Why I Stopped Drinking and Got Sober
Your Biggest Vision
Season 3, Ep. 4
In this very personal episode, I share the story behind my recent decision to stop drinking alcohol. After years of socially drinking and not thinking much of it, I experienced Spontaneous Sobriety. I see many parallels between entrepreneurship, decision making and questioning the status quo and quitting drinking that I’m excited to share with you.
Tune in to this episode to hear:
- The moment I made the spontaneous decision to no longer drink (haven’t touched it since!)
- How I plan to drink moving forward + how I respond to the awkward questions
- The four major reasons I now see alcohol differently than I did for over a decade
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Leah Gervais: Hey visionaries. Welcome to this week’s episode of the, your biggest vision show. I hope that this finds you well, this is going to be a very personal episode and it is not at all involved with online business. Like a lot of my episodes typically are. Instead I wanted to pull back the curtain and share transparently with you. My very personal decision to stop drinking alcohol, my experience with spontaneous sobriety and the sudden decision to stop drinking alcohol and what I’ve learned since then. And I want to share this for several reasons. First of all, I have a public platform and I want to do my part in normalizing the conscious choice to not drink alcohol. Um, alcohol is the only addictive substance or drug in the world at this point, I believe where people ask you why you don’t do it. Many other addictive, harmful drugs that are in the same category as alcohol, like tobacco, like opioids, you are questioned.
Why would you do them? Why would you smoke? Why would you do drugs when you stop doing them? You’re celebrated yet with alcohol or questioned or wondered. Why did you stop drinking? What is wrong with you that you stopped drinking? And I have a lot more to say on that, but I want to just do my part in first of all, normalizing the choice for no other reason than to better myself to stop drinking.
The second reason is that I do actually see so many parallels between my choice to stop drinking and entrepreneurship and decision-making and questioning the status quo. And I’m going to, again, expand more into that as well, but that really has been the most exciting part of this. All for me is it somewhat reminds me of just a few years ago when I was questioning whether or not I actually had to have a nine to five job, the way that society had led me to believe that I did the way I had always believed that I did and questioning that kind of mold and that just widely accepted truth has changed my life.
It’s paid off very well for me to question it. And when I did this, even just five years ago, the online business entrepreneurship world had not been booming in the way that it was now. So I didn’t really know that many other people that had questioned it like I was doing. Um, and I’m so grateful that I did. And I’m so grateful that I did it by myself. Even though it was kind of lonely, so I’m excited to explore something like that again. And I want to share how I believe entrepreneurship and my mindset work has helped me with this honestly game-changing decision. So here we go. In this episode, I have three kind of sections I want to share with you. Um, if you’re not interested in this, I obviously will not take offense. We will be back with more online business type content soon.
But, I do intend to share more of this journey as I, and I know I’m kind of early in this journey at the time of recording this, I have not drank for, um, one month and one day. And I know in sober speak, that might seem very short, but there’s really no destination here. It’s just the journey. And I want to share it as I go. And so I probably will continue to, if you enjoy this, please DM me. Let me know if you have any questions. I do want to keep talking about it in a way that is of service. So actually before I go ahead and outline that episode, that brings me to two important points I want to cover before we go in deeper, which are to disclaimers.
So, first important disclaimer, before we go, is that this episode will probably have moments of me sounding judgmental. I am aware of this, and it’s something that I have struggled with since I have made this decision. I do not ever want to come off as being judgemental of those that drink alcohol, being judgemental of those who choose to drink alcohol. I drank alcohol for over a decade, and it’s only a month of me deciding not to. The tension here is that in defending my decision and in sharing some of the discoveries that made me make this decision I have since seen and had my own issues with alcohol and with drinking.
So by nature, when I share those, I am aware that it can come off as judgmental or critical of alcohol or those who drink it. That is not my intention at all. I could not have less judgment for people that drink or for drinking culture in general. I just want to share transparently how I made this decision and what went into it, which is just truthfully filled with some issues with alcohol itself.
So that’s the first part here. I’m not here to judge anyone that drinks alcohol, just because I do not right now. Obviously I have for a long time, and that’s just not the point here. The second disclaimer I want to make is that I am not an alcohol expert. Of course, I am not an addiction expert. I do not identify as an addict. This is not a story of breaking an addiction. This is not a story of abuse. And if those are the type of, um, I don’t even want to say issues, but if that’s what’s coming up for you with your alcohol use, then I of course recommend that you seek help far beyond this podcast and far beyond my story. Whether that is with a therapist, a doctor and addiction specialists, all of the above, this is not meant to be any sort of treatment or suggestion or even advice for supporting, breaking an addiction. It’s just sharing my story.
