Hailey's Recovery Story
"A mistake should be your teacher, not your attacker. A mistake is a lesson, not a loss." - Anonymous
I'm Hailey, I'm from Seattle, Washington and I stopped drinking in November of 2018.
I used to drink socially as a way to feel more comfortable, mask my shyness, and let loose. My drinking started to become problematic in these social situations because I never really had a stopping point. It was extremely challenging for me to moderate my alcohol consumption and I often ended up blacked out and then I'd wake up the next morning wondering what happened, feeling embarrassed, ashamed and regretful.
I got myself into some questionable situations, I wasn't a great wife to my husband, and I often couldn't remember the things that were happening. It never felt good.
But I also felt like I should be able to learn how to drink responsibly. That I should be able to learn my limit and not get to this point. I also wasn't sure that giving up alcohol forever was something that was even possible for someone like me, especially because my drinking seemed "normal" compared to the other people I knew.
I just thought I should be able to control it. Realizing that I couldn't control it, is ultimately what led me down the path of finding freedom from alcohol. After yet another blackout, I woke up questioning why I even drank in the first place and I told myself I never wanted to drink again... and this time I stuck to it.
I was super nervous about what my social life would look like without alcohol, I had no idea how I would talk about it, and I worried about being judged for my decision, but I knew that alcohol was not serving me, and I truly felt like getting blackout drunk, like I was, was holding me back from becoming the person I knew I was capable of being.
From that day forward I sought out community and support online from other leaders in the sober space. I started reading books about alcohol and other people's stories. I started reflecting on my drinking history and questioning why I thought I needed to drink, and I just started living my life beyond alcohol.
Once I stopped, it was hard to see how normalized drinking is, to explain my choice to others, and to free myself from the beliefs I once had, but every experience I have that is not soaked in alcohol, is further proof that I can live a fun, fulfilling life without it, and the best part is the FREEDOM I feel now, to be myself, fully and unapologetically.
If you are new to exploring life without alcohol, I would encourage you to reflect on your drinking history. Find the things you feel nervous to do without alcohol, and go deep into why. Whether it's by yourself in a journal, or speaking with someone about it, give yourself the space to learn about your beliefs around alcohol so you can unlearn them; and seek out stories from people who you can relate with, whether it be online or in a program.
I commend you for the steps you are taking forward. If you would like to connect, you can find me on Instagram @haileydekle or tune into my podcast Social Soul Podcast (@socialsoulpodcast)