“Every time you’re given a choice between disappointing someone else and disappointing yourself, your duty is to disappoint that someone else. Your job throughout your entire life is to disappoint as many people as it takes to avoid disappointing yourself.”
–Glennon Doyle, Author of Untamed
When I was a little girl, I was always worried about disappointing someone. Whether it was my parents or my friends, I was the quintessential people-pleaser. As I got older, I found comfort in drinking down my feelings of not being able to express my voice in a glass of wine. It was exhausting worrying about everyone else’s needs and being so concerned about how they felt about me, that I could not even tell you what my own needs were. It became autopilot for me to drown out my frustration, anger, fear, and constant need for external approval in a bottle of wine.
After the unraveling of the old me fell to the wayside after being alcohol-free for some time, I started to find my voice. I started listening to my inner knowing more. I started putting myself first. This didn’t happen right away and took lots of practice. Each time, I faced my fears of losing someone in my life by honoring the little girl in me and her truth, I would find myself saying, “No thank you, this is not serving me”, “I do not feel safe with this” or even “I disagree, this feels untrue to me.” Did I lose some people in my life because of this? Yes, a few. But I finally felt safe, free, and empowered in the reconnection to my inner knowing and my truth.
I could have never done this drinking, no way. Drinking was an escape for me to not have to deal with sticking up for myself. It was the cushy, soft bubble that allowed all the hard edges of life to disappear. But the problem was, I lost my edge. I had lost me. I was so disconnected from myself that I couldn’t even see how alcohol was making me small and quiet, just like society wants women to be.
I think being alcohol-free is the greatest gift a woman can give herself. By removing alcohol and going against the grain, being in the minority, is the very act of self-love. It's how we learn to build thick skin. It’s an act of internal validation, not external. It isn’t always easy, but stepping into our worth, trusting our inner knowing, and finding our voice, allows us to fully become the woman God intended us to be.