So with those two disclaimers, we can go ahead and start. And here are the three sections of what I want to share with you. The first thing is I just want to share the story of the moment that I decided to stop drinking. I think it might resonate with some of you who have questioned drinking in the past, and it might not lead you to totally quit drinking and that’s okay, but it might just support you in looking at things a different way, um, excuse to just see if things could be better, that I want to share a little bit very transparently and vulnerably. I’m a bit nervous to share a little bit of background. What led up to this moment? What was alcohol like in my life? You know, what did this look like before I made this decision?
And then I’m going to share the five reasons I have decided to stick with this decision. I sort of did it backwards. I decided I was going to stop drinking and then aggressively researched everything I could about Spontaneous sobriety and the benefits on your brain. Um, I’ve not drinking alcohol, uh, which is what kind of helped me stick to my decision, but I didn’t do a bunch of research beforehand and then decided to quit. So I want to kind of share the five things that have really kept me from drinking. If that makes sense. Without further ado, here we go. The day I decided to stop drinking, it was January 1st of 2021. So a month ago at the time of this recording and I had not intended to do this, honestly, I never thought I would do this.
I did not plan on doing dry January. I did not plan on, um, you know, having this be a new year’s resolution. I didn’t really have an alcohol issue to be honest. And I’ll get more into that one and talk about what things looked like. So it just wasn’t really on my radar, but over the past few years, I would say that I had gotten a little more suspicious of alcohol. Just kind of questioning it a little bit more. Um, and the main thing that bothered me about it was it was not getting hung over or my, my weight or my health. I’m actually, I do feel like I’ve been quite healthy over the past few years. It was that even a little bit. Yeah. Seemingly a little bit of alcohol, like a little more than a glass of wine. Definitely two glasses of wine would disrupt my sleep.
Now for those of you that know me, I love my sleep. I am not like a biohacker of sleep. I want to sleep like eight to nine hours a night. I do a lot to prepare for sleep. I just, I love to sleep and I love to get to bed really early and I love to wake up really early. So it very much annoyed me if I would wake up in the middle of the night or if I’d struggled to go to sleep or if I’d wake up extra early. And I couldn’t, I knew that if alcohol wasn’t, the whole reason that my sleep night was getting disrupted, it was probably part of it. So January 1st was no exception. Now I didn’t drink heavily on January 1st. I think I just had a few glasses of wine with dinner. My husband and I were on vacation on the Gulf side of Florida.
We currently live in Miami on the East side. So we were on vacation, you know, definitely in holiday mode. Basically, what I’m trying to say is drink. Everyone was drinking. It was very acceptable. It was very relaxed. Um, and I wasn’t drunk, but just had like two glasses of wine and sure enough the next morning or in the middle of the night, I guess I should say that in the middle of the night on January 1st, I kind of struggled to sleep a little bit. I had a moment where I kind of woke up and um, I wasn’t hungover, I didn’t have a headache, no symptoms. I just kinda was like, Ugh, darn it. Like, I just wanted to sleep through the night. And we had one whole more day of vacation after that. So January 2nd was another vacation day, which meant another day of drinking.
Another day of going to the beach another day of, you know, just having fun laying around, not like partying, but just relaxing. And, um, we then were supposed to go home January 3rd. So I was laying there in bed and I was sort of like, Oh, okay, well, you know, tomorrow I’m probably going to have another drink or two again. And then starting January 3rd, maybe I just won’t drink for a little while so I can catch up on some sleep. I’m like negotiating in my head like this in the middle of the night. Then I just started thinking, well, I don’t even know if that’ll work because the first week of January, when you get back to Miami, we had a few obligations that were social events that typically involve drinking long story short. I just couldn’t really see in my brain how I would really take a break, so to speak, to catch up on my sleep for the next like 10 days.
And something just went through my head suddenly. That was like, well, what if you just did all those things anyway? What if you just went to the beach tomorrow and what if you just kept vacationing tomorrow and what if you just did all your social events next week and you just didn’t drink? And it probably sounds very obvious, but I just, because I hadn’t really questioned drinking, I just had always sort of factored in, um, passively, you know, if I’m doing X, then there will probably be alcohol, which ended up being my biggest problem with it. And I’ll talk more about that in a second. But the point is I just had this really kind of quick questioning moment of like, well, what if I just did all these things any way without drinking what a radical idea that would be and I kinda got excited for that brief moment because I thought, Whoa, like if I did all these things that normally are very, just accepted to have alcohol accompanied by, you know, it’s one thing to just like sit at home on a Tuesday night and not drink that’s easy.
There’s like, no, no temptation, no triggers, no expectations, whatever, but to be on the beach where everyone’s having white claws and music is playing and like the norm is just like to have a drink and everyone’s reading or talking or playing some beach games or whatever. If I just like elected not to that kind of would have been a more bold move. So anyway, I just had this idea. It didn’t really think much about it kind of went back to sleep, you know, call it a day, woke up in the morning, felt fine. I wasn’t awake that long in the middle of the night.
