What made you sober curious?
I always wanted to be a non-drinker, I just never believed it was actually possible. I moved to NYC when I was 21 and worked in a bar while putting myself through college. I literally was paid to drink and have a good time with my customers. Everyone I knew drank like me. Even after a dramatic or chaotic night, we never thought to slow down. I continued to drink consistently through my 20’s but once I hit my 30’s, things started to change for me. I really wanted to be a non-drinker and I wanted to be truly healthy. I was always talking about taking a break or quitting altogether but I never stuck with it. I knew that my days of living that lifestyle were numbered, but I never had a “rock bottom”, so the idea of actually quitting seemed fleeting. It took many years of stopping and starting before I finally had my last day one.
What are your drinking triggers and how do you stop them firing?
I think warm, sunny days are when I really miss it. When the city is full of life and people are running around and the bar and restaurant windows are open and filled with lively crowds and there is that romantic feeling of possibility in the air.
But all I have to do is imagine myself sitting at that barstool, having a cocktail and really feeling what that alcohol would feel like to be in my system. It’s not a good feeling. It’s not that romantic. It’s actually quite the opposite and with this I snap right out of wanting to have a drink.
Sober relationships. Discuss…
This week my husband and I celebrated 15 years together. The last 1.5 have been our best. We go as far as calling this time our second marriage. Why? I quit drinking. Not only did I remove the alcohol from my life, I removed all the drama and the crazy that goes along with drinking. The best thing that ever happened to all of my relationships was removing booze. I am a better wife, daughter, and friend. And the relationships that were built and maintained strictly around drinking, dropped away naturally and gracefully, and that was ok.
What’s been the best thing about choosing sobriety?
See above – hands down, my relationships.
I am in such a better place now and that shines through all areas of my life. I am much more secure and confident. I began to know myself as laid back and relaxed and my quick fuse weakened. That little insecure, big tempered girl that lived inside of me is still there but she has quieted. And not only have I learned to trust myself, I trust others. But life still happens, shit happens, things don’t always go the way I want them to, but instead of freaking out, I have this new skill set and a toolbox to deal with it. And what I mean by that is I no longer use booze as a coping mechanism. Now I communicate, meditate, sweat my “bitch” out every day, and I journal. So when the shit hits the fan, I am better prepared and I no longer escape. Now I face my life; the good and the bad, head on.
And the most surprising?
It is freaking unbelievable how much can change for the better when you remove one tiny little thing from the equation. I really had no idea how much alcohol was affecting my life until it was removed. I don’t think anyone can explain the magic that can happen, you have to discover it for yourself.
What’s your sober curious mission?
Yes, thank you for this question!
I want women to know that they do not have to have a “rock bottom” to make the choice to quit drinking. This type of thinking can keep people in a pattern of drinking for much longer. I knew for years that it did not suit me. It wasn’t adding anything to my life. In fact, it was eliminating many things from it. But I kept drinking because I had this idea that things just weren’t bad enough.
And for all intents and purposes I was the strong, motivated girl. I was teaching yoga, I ran a marathon and I obtained three degrees. I lived and preached this so called healthy lifestyle and all the while I was teetering on a drinking problem. This is a very common thing right now. Women are constantly told to “balance” life. The word balance is grossly misused. In my opinion and my own personal experience, it is used as an excuse to do whatever the hell we want. It doesn’t matter how many green juices we drink or how many HIIT classes we take, if we are pouring booze down our throat more often than not, we are completely missing the point.
Listen up man, drinking is the new smoking and I want women to know that it is ok to be sober for the health of it and choosing not to imbibe is in fact the ultimate health choice.
Follow Mia's glowing journey through sobriety at @thesoberglow