10 Amazing Things That Happen When You Kick Alcohol Out Of Your Life

10 Amazing Things That Happen When You Kick Alcohol Out Of Your Life

Today is my one–year Soberversary. I’m sitting on the carpeted floor of my apartment in oversized sweatpants, a mug of tea to my right, the cool blue sky out the window to my left.

Calm mornings like this are relatively new to me. They’re a trademark of the sober lifestyle I chose one year ago today, and they – like so many of my new routines and simple pleasures – are sacred to me. Sobriety has reshaped my life in ways I never could have predicted.

This journey that I assumed would be difficult, isolating, and painful has been replete with silver linings. Though I never formed a physical dependence on alcohol, I abused it from day one. My five-year relationship with drinking was the origin of many traumatic memories, painful injuries, toxic relationships, and though I didn’t realize it then, my deepest wellspring of shame.

And so after five years of drinking, I made the difficult decision to quit.

My decision was predicated on months of reading, journaling, and wondering – wondering if my drinking was “bad enough” to warrant sobriety and wondering how hard it would be to quit. I was nervous at how my life would change. My mind was occupied with everything I’d miss as a sober person, and I struggled to imagine how a sober life could be satisfying and enlivening – an intoxicant all on its own.

When the benefits of sobriety began appearing – subtly at first, then rapidly, like a breaking dam – I realized that my life had become far more interesting than it was before. Becoming sober was the first choice I ever made to prioritize my health, wellness, and spirit, in spite of the fact that it would restrict me from certain activities, weaken certain friendships, and fundamentally restructure my lifestyle. That’s why sobriety honestly feels like my greatest achievement. I’m proud of it, right to my bones.

It opened my eyes to the many ways we use numbing agents to create barriers between ourselves and the raw, uncomfortable, potent experiences of living in this world.

What began as a commitment to avoid hangovers became a commitment to getting in touch with my heart, a commitment to living in the present moment in spite of discomfort, and a commitment to experiences and people that make me feel fundamentally nourished and safe.

The way I see it, we’re not incentivized to kick an addiction until we begin to believe in a brighter alternative – an alternative that feels more inspiring and satisfying than the addiction. When I quit drinking, I knew that if I was going to permanently resist the buzz of booze, I needed a compelling alternative waiting in the wings.

Here are the 10 amazing things that happened when I kicked alcohol out of my life…

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On The Road Issue 2: Studenthood in Seattle

On The Road Issue 2: Studenthood in Seattle

Greetings from the road! As y’all may have read in my last blog post, I am in the midst of a nomadic journey. In August, I left Boston to live on the road and continue working remotely as a Life Coach. Currently, I’m bunked in Seattle - specifically, the charming, eccentric neighborhood of Fremont. Thanks for coming along on this journey with me <3

Recently, I’ve been thinking of this journey as an opportunity to be a student. Generally, we think of ourselves as students when we’re in educational settings, learning hard skills like math, car repair, pie crust recipes - you get the idea. Sometimes we forget that all endeavors - particularly those that are unfamiliar - are teachers. Identifying as a student has helped me embrace the what-the-hell-am-I-doing sensation that accompanies trying something new - and I happen to be doing a lot of trying something new these days. And how relieving: to feel like it’s okay to learn instead of to know. This mindset has helped me stay curious and keep my mind open on the road. 

In September, I wrote about synchronicities. My first few weeks on the road, I experienced lucky coincidence after lucky coincidence. The mother of all synchronicities took place when a Seattle-based friend-of-a-friend offered me his one bedroom apartment while he travels in South America till November. Seattle was already sneaking its way into my heart, so when the option arose to stay twice as long as I’d originally intended - for virtually no money - I accepted without a thought. 

And so today, like many other days recently, I am cozily sipping coffee at Caffe Vita, the neighborhood coffeeshop steps from “my” front door. Instead of hostel-hopping each week - overhearing friendly strangers complain about their hangovers in German accents at breakfast and trying to find comfortable sleeping positions with earplugs stuffed in my ears - I’m staying in an apartment. With a kitchen. In a neighborhood that I adore. Four of my new friends live within a five-minute radius. Most days, I feel like I stepped into a ready-made life, complete with home, favorite coffeeshop, burgeoning social network, and some days, even boredom. It gives me a sense of what living in Seattle is actually like.

This month may not be the most quintessential “life on the road,” but damn, I love it. Monday through Wednesday, I live a pretty normal life: wake up, make coffee, have calls with my incredible clients, be a human. I spend the other four days a week exploring the humans and destinations of Seattle. My three favorite explorations thus far have been:

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On The Road Issue 1: Synchronicities in Seattle

On The Road Issue 1: Synchronicities in Seattle

A disclaimer: the tidbits that follow are merely snippets of my travels. Beautiful sights, heartwarming connections, Hailey-esque neuroses, and the little revelations that weave it all together.

So here's the skinny: I'm a personal coach and digital nomad, living out of my epic backpack while I travel throughout the US working remotely. I decided to hit the road because I wanted to grow in unexpected ways. I wanted to see who I became when I wasn’t entrenched in the routines, communities, and comfort zones that shaped my life in Boston.

The year preceding this journey was a wild year for me. That wildness was a culmination of pursuing my current career as a Life Coach; awakening through a rough breakup; working on my codependency; recommitting to sobriety daily; embracing my sex-positivity; building healthier relationships with friends and family; learning what my life could look like if I put myself first; and embracing spiritual growth. All of the good, crunchy stuff that splits you open and leaves you free to rise. Becoming fully location-independent was the final permission slip I needed to hit the road. So I leveled up and bought a one-way ticket out West. That’s where this begins.

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