So I still ended up having a relatively good night’s sleep. I just get annoyed in the middle of the night when I wake up. So I woke up and didn’t think much of it, but sort of was just like, huh. Yeah, maybe, maybe I’m onto something. And so kind of just went about my day didn’t I really think about much. Later that day we all went to the beach white claws in hand, and I decided to go on a walk by myself and I wasn’t really sure.
Thinking about drinking that much. I was just sort of thinking about the new year and what’s in store and what I want to do to unfold for myself. What I wanted to manifest. 2020 was a difficult year for obvious reasons, but it was a booming year for my business. It was a very exciting year of growth.
It was a very exciting year of expansion with our team, with our income, with our programs, with our clients. It was just a lot of leaping. And so I was excited to kind of just like playing with what 2021 could look like in my head. And at one moment I just sort of stopped on the beach. I was by myself and I just looked up into the sun and it was a beautiful day, you know, January 2nd and new year. And I think half, you know, slightly considering alcohol, but also not fully. I just, I prayed.
And I just said to God, I’m willing- I want to see things differently. Like how could I see things differently? How could this year be better in a way that I could see things differently? And how could my health be better in a way? And you know, maybe how could like, should I actually unpack what I thought about in the middle of the night when I woke up and from that prayer, I have never had a drink of alcohol since then. I experienced spontaneous sobriety.
It was just like something shifted in me. So what was it, what shifted? Let’s kind of break this down a little bit, but I want to just first say that it has been so easy to not drink. And I know that that probably is all relatively speaking. You might be listening to this and think, well, of course it’s only been a month, Leah, like I don’t drink that much a month would be easy, but you might also be listening to this and thinking I can’t, I literally can’t imagine going a month without drinking and that’s not a judgemental thing. That’s, there’s no shame behind that statement. It’s such an ingrained part of our culture for so many of us. And especially if you’re a passive drinker, like I was, that was really the problem I ended up having with it was, it wasn’t that I drank heavily.
It wasn’t that I drank to get drunk. It was just that I drank just because I drank because it was dinner. I drank because it was happy hour. I drank because we were at the beach because it was brunch. I didn’t often, not nearly often enough actually ask myself, do I want to have this drink of alcohol? And so when you are kind of just like a social drinker like that and you drink in social situations, it can sometimes be hard to tell, honestly, imagine a month. And I think if I would have been told like a week prior to that decision that I would go a whole month or that, you know, now indefinitely, I have no plans to start again. I would have thought it would have been very, very hard. So that’s why I want to share that it has been extremely easy.
I mean, once you make the decision it’s incredible the power of a decision when you truly make it, because once I made it, I really haven’t struggled with it at all. Um, we’ll talk more, a little bit more about that. But here was, I think the fundamental shift in my brain, which happened when I asked God to see things differently.
I believe that on a subconscious level, though I had been somewhat suspicious of alcohol for the past few years. And I had noticed it kind of interrupting my sleep a little more and I had noticed it not being great for my anxiety. And I just was sort of wondering like, is this really as great as we all think is, or is it maybe not that fun anymore? I didn’t really explore the potential of becoming a non-drinker or giving up alcohol because of the deeply rooted, um, beliefs I had around the implications of what it meant to not drink.
And I think a lot of our society has those beliefs, which is part of why I wanted to come out and share my story. Even at the risk of being categorized into some of those misbeliefs because I want to start breaking them down.
So what am I talking about? Well, if you look around through most of the marketing and our culture around alcohol, there is a kind of tagline about drinking responsibly, please drink responsibly. In fact, I learned in a book I’ve since read called Quit like a Woman, which I will talk more about that. If you go to responsibility.org, which is a nonprofit or a foundation or a think tank or something along those lines dedicated to helping adults drink responsibly, you actually can discover that that foundation, that website is funded by very, very big profitable alcohol companies like Bacardi, like Anheuser-Busch I like these huge corporations that have a ton of financial investment in helping adults continue to drink in, in continuing the consumption of alcohol.
What does this mean for us? This means that we believe that if you can’t drink or don’t drink, you therefore must not be able to do it responsibly. We don’t understand that you could just choose not to do it. So when we decide that other people that don’t drink do it because they can’t do it responsibly, that puts the blame of alcohol being a “problem” on the drinker. That is a very convenient theory for those of us that do drink and that don’t want to find any problem with alcohol because we like it so much because we can think, well so long as I do it responsibly, then there’s no problem. I don’t have a problem. The problem is only on the drinker, this theory, or this kind of view, this perspective is further perpetuated by alcoholics anonymous, which I have no lack of respect for.
I have a lot of respect for Alcoholics anonymous. I know it’s saved countless people’s lives, and this is not trying to criticize it and their fundamental belief and what they almost require of their members in order to work their program is that if you are a part of alcoholics anonymous, if you are an alcoholic, you are different than a normie or normal, I believe they call them the normie.
