Part 1: Wide Awake

I didn’t realize December 31, 2017 would be the day I quit drinking.  

I didn’t get in trouble. I didn’t hit rock bottom. And I didn’t have a plan. The point is: nothing bad happened that catalyzed my decision to quit drinking.

It all kind of happened gradually. I was enrolled as a Scare Your Soul ambassador to participate in a courage challenge for New Year’s Eve. The challenge was to do something courageous and out of your comfort zone for the day.  What I told people at the time was that I didn’t put a lot of thought into. I had a really rough Christmas because I was taking care of my aunt who was dying in the hospital and so I decided this would be an easy challenge. I wasn’t that big of a drinker anyways. At least that’s what I told myself.

When it came time to post and share about my courage challenge, I snapped a selfie with my kombucha in a champagne flute and toasted everyone into the new year.  At first I used this sober NYE as an excuse to fulfill my duties of the challenge. But then I decided to explore a sober month. Alcohol wasn’t making me feel good lately. I blamed it on too much tannins in the wine, too much gluten in the beer, and that hangovers in your thirties are the worst.  

When I made the declaration on NYE to explore staying away from alcohol, my family didn’t think anything of it. To them I wasn’t a big drinker. My best friend who knows me better than anyone asked me if this was something I was serious about. I informed her that drinking doesn’t make me feel good anymore so I might give it a try but I can’t imagine giving it up forever. However, what I’ve realized is that the curiosity and the longing to quit drinking has been subconsciously within me for the last six years.

And without even realizing it, my sobriety journey began.

As the months progressed I started to notice how good I felt physically.  But what I wasn’t expecting was how relieved I felt. Alcohol consumed my thoughts more than I realized.  That one month turned into two, and when I entered March I started to feel a shift. This was easy I foolishly thought. And what really made it feel easy is that I told myself that if it got hard I could always go back.  But thankfully, I didn’t. Once April rolled around, things began to come alive.

It was in April that I realized that this decision to not drink wasn’t about not feeling good physically. I started to recall a lot of the experiences I had with drinking. Memories from my past started to crystalize.  I was waking up. In 2012 one eye popped open but the other was still shut. I knew I felt off but I didn’t think there was any issue. In 2018, both eyes were wide open and for the first time, I was wide awake.

Photo Credit: Tall Hair Creative

Photo Credit: Tall Hair Creative

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Katie Kurtz2 Comments