old ways?
It is EXHAUSTING. No more. I am tearing up the ugly weeds of anxiety and self-doubt that come with my drinking and replacing them with a garden of beautiful, bright, sobriety flowers. I may be able to have just one these days but that does not mean I should have one. Really, what is the point? And in my heart of hearts, I know it can be a helluva slippy slope from that one to not enough.
But it goes even further than that. I am currently reading Glennon Doyle’s Untamed. In it, she asks: What is true and beautiful? Doyle encourages us to turn inwards to answer the question: what does our truest and most beautiful life look like? To me, that is a sober life. A life without the constant booze-related chatter in my head, a life without hangovers and beer-fear, a life fully lived and fully remembered. When I had that realisation last night, I asked myself: what am I doing? Why am I, even with an occasional bevvy, denying myself my truest, most beautiful life? Do I not deserve to listen to what my soul is telling me and follow its directions?
So, back to why have I joined this 90-day challenge: I want to live my truest, most beautiful life and, I think I need a little help doing it right now. I need some new tools for my sober toolkit and a fresh perspective. I need a clear goal and words of encouragement. ‘Normal’ life is resuming, but I refuse to return to pre-lockdown party-Paige. I refuse to undo all the hard work I have done. I want to keep growing and blossoming as I learn who I am and how to love myself, and I am going to need all the support I can get while I make it through the next part of this journey. Those are my whys.