So again, they’re perpetuating this line between those who cannot drink responsibly, and those who can, which may have its truth in the disease of alcoholism or the disease of addiction for those that are addicts versus those who are not. I understand that. And I think that that’s a different conversation, but in both of these very predominantly, you know, drinker blaming conversations, this is what society most hears through marketing and then through alcoholics anonymous, that if there is a problem with drinking, it is because of the drinker.
I think what shifted for me and what gave me permission to see this differently was wondering what if alcohol’s the problem? What if I can drink “responsibly”? What if I am “a normie”? Um, and what if I just don’t appreciate what this is doing to my body anymore, or to my mind, or to women or to society or to our decision making power, all of which I’m going to share about in just a second, but it was that shift of realizing that I don’t have to put this blame on myself. I don’t have to bear a burden. I don’t have to bear guilt. I don’t have to be irresponsible or some of these other labels that we give people that don’t drink. I could just choose that alcohol is an addictive drug. It’s literally gasoline. It’s doing nothing to further my life. It’s disrupting my sleep, which I cherish.
And I really don’t believe that it’s adding anything to my life anymore. And I just don’t want to do it anymore. So that shift for me was huge. And I am skeptical even sharing that shift because I think it could come off as judgmental or perpetuating stigmas against those who do identify as problems as drinkers, not so much the drink. And that’s not the point I’m trying to get across here.
I have no problem with Alcoholics anonymous. If it works for you, if you identify with being an irresponsible drinker and that helps you not drink, do what works for you. Those didn’t work for me and they didn’t work for me up to this point. I could end up being wrong. I could end up being wrong and I’m willing to be wrong here in public. But at this point it really helped me to understand and almost take back my power about my skepticism from it.
So that was what shifted the realization that it could just be about drinking, not about the drinker. So backing up a little bit. What was it like when I was drinking and when I kind of had these skepticisms and just dismiss them because I didn’t, you know, identify as a problem to drinker.
So I would say for the past several years, maybe like five plus years, I didn’t would not consider myself having been a heavy drinker. I do think that I was what I call a social slash frequent drinker. Um, I never drank usually more than two drinks at a time. Um, I didn’t really get drunk. I didn’t really take shots. I didn’t really get hung over. I didn’t really get headaches. I didn’t really get sick. None of the, kind of more extreme, negative effects, physical negative effects that alcohol can give you. But I did drink regularly in that I would drink if I would go out for dinner or if I, if it was happy hour at home, or, um, if I just wanted to like relax on my balcony or whatever, it was just kind of a frequent thing in my life, nothing was bad.
I think that that’s kind of a powerful thing about my story too, that relates to entrepreneurship. It’s a strength and a weakness, honestly, of the story because my drinking never got to be problematic. It never got, I never hit a rock bottom. It was never bad. It was fine. But again, paralleling what I went through. When I decided to start my business and quit my nine to five job, you don’t need to wait for things to get bad, to make them great. You can go from good to great. And sometimes going from good to great is very hard because it actually requires you to reject what is good.
And a lot of times we are taught to be grateful for what is good or why resist, what is good? Why make things harder on yourself when things are good? The same happens all the time. I see with my side hustlers, their nine to five job is good. So why should they go through all of, you know, creating a new business, quitting their nine to five job, like spending all this money, putting themselves out there, all this perceived utter risk in order to be great. Well, if you want a great life, you have to reject a good life. And I believe that with business, I believe that I, and I went through this, you know, I had many moments when I was quitting my nine to five job where I thought, should I just go to law school? It would be easier. It would not be bad.
It would be fine. My life would be good, but it wouldn’t be great. Is it worth going into debt? Is it worth being laughed at, is it worth rejection over rejection, over rejection? Is it worth utter risk? Um, especially, you know in the eyes of those around me in order to fight for great when my life is pretty good and the answer was yes. And that was kind of the case here too, is like, what am I really gonna wait for this to be a problem, or to prevent me from, um, living out my fullest potential or to prevent me from, I mean, even you can just even think of small things, like, do I really want to give up the great years of sleep I have before hopefully one day I become a mother, not really, you know? And so I wanted to kind of start with that good and thinking, how could it be great? How could it be great? How could it be great?
And I think the biggest problem that I’ve mentioned, but I want to pull out here again before I go into my actual five points of why I’ve continued to do this. The biggest problem about how I drank was that I did it passively. I did not look at every drink and think, do I actually want to put this in my body right now? And I have to say, I think I’m relatively good at that with things like sweets or, you know, um, kind of an unhealthy meal. Uh, I do not, I do not withhold. I do not, um, not let myself, what am I, what’s the word I’m trying to look for. I do not miss out on, um, desserts or, you know, delicious meals. I indulge in them from time to time. I just don’t do it frequently. And when I do, I really ask, like, is this worth it right now?
