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  • Tiffany Marlink

Who I've become after a year without alcohol

The Monday message from Spirit talked about discomfort and how it can serve as a guide (click here if you missed it). That message resonates strongly with me as I have spent most of my life mastering various styles of discomfort management. My coping mechanisms have ranged from mind numbing amounts of alcohol and work to making big bold moves across the country. These distraction techniques have worked for many years. However, after becoming a coach, I quickly realized that the only way I could guide my clients to living their best lives was to start living my own.

The biggest shift for me has been reassessing my relationship with alcohol. In my prime drinking days, I could go drink for drink with the guys and I was proud of it. Although I was no longer a daily drinker like most of my 20s and early 30s, I held on to my weekend warrior badge into my late 30s. That meant Monday's sucked and Tuesday's were for beating myself up about it. I knew that choosing to numb out was holding me back, but I was scared to lose the "fun girl".  

That began to change on my 39th birthday. My body had been sending me messages for months and I was both worried and frustrated with the health issues I was experiencing. I was also receiving messages from Spirit that told me about the importance of making this lifestyle change. On January 1st, 2019, I committed to exploring a life without alcohol. I knew deep down that this might truly be the end, so I sent 2018 out with a bang! While suffering through a multi-day hangover, I heard a voice whisper "this is it". I knew in that moment, my relationship with alcohol would never be the same. My dance with escape was ending and I was ready to start living my life.

After January passed, I began to realize the power of the commitment I had made to myself. I knew that I was holding myself back every time I hit the reset button with a drink. What I didn't realize was that I had been shutting off access to some of my greatest gifts and life experiences. With each day that passed, I found myself connecting deeper to my intuition and my own personal meaning of life.

As the year unfolded, my growth and healing reached new and exciting levels. I actually feel like I'm aging backwards which is crazy awesome. My body is less puffy, the rash that had consumed my torso is nearly gone and my hair is growing like crazy! I stopped burying my emotions and have found healthy ways to experience my feelings. I have found the courage to have difficult conversations that I previously would've avoided. I've also experienced deep and meaningful conversations with people who see the real me (an interesting twist considering I thought I needed alcohol to fit in). Despite each of these wonderful benefits, the best part of all is the fact that I've fallen madly in love with myself for the first time in my life.

I am sharing this story with you today because I want you to know what is possible. When I decided to chose sobriety, I feared that it was a path that I would have to walk alone and that idea was terrifying. Going through any significant life change is exactly the time when you need a support person, team or community. So if you only take one thing away from today's message, I hope you remember this: the toughest parts of our journey are not meant to be traveled alone. Please do not let the temporary discomfort of asking for help or support get in the way of becoming the person you were born to be.

For some this journey has to be an all or nothing. For others, it's a process of deciding to slowly make your way out of the pool. Regardless of your exit strategy, I invite you to consider what would be possible if you shifted the time, money and energy that you have committed to alcohol to something more meaningful? Imagine who you could become and who's life you could change by being your best self.

I know that if the time is right, you already know what needs to happen. Sobriety doesn't have to suck. Choose the story you want to tell yourself. Call in your sober community, events and experiences. And if you're not sure where to start, join me for Breakfast with Tiffany.

I trust that this message will find its way to those who need it most. Thank you for listening, sharing and forwarding.

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