So, I’ve decided to stop drinking. There, I said it. It’s out in the world and it’s a terrifying thing to post in fear of fucking up and being shamed for not being perfect.
But, I need to do this. And, if my mind changes in the future, we can have that discussion then. But for now, I am not drinking anymore.
Last Saturday I woke up and immediately knew I didn’t want to drink anymore. I wasn’t heavily hungover, but after a night with four drinks, I didn’t remember anything from driving home, washing my face or trying to pick a fight for no reason. And sadly, this has been happening a lot in the past two years. I start drinking and I always seem to black out no matter how little I drink.
It’s scary. Alcoholism runs in my family and in that moment I knew I needed to act.
I don’t like myself when I’m drinking, so why would others? I’m not connected to myself. I am not myself. I want to protect myself and if I seem to not remember anything when I drink, that’s not putting my safety and well being first.
So, I’m working on learning about the new sober Molly. I posted on my Instagram Stories that I stopped drinking. I received so many messages from women who are in the same boat as me. Who have stopped drinking. I received a lot of messages from other women who are on the fence. Sober curious. But were unsure where to begin.
Here’s where I began.
Here are five resources I’ve used and am using right now while I navigate a new sober me.
The Unexpected Joys of being Sober
In January, I did dry January and I read this book. It was an easy read and I enjoyed it. It spoke to the drink pushing in our culture and left me feeling more aware than I was before about drinking and those good feelings associated with being sober.
Biggest takeaway from this book was this quote: “Alcohol is the only drug you have to explain to people why you DON’T use.”
“How We Could All Benefit From Being a Little More Sober Curious With Ruby Warrington” podcast.
This podcast by Ella Grace Denton called ReWilding shines a light on being sober curious. Ella interviews Ruby Warrington who says she’s not sober but she doesn’t drink. That she decides in every situation whether a drink would be a good idea or not and 9/10 times it’s not.
I first listened to this podcast when it was released and I relistened to it the other day and enjoyed the conversation. They helped open my eyes to accepting that it’s a day-to-day self-discovery with being sober. Every single day will be different.
Drink by Ann Dowsett Johnston
This is the book I’m reading right now. I picked this up as soon as I had my moment on Saturday. I saw the book last time I visited the used bookstore in Kelowna and I went to see if it was still there. I got the last and only copy they had in store.
Anna Dowsett Johnston shares her story with alcohol. She’s a Canadian journalist who has had an impressive career. But, what I find more impressive is this book. Every page I learn something new. While sharing her personal story, she also shares what she’s learned along the way that helped her and opened her eyes.
The biggest thing for me when realizing I don’t want to drink anymore is feeling left out. I still want to be invited to parties. I still will go to bars and breweries with my friends. I can do anything you can do with a drink in your hand without one in mine.
I will say, I was nervous in terms of celebrations and Ann touches on this in the book. We’re ingrained to celebrate every little thing with a drink.
Bad day at work? Drink.
Good day at work? Drink.
Sunny? Perfect for a beer. Drink.
Rainy? Perfect for a glass of red wine. Drink.
Deal with a loss? Drink.
I didn’t know if I could celebrate something without cheersing friends or family without a drink. But, one day at a time with that one.
In Drink, Ann touches on marketing tactics from alcohol companies preying on women creating names like “Mommy’s night out” and “MommyJuice” to the creation of coolers for women who don’t want to drink beer. She explains that women end up being increasingly more drunk than a man when drinking coolers and trying to keep up with the man drinking beer. Since women are smaller, and coolers are typically stronger, this can lead women into more vulnerable situations. Situations teenage Molly has been in before and doesn’t wish it on any person.
Ann also speaks about the Tobacco industry and compares it to the alcohol industry and this was mind blowing to me.
And, all to say, this is only in the first 60 pages of the book. I can’t wait to continue reading this.
“The Sober Life” podcast episode with Erica Anderson.
The One Step Podcast with Ingrid Nilsen is great. The best episode is The Sober Life when Ingrid Nilsen interviews her girlfriend Erica who is sober.
Erica shares her story of healing her relationship with alcohol. From working at Twitter and not knowing how to handle the stress of the job to losing her mom, Erica shares it all and the journey of nearly eight years sober.
This honest and raw conversation is beautiful and totally inspiring to know that a sober life is possible.
Friends and their stories.
The final resource that I’ve utilized the most is my friends. One of my dearest friends Kira has been sober for more than six months now. I remember going for a walk with her just before she moved to the Island where we both spoke about our relationships with alcohol. She got me and exactly how I was feeling. And I was there for her, encouraging her to live out her truth which was that she didn’t want to drink anymore.
With every turn of life, Kira is someone I am inspired by and someone I know I can go to for advice. Her and I have many shared life experiences and I look up to her a lot. We’ve had many conversations since that waterfront walk that I look back on and cherish. I feel more confident in these first steps of my journey because I’ve seen how far she’s travelled on hers.
Another friend I’m always inspired by is Julia. I met Julia years ago after only living in Kelowna for a little while. Julia got sober and has been an active part of AA for over 3 years now. She actually told me today that her 3 year anniversary was last Saturday. Congratulations Julia!
I’m inspired by her resilience, strength and wisdom in every aspect of her life. Whenever I speak to Julia on the phone she sounds more alive than she did when living in Kelowna. She’s shown me that sobriety is the right one for her and worth the work and effort. Sobriety is fulfilling and Julia is a testament of that.
Are you sober or sober curious?
I wanted to write this blog post because I believe there may be women who are sober curious but unsure of their next steps. I’ve shared with several women the book Drink that I’m reading right now and it got me thinking of the other sobriety resources I’ve used.
I will say this – This is me as a beginner. I do not know everything when it comes to living sober. Heck, I don’t know anything. But, I wanted to share my first step. My first week. And, the resources I’ve been finding helpful as I walk this path.
If you’re wanting to share your experience, resources and tips, please share them in the comments below. I’d love to start a conversation about sober living in Kelowna and online for those who live elsewhere.
Erica Anderson said “I like to think of it as one day at a time. For now, it’s today. Today I’m not going to have a drink. I’m going to do the best that I can. And today is a great day.”