I didn’t do that with alcohol. I just sort of drank because it was, you know, socially accepted to do so. So that was what things were like. That was kind of the background. And I had gotten a little bit suspicious of this a few years prior. Now what made the decision for me to completely stop? And what are the five reasons that have kept me doing it?
Well, the first one is, hang on, I’m gonna take a sip of water. The first reason is that I really value my decision making power. So as I said, I drank kind of passively or unconsciously, like I just drank without really thinking about it. I think a lot of us go through different parts of our life without actually thinking about it. For example, school, a lot of us go through school, college, getting a job without actually questioning if we actually want to do that or not.
Um, sometimes we go through, you know, kind of like passive relationships without really wondering, like, is this what I want for myself or not? And that’s how it was with alcohol. Now you might be listening to my story thus far and wondering, why am I being so extreme about this? If alcohol wasn’t a problem in my life. If I wasn’t a heavy drinker, do I really have to kind of quit and not only quit, but like start doing all this research on it and make a podcast episode about it. Couldn’t I just, you know, sort of moderately drink and just do it like once a month or maybe a few times a month or a few times a year or whatever the case may be. And I want to pull this out as something to really hone in on why I keep bringing up this point of being a passive drinker versus being a conscious drinker and why I chose to quit it altogether.
Why can’t I drink moderately? I could drink moderately, but here’s the rub. When you drink moderately, you have to make so many decisions about when and if you’ll drink pretty much, every time you go to a social situation where there’s alcohol, you’re going to have to reevaluate. Whether it’s one of the times you’re going to be a moderate drinker or not. That includes weddings. That includes dinners. That includes celebrations. That includes birthdays. That includes happy hours. That includes work events. That includes baby showers. That includes bridal showers. That includes, you know all different things. I could think of several times per month that I would have to reevaluate if I was a moderate drinker. Now, not only that, but once you have a drink, if you are going to choose this moderate drinking path, then after the first drink, you have to really decide, do I have a second?
Am I a moderate drinker that has two glasses of wine once a month, or my moderate drinker that has three glasses of wine so long as it’s once every three months or whatever the case may be. So you’re adding on decision-making opportunities for it. It should be a little bit more of a negative word, but requirements, I guess I should say, uh, to your brain, which already is fatigued from so many decisions and studies show that decisions, no matter how big or small I learned this in a book called this naked mind, which I highly recommend if you’re like kind of sober, curious, or just curious about the effects of alcohol on your brain, uh, decision-making no matter how big or small takes about the same amount of energy, your brain, despite the decision. So whether you are deciding to quit your nine to five job, which is a huge decision or to whether or not to have that second glass of wine, which is perhaps a perceived small decision, you are fatiguing.
Your brain was of its decision-making power. Now I run my own business. And since starting to work for myself full time, the amount of decisions I have to make every day has increased exponentially. There is a reason people like Mark Zuckerberg, not that I’m comparing myself to him, but that he wears the same outfit every day or Alexa Von Tobel, who’s an entrepreneur. I look up to very much eats the same lunch every day. It’s because when you don’t have a boss telling you when to get to work, when to wake up, what to eat every day, when your lunch break is what time you can leave work, what time do you have to be at meetings? What time your deadlines are. You have to make all of those decisions for yourself. It is a luxury to do so. I am not complaining. It is complete freedom.
I wouldn’t have it any other way, and I love it, but I’ve had to get very careful about how many decisions I make every day, because I need to save my energy for the important decisions that move my business and my life forward. And we all get decision making fatigue. I think we all got decision-making fatigue quite a bit in 2020, because of COVID. When we were constantly having to make decisions about how to re-learn to live our lives.
My point is, I don’t want my decision-making power taken up by whether or not I want to drink alcohol. And here’s the rub. Once you have had that one drink, no matter how much of a normal drinker you are, no matter how unproblematic it is for you, you are fighting against a chemical that by definition will pull you to have another drink. Alcohol is addictive.
Even one drink will make you want another. This doesn’t mean you’re an alcoholic. It doesn’t mean you are an addict. It doesn’t have to mean any of those labels. It’s simply an addictive substance. So once you’ve had that one drink, not only then do you have to make the next decision to, should I then have the second, which already takes up your normal decision-making power and, and energy.
It’s even more energy than normal because your brain is going to have the bias for you to have another one, because it wants you to continue to have the same experience that you’re currently having. So that’s why I chose to not be a moderate drinker because it’s not worth it to me to spend my energy, my decision-making power on decisions of whether or not to put what is, you know, ethanol into my body. I really can no longer think of a time in which it’s worth my decision-making power to put that in my body.
Let me just pause here and know a question I’ve been getting a lot. Will I ever drink again? Will I ever drink again? Is this forever? Is this for the year? Is this for the month? Whatever the case may be. The answer is, I honestly don’t know because here’s my motto. It’s not that I quit drinking because I don’t want to drink or because I can’t or because, or that I, that I can’t, or alcohol is a problem, or I have to withhold something from myself.
