anniversary, anxiety, bipolar disorder, drinking, mental illness, mental wellness, sober, sobriety, social anxiety

The First Year.

One year ago. That was the last time I consumed alcohol.

I didn’t have a terrible hangover the next day, but I remembered that I probably shouldn’t have driven home as “tipsy” as I was, which lead me to remembering all of the many times I could barely remember how I got home.

It was a few days later that I was sitting on my sofa and this thought popped into my head in such a seemingly random way, “Sarah, you’re not good at this. Just stop. Just. Stop.”

So I stopped. It was really that simple for me. Not picking up alcohol isn’t that hard for me. I’ve never craved it. While I would celebrate my ups and soothe my lows with a well-deserved drink I didn’t really miss it until I was in a social setting. I am painfully shy. Hence, alcohol. Alcohol = Instant Extrovert.

Learning to be social without alcohol when you’ve relied on alcohol for that very thing for so long isn’t easy. I have been forced to dig deep and learn how to initiate conversations with people without it. I still feel totally socially awkward, but I’ve learned that most people feel that way. So, I still get up and dance and I still get up to sing Karaoke. I’m just figuring out how to embrace who I am without alcohol. I can also say that my friends and family continue to support me 150%. No one pressures me nor do they question my decision, for which I am grateful.

I have no intention of ever drinking again. For me, it serves no purpose. It has no place in my life. For those of you that consume alcohol, do you, Boo Boo. I’m not here to judge you. I know that people who can drink responsibly exist. It’s not some enigma. It’s not a myth.

So what do I say when I get asked the tough question?
“So, why don’t you drink?”

Well first of all, I don’t ask you why you do, but if we’re going to go there, the truth is, I’m just bad at it. End of story. And it’s the truth. It’s not more complicated than that.

I’m not ashamed of my story or what lead me to teetotalism. It’s just the path that my life has taken. We all have something to work through, work on, or work toward. This is just another small blessing brought to me by… Bipolar Disorder, believe or not. I’m not psyched about this Bipolar thing. I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone, but as heinous of an illness as it is, there are many good things and people that have been brought into my life by it.

There’s always a silver lining. I actually believe that. To myself I say, “Congratulations, Sarah. I’m proud of you.”

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