by Dr. Wendy O'Connor, Positive Psychologist + Life Strategist for Women

50 Days Without Booze + I Lived to Tell the Tale

I lived, it's true. And much to my surprise, I thrived. I haven't had a sip of alcohol in over 50 days and wanted to share my tale with you all in hopes that it might give you a chuckle or perhaps plant a seed of inspiration. It is through my own transformation that I seek to inspire you in yours. Whatever that means to you, whatever that looks like, whatever the additions or subtractions need to be. I am working hard to walk my talk and wish that for you all.

One late winter morning I woke up from poor sleep with both thirst and clarity. I woke up and was invaded by the thought 'Booze isn't doing anything for me anymore.' I have noticed that as I age I tolerate alcohol much differently than I did in my early years. It tends to cause me poor sleep, overthinking, self-doubt, and anxiety. And I woke up that day feeling completely over it. The night before was a pretty typical evening for us girls, a few of us went out and had a couple drinks, laughing and catching up. All in good fun, and all in great spirit. We enjoy each other thoroughly, from our highs to our lows, from our joys to our woes. We always have a wonderful time together. There were no issues that night, no problems, no one overdoing it with the cocktails. But my sleep was compromised, as it has been since I entered my 30s. Whether from my children crawling into bed with us or from having a couple glasses of wine, quality sleep has been quite the commodity for the last decade. And I realized that I wasn't doing myself any favors by adding to the dysregulation. Not only was my sleep compromised, so was my energy. I woke up feeling heavy, sluggish, slowed down. And I am a morning person so this just didn't work for my spirit. It was time for a change.

In that early morning moment I made the decision to give myself the space from alcohol that I desired. I chose to commit to alcohol-free days, each and every day, leading up to my 40th birthday in May. Approaching milestones can cause a ripple effect in self-transformation. It is during these times that we reflect on our lives, on what is going well and what isn't, and how we want to live differently. This particular morning triggered a cascade of transformative decisions that I will forever be grateful for. There is hope and zest and optimism in transformation, and it is a reinforcing journey for those who choose to partake. I wish it for all of you. Whether you desire changes in your relationships with others (or with yourself), in your habits, in your mindset, or in your decisions. You are deserving of more, of better, of the life you want for yourself.

The last 50 days have been an incredible opportunity to see my life through a different lens. I no longer look to wine for relief after a hard day of work + mommying. I no longer push pause on addressing how I feel in the moment simply because it is easier to sip a glass of wine while I cook dinner and witness my stress melt away like chocolate in the hot sun. I no longer use indulging in a couple of cocktails as my vehicle to feel unburdened by the tornado-like chaos of life. The chaos that is the life of a mother, a provider in all senses of the word, a self-employed entrepreneur, a wife, a friend, a daughter, a woman. I have taken back my power. I feel truly free. Not the kind of freedom that comes from having a few glasses of rosé on a Saturday afternoon but the freedom that comes from looking at the world from a raw, unaltered, vulnerable and authentic perspective. I see me as I am, I see you as you are. We are all working our damnedest to survive, and ideally to thrive. And I happened to be lucky enough to have easily harnessed the courage to subtract something from my life that no longer added value. I imagined who my best self was and I started showing up as her.

I feel curious about where this journey will take me. I wonder if I will choose the piña colada as I turn 40 while sunning myself on a catamaran in Bermuda or if I will opt for the mocktail. Either way is fine with me, as long as it reflects an intentional and deliberate choice. So far I am quite simply loving this ride and am excited to see where it takes me. I am showing up as my best self in mind, in body, and in spirit. I am grateful to have the unconditional support in my life from family + friends that encourages me to continue my own transformation as I continue to inspire you through yours. You can be the person you most desire, and you can live the life that supports that dream. So, why don't you quit stopping yourself?