I have lost the desire based on these five reasons I’m going to share with you right now. I just shared number one, I do not want to make decisions around alcohol when I have other bigger, more important decisions to make more exciting decisions to make. So if I want to drink again, I will let myself, I do not want to deprive myself.
And in fact, that’s been the most exciting part of this all is I always thought that not drinking meant a life of deprivation and, you know, constantly kind of wanting something that you can’t have. I don’t feel deprived at all. I feel if anything, like I’ve gained something so much more freedom, so much more rest, so much more clarity, so much more health, so much more excitement about what it could mean for my life to have a clear mind. And so I just genuinely don’t want to, will I, one day maybe, you know, I’m not like pigeonholing myself into anything.
That’s not what this is about, But it seems beside the point right now to put a limit on this again, that kind of puts this pressure on, like, when’s the, what’s the destination. I’m not here for the destination. I’m here for the journey. This is where I’m at in the journey.
Okay. Reason number two, that I decided to do this and that I’ve continued to do it, which is also my second, most exciting favorite reason is that I think it’s exciting to question societal norms. I already mentioned that this has shadowed or kind of mirrored, I guess I should say, uh, the time period I went through a few years ago when I started aggressively questioning whether or not I actually had to have a nine to five job, just because so many in society did, did that mean I did too.
And continuing to ask that question, even when no one really understood why or even one, some people didn’t support it, or even when people thought it was ridiculous or self-indulgent, or, um, self-centered or whatever the case may be, is one of the things I’m forever the most grateful for in my life, because it’s why I now work for myself. It’s why I now have the business that I have, the team that I have, the income that I have, the life that I have. And there’s something exciting about doing things differently. And so this feels similar. It almost feels like I’ve tapped into like, you know, a secret weapon of sorts, which might sound a little bit dramatic for those of you that are like, um, I never drink. So I don’t relate to you at all,
But, uh, in my life, you know, just having lived in New York for 10 years, most people do. And so it’s exciting to me to wonder what could it mean if I don’t, what could my life look like if I don’t, what could be different about it if I don’t. And I think that is some element to alcohol, having a similar moment to what cigarettes had. This is also a lot that I learned in that book, Quit like a Woman by Hollywood Whitaker, which I’m going to talk more about.
And so it almost feels like I’m, um, early on in a movement and I’m not that early in it. I do think it’s more, a little bit more general or just widely accepted to be sober nowadays for the sake of doing Spontaneous Sobriety. So I’m not like a trailblazer, but I still think I’m on the earlier in the earlier phases of it. And that’s exciting to me. It’s exciting to think that, you know, over the next, I hope few decades, alcohol is just started to view differently. Um, and to think that, you know, you could kind of be on the forefront of that movement is something that’s exciting to me. So I like, um, questioning the status quo.
I like questioning societal norms, especially when I think with alcohol. So much of the societal norm has come from deep marketing, deep, deep marketing by very wealthy companies, very wealthy people, wanting alcohol to look like the fun flirty thing you do at a bar in New York city. Like they show in the movies or to look like what you do when you get dumped like they show on friends, um, the TV show, or to look like what you do, you know, when you’re Tony soprano or, um, just, uh, a real bad-ass, you know, drinking you’re like scotch neat, or whatever the case may be.
That is all by design. It is not by accident that we have been shown that over and over. And it’s so deeply ingrained in us that we believe it to be true. We believe alcohol helps us sleep. We believe alcohol takes the edge off. We believe alcohol helps us date. We believe alcohol makes us more creative and actually none of those things are true. All of those are debunked in the book, this naked mind, which I highly recommend. Alcohol fuels your anxiety.
For example, alcohol disrupts your sleep. It might make you drowsy at first, but it does not certainly keep you asleep. In fact, typically the opposite happens. Alcohol never made you more fun. Um, you just kind of believed it, that it did. And so once I started kind of debunking all these assumptions I always had had about alcohol and just beliefs, um, which again comes back to, I think a lot of the mindset work I’ve done for entrepreneurship, where you have to literally change things that you thought to be facts about the world in order to see them differently.
Um, that’s another reason why I had no desire to do this anymore and it’s become very easy. So it’s exciting to, to, to lo to question what could happen when you pull back what you’ve been told and what you’ve accepted as truth in anything in life. And this is just the same for me, reason number three that I have continued to not drink is because of the lens that I learned on women and alcohol, feminism, and alcohol in the book, quite like a woman by Holly Whitaker. So my business is about women’s and women’s empowerment.
