Our Stories: Jenn
Drinking more than you want to is just about the most common experience a drinker can have. You are not alone.
This series shares stories of strong-ass women (and men!) who decided to stop settling for less. Inspiring a whole new generation of people that you don’t have to drink if it doesn’t make you happy.
Jenn from SoberSis
Jenn is incredible. She puts a whole new meaning behind sober-minded living. Similarly to me, Jenn didn’t find herself with a quote on quote drinking problem. She is a healthy, Christian woman with an active lifestyle and drinking was a habit she picked up along the way. There came a point where she realized a couple glasses of wine most days of the week was not serving her or her spiritual growth. She was made for so much more, to serve, to lead by example, and redefine the paradigm that you “have” to quit drinking and adopt labels. She is sober because it feels so good, sober for the health of it, for the happiness it brings.
I am so lucky to befriend Jenn, many states away. It’s the power of the sober community. And it just keeps growing with more energy, connection, and inspiration.
Q and A with Jenn
What did your drinking look like before you quit?
Well, I was drinking at most social events, networking happy hour, or date night with the hubs—which meant at least 3-4 nights a week. On the other nights, I would drink wine at home while I was cooking, taking a bath, or just relaxing on my patio. Before I knew it, I was drinking vino most nights of the week.
When you became consciously aware you were drinking more than you liked, did you try to moderate or cut back? How did that go?
Yes, I certainly tried to moderate by creating rules and more boundaries. For example, only drink on the weekends, only have two glasses. I was totally using the “white knuckling approach.” My good intentions were all internal and I had no new understanding. I did not understand the craving cycle and what was physically going on in my body that made that so challenging. I had a deprivation mindset. I thought I was just a weak person in this one area, which was so weird because I was highly disciplined and had so much mindful intent and followthrough in other areas of my life.
Drinking habits are on a wide spectrum, and not just a black and white issue. Did fear of labels and our current paradigm about problem drinking keep you stuck?
Absolutely!!! I knew I wasn’t physically addicted (I had stopped for significant periods of time but always felt deprived). The thought of going to a meeting and labeling myself an alcoholic just didn’t resonate with me. I felt stuck in the “gray area” of drinking.
How did you get sober? What did you do in the first six months?
I immersed myself in learning and gaining NEW tools. I also found a tribe of like-minded people. In times before, I had made agreements “in my head” and had zero replacement mindset other than sheer willpower. That never lasted and resulted in many broken promises to myself. Making the mind-body-spirit connection made everything come together for me.
What does a hangover-free life mean to you? Has your sense of happiness changed?
Ahh, to know I don’t have to endure another hangover again is heavenly! When people ask me my favorite aspect of this healthy alcohol-free lifestyle, I always say it’s my sober-mind. It’s incredible to maintain such internal stability and have full access to my thoughts without feeling like I’m on a roller coaster. Before, I was dealing with the ups and downs of the mental fog, the tug-of-war in my mind or pure regret. Clarity has been such an asset to me as I navigate a lot of change, entering a new season in my marriage and mom life as an empty-nester. I’m 100% present and not dulling my mind to deal with anxiety, stress or even boredom. It’s incredible and something I guard and protect…as if it were a precious gift!
Do you have any tips or words of inspiration for people exploring sobriety?
I was prepared for it to be a huge sacrifice and feared I’d be missing out on all the fun. I discovered something very different. I was not prepared for how GOOD it would feel for my desires and actions to finally be in alignment. I’ve experienced more freedom in my life and a deeper inner stability. I’m reminded I have more resilience than alcohol was wanting me to believe. I found out that living a sober lifestyle for the HEALTH of it is really amazing. I encourage anyone who’s considering sobriety to begin by challenging their beliefs about alcohol that experiences and society have programmed us to believe. I recommend finding a tribe of like-minded people and staying in community. I suggest giving it 100 days and staying curious, almost as a spectator. Don’t worry about words like “forever”or “perfection,” just stay focused to a specific goal and become a student of yourself in the process. It’s a journey not a destination.
Check out Jenn’s FREE guide on “Surviving the 5” at www.sobersis.com