Updated: Feb 20, 2022
Time flies. Holy shit does time fly. I've never been more acutely aware of that, until going alcohol free. Honestly, that was one of my biggest aha moments after I had been AF (alcohol free) for about 70 days. Once I had started to get a number of "big social occasions" under my belt without the crutch of the booze, I found I was really starting to enjoy occasions more. I was connecting more, laughing more, remembering more, feeling more present. I realized I was so in tune to the little things. Things I wouldn't have noticed before. It was as if all my senses were heightened and they all felt new to me. Outside air smelled different, more crisp, I paid attention to sounds differently; noises outside, the sounds of rushing water, my daughter's laughter. I was feeling music more deeply and actually feeling all my emotions again. I was "un" numb! It was incredible to start to feel things so rawly. That's where my aha moment punched me in the face and shook me to my core. How many occasions had I wasted on alcohol?? It was an intense panic that so many precious moments had gone screeching by that I hardly paid attention to. Because you can't when you're drinking, your senses and emotions are dulled. And the kicker is you think you are paying attention, but you're not. I had to let that thought really sync in because I knew that was a pivot moment in my life. That was the moment I felt like I knew I wasn't going back, things were never going to be the same. I was no longer willing to half-ass feel something anymore.
A thought entered my mind during that time that has never left me, you only get one life to live, one body, one mind, one soul. The thought took my breath away. It's like I had always known it to be true but had never fully said it to myself. It was as if I looked at it in the mirror and couldn't ignore it any longer.
The thought that we are all slowly making our way to our inevitable death got louder in my mind. I felt cheated. Cheated because I realized I wasn't fully present for specific memories in my life. It was a super negative headspace, and I had to remember I didn't know what I didn't know at the time. We are all taught growing up that alcohol is the elixir to life....the perfect accoutrement to every occasion. What we're not taught is how it dulls your senses, your joy, your true zest for life.
After I wallowed for a bit, I started to refocus my energy, to the fact that I was now "awake". To the fact that I had gotten curious to begin with, the fact I wasn't dull anymore. For that, I felt very grateful and I've never looked back.