My business is about helping women become more financially independent, have more financial freedom, follow their vision, really take control of their life in a largely patriarchal society. And I’m very excited about that. And the more I learned about how alcohol takes away your decision-making power, how it can numb you. You know, I don’t have to go into this staggering statistics around sexual assault and alcohol, um, domestic violence and alcohol. All of these, you know, harm harmful to women’s statistics that involve alcohol and it no longer felt an integrity for me to drink passively and to contribute to this substance that was contributing to the patriarchy, contributing to gender inequality that made it harder for women to actually have a shot at evening out the gender gap in our country and in our world.
I’m not going to go too deeply into them, but if you’re interested at all in that take on alcohol, then I highly recommend the book Quit like a Woman by Hollywood Whitaker because she has some really incredible research on what it does for feminism, what it does for women, how it could hurt so many of the causes that so many women have fought so hard for, especially recently like the me too movement. Um, and you know, how we actually can play a really strong part in that, by just cutting out something that really numbs our senses. And then the fourth reason, which is very obvious is simply health. I have always valued my health.
I have always, um, you know, try to, to research different diets that work, uh, to, to, to support me better. I don’t mean diets like in the sense of trying to lose weight, but I don’t eat very much gluten. Um, I eat pretty moderate dairy. I eat a relatively plant-based diet. I pay attention how much protein I get. I do classes. And I learned that so much of my cleansing detox, et cetera, was completely eliminated and almost just negated through alcohol consumption. And why didn’t I know this sooner?
It’s because another thing that I learned is that there’s a lot of hypocrisy in the wellness industry. So even very, very healthy people, even very health conscious people still drink alcohol. And I believe that it’s because of how deeply rooted our beliefs are about alcohol. That it doesn’t have to be that bad that it doesn’t have to be that toxic, that it doesn’t have to be unhealthy.
In fact, red wine is said to be healthy. Tequila is said to be healthy. I believed those things were healthy in moderation. And in reality, they are so toxic for you in your system. That almost all the detoxifying we try to do is eliminated if you’re consuming alcohol. And one of the things that Holly in her book Quit like a Woman explicitly pointed out that I really appreciated.
And this is once again my, uh, with my disclaimer that I am not here to be judgmental. I am sure I have been part of the hypocrisy of the wellness and women’s empowerment movement. For the last few years, I have spoke about the importance of women making their own money. The potential women have to take their career and their jobs and their finances into their own hand, all the while posing with pictures of champagne.
I get it. I’m not proud of it, but I’m just, you know, learning and trying to do my best to continue to grow and pivot and be transparent. And one of the organizations she pointed out was Goop Gwyneth Paltrow’s, Goop and how they, I don’t remember her specific example perfectly, but it was so powerful how she shared that Gwyneth Paltrow has explicitly said that she won’t put a particular eyeliner out to her because I think it was because the eyeliner could, um, you know, cause acne on your skin or potentially hurt your anti-aging attempts on your skin.
And she just in good conscience, couldn’t actually put that out to her consumers and Holly’s like, okay, what’s actually going to harm us more. Is it going to be an eyeliner that could potentially age us a little bit? Or is it going to be downing a bottle of rosacea or Svedka, which completely dulls our ability to make decisions, which completely makes us do things we regret, which fuels our anxiety, women are already prone to more anxiety.
Women already have more responsibilities generally speaking than men, uh, which hurts our, you know, power to then get up the next day and work toward our own destiny toward our own empowerment, toward our own financial and like, you know, independence. And also what’s going to hurt our health more, you know, a little bit of eyeliner that could maybe not help your skin age as much, or this like complete detriment to your liver, to your system, to all the organs that are trying to work in your favorites here, heart, all of that. And it’s so incredibly true. And that was so eye-opening to me that I’m doing all these things to try to be healthy, all these things, to try to, you know, be the best version of myself and to be the most energetic version of myself. And I’m nearly negating all of them by drinking alcohol.
So there you have it. Those are the reasons that I have continued with my spontaneous sobriety to recap. I guess it was only four reasons, right? To recap… One is that I no longer wanted to waste my decision making power on whether or not I should drink. Two is that I am excited about doing something differently than society has traditionally done it. And that I think it’s powerful to question norms, especially when those norms are things that have been molded into our brains, through marketing, not through anything, actually factual three, it felt more in integrity to work with women and toward women’s empowerment, without something that really doles women and that doesn’t lift them up. And that actually prevents us from are our highest selves and our, and our biggest destinies and fourth, it is just not healthy at all. And if you’re really doing anything to try to be healthy, try to detoxify, try to work on behalf of your body than alcohol is really making it an uphill battle for yourself.
So that is why once I decided to quit, I want to be transparent. I enrolled in a program called Tempest with Holly, who wrote the book Quit like a Woman. I very much believe in the power of community and of accountability. Obviously that is my whole business model. I walk the walk here. I do not think that big, exciting things should be done alone. Can you do it alone maybe, but why would you do that to yourself?
So I have a community of people online that I’m able to chat with. We have calls once a week where we kind of talk about our experience and I really love it because it’s all structured on a feminine energy perspective of quitting drinking, which is all about how you can use your intuition, how you can use more of becoming in touch with who you are, which I think so many of us are blocked from when we drink.
Even if you drink regularly or just socially, you know, even if you don’t drink, um, to the point of abuse, even if you don’t drink for escapism or all the other reasons that, um, we can think that are negative to drink, even if you just drink because you enjoy a beer, there still is a sense of numbing that comes with that because that’s what the drink is designed to do. And so we’re sort of counteracting that by really proactively and in a really fun way, exploring how much of the opposite we can do.
How much more can we get to know ourselves? How much more inward can we go? How much more can we discover with a clear head, with a clear mind, with a clear heart, with our optimal health, with, you know, this new, new found grace for yourself, where you can just allow yourself to kind of explore what else is out there for you?
And I honestly feel like this is one of the best decisions I’ve made so far. I’ve made some pretty good decisions in my day. If I do say so myself, marrying my husband is probably the best one, quitting my nine to five job, hiring my sister. I think life really is marked by big decisions and decisions you just make and then go all out with, I am such a big fan of not overthinking decisions because here’s the thing. If I end up deciding I want to drink again, if I ended up not enjoying Spontaneous sobriety, I can drink again. It’s not that hard. You know, can go to a bar, order a drink any day of the week. You can decide again, you can decide again with so many things yet. So many of us waste so much of our time in indecision.
Should I do this? Would it be hard? Can I do this? If I would have planned on quitting drinking for like a month before I think I would have really been psych myself out of it. I think I would have really looked for reasons why drinking isn’t that bad. And I don’t drink that heavily. And so long as I keep it to whatever parameters make me feel safe, then I can just do it. But because I just made the decision and went with it, it’s been so easy. It’s been so smooth. It’s been so exciting. And again, I can always decide to do differently. It’s the same with business. We all take ourselves out over what if we fail? What if no one likes it? What if we get rejected? What if people laugh at us? What if I spend all this money and don’t make it back? What if I quit my nine to five job and I fail?
Well, you can always go get another job or you can always try something different or you can always sell something different. There’s always another way. There’s always another decision to be made, but every decision you make will teach you something. Whereas wasting time in indecision just brings you in to fear it by definition makes you rely on fear instead of relying on faith, faith, that something better is out there. Faith is something good that could happen. Faith, that something else is waiting for you. And if you end up not liking that something else you can always decide again.
So this is a long episode. I’m going to go ahead and stop here just because I feel like I’ve kind of gone off in a lot of different directions, but I just wanted to be thorough. Give you guys a transparent look at what has been happening in my life. Um, and in my decision-making and just hopefully connect with some of you on this. You know, even if it’s just something you’ve been curious with, even if you’re still drinking, I can’t, I don’t like, I want to still talk to you about that.
I understand so much of it and I wish I had more people to talk to about, I honestly wish I had more people to talk about this now. But even over the past few years I experienced skepticism. I didn’t really have anyone to talk to about it because I felt ashamed. I felt like something must’ve been wrong with me now that I’ve learned. That’s absolutely not true. Something is just wrong with alcohol. It’s become a lot more liberating. So I hope that you DM me if you liked this, I hope that you email me if you have a question and, um, let me know if you found this interesting, because I’ll continue to do some updates on what I’ve learned in my experience and how I’ve navigated this.
What’s been hard about it. What’s been easy, how I’ve told people any of those types of questions. I’m really trying to be an open book here, but no matter what, even if this didn’t relate to you from a drinking perspective at all, I hope it related to you from a decision-making perspective and just looking at things in your life that might be passive for you, but aren’t serving you and how you could either make them more conscious decisions or evaluate whether or not it’s a decision you even want to make at all. Um, and what it could look like if you just gave yourself permission to no longer make that decision at all, because the decision is just to not, not do it. Um, and you know, as a final summary, as I’ve said, this has been very easy. Um, I thought this was going, I would have thought this would be very hard.
This has not been at all the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve been through a lot of harder things in my life. And still, this has been a reminder to me that humans can do anything. Not because this has been such a hard battle. And I feel like I’ve, you know, done something heroic by stopping drinking alcohol. But because for so many years, it was such a big part of my life that I probably never thought I would do this.
And with a simple shift in perspective, with a simple mindset change, it’s become very, very easy and that can apply to anything. Anything you think you can’t do, anything you think is impossible, an amount of money, you want to make a life. You want to live an income bracket. You want to be in a client. Anything you want to have is usually just a mindset shift away. You know, we think that we can’t do something, not because we can’t, if someone else out there in the world is doing it, you can too, but because we’ve been conditioned to believe something, you can choose to believe something else you can choose today. So I’ll leave you there, Visionaries. I hope you liked this. I hope to hear from you and here is to your biggest vision.
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