Our Stories: Rhi
Drinking more than you want to is just about the most common experience a drinker can have. You are not alone in questioning alcohol and there is so much power in finding another way.
I have yet to meet someone who quit drinking who didn’t completely up-level their life. Read and see.
This series shares stories of strong-ass women (and men!) who decided to stop settling for hangovers and mediocrity and discovered their best selves through an alcohol-free lifestyle. They inspire a whole new generation of people to know that you don’t have to drink to be “normal” or fit in. Why not be exceptional instead?
Rhi from Rhi Fit
Rhi is a badass, forty and fabulous, fit and healthy sober woman. She works with motivated spirits that want to live the sober life or want some guidance and support in their health and fitness endeavors. Since she made the choice to get sober, her health truly did a 180 and a passion to help others was born. Go check out her insta reel and get inspired.
Q and A with Rhi
What did your drinking look like before you quit?
Over the span of about 5 years, in my 30's, my drinking increased in consumption and grew legs of its own becoming something I couldn't control. I was very unhappy in my marriage and the more my ex drank, the more I drank, but I was hiding it from everyone. I would buy small shots and keep them in my purse. I had a handle of Vodka in my closet and I hid empty beer cans in inconspicuous places. If I could go one day without a drink of some sort, it was a huge accomplishment but I couldn't string more than maybe one or two days together as inevitably there would be an event or party or brunch to attend. I woke up with regret every time I drank and I was beginning to not recognize myself in the mirror, literally.
When you became consciously aware you were drinking more than you liked, did you try to moderate or cut back? How did that go?
I couldn't do it. And it was a daily internal battle I had with myself to try to stay sober. So much energy was expended fighting this battle too that I was exhausted day in and out. I bargained with myself to try to moderate my drinking, making deals and promises but I would let myself off the hook and have one drink here and there until I ended up right back where I started from. Moderation was not possible for me but I wasn't ready to let it go just yet. There was always a reason to drink or I found a reason to justify it and I didn't see how I could manage it for any length of time. I even tried light beer only but once I started drinking there was no stopping me and I had no limit or self control. Then I was right back to waking up and looking in the mirror and tears would stream down my face, that I did it again. I also have a couple autoimmune issues that I thought were causing the side effects I was experiencing, but no. It was the alcohol. I was slowly killing myself and deep down I knew it.
How long have you been alcohol-free?
May 17th of 2018 was my last drink, so one year.
How did you get sober? What did you do in the first six months?
Truthfully, I found Mia and The Sober Glow. Her Instagram was the first sober account that came up in a search. Her page comforted me, helping me to realize that I was, (dare I say) normal. That what I was doing to myself was something others did too and that just perhaps, getting sober could be a cool thing to do. She glamorized sobriety and spoke out on a taboo subject making it feel less embarrassing and all consuming. But around the time I found her page she posted the book by Clare Pooley called The Sober Diaries. I immediately downloaded it onto Audible and listened to it for the first week I stayed sober. She essentially held my hand and got me over the hump. Finally, I wanted my children to be proud of me. I drank in front of them for too long and the evening of my last drink I was out on a mother/daughter date with my now 20 year old daughter. She took me out for Mother's Day and I was too hungover the next day to remember it all. I was never going to feel that shame again. She meant more to Me than anything.
What does a hangover-free life mean to you? Has your sense of happiness changed?
Everything has changed. Literally everything in my life is different. Sobriety gave me self-confidence that I never had. In order to "come out" about having a drinking problem makes you vulnerable to say the least, but it also toughens you up and makes small things seem trivial. I love like never before. I want to help anyone and everyone who may be battling with a closet drinking problem. I left my bad marriage and eventually met the love of my life. A man, who decided to stop drinking also. Not because he had a problem but because he knew alcohol didn't serve him either and that together, we would be a sober couple. In my mind, there is nothing I can't do now.
Removing alcohol as a numbing agent leaves a whole lot of emotions on the table. How did you cope with your newfound feelings and fears?
I think my biggest fear was just admitting I did have a drinking problem and acknowledging I had to leave my marriage and comfortable lifestyle. I was stuck for years, paralyzed by fear. Once I said it, and did something about it, the fears I had lifted. I was afraid of being judged and gossiped about initially but not now. Oddly enough, now I do not care at all. I know my story helps others and that my struggle was not for nothing. I have the opportunity to save lives. That thought alone, coupled with being in a relationship that builds me up, rather than tears me down, brings out the best in me and I have nothing to numb any longer. I want to fight alcohol culture too and be a part of the movement to change the narrative on drinking.
How has quitting alcohol pushed you out of your comfort zone in other areas in your life?
OMG HAVE YOU SEEN MY INSTAGRAM?? HAHA.....I put it all out there. I own my sobriety. I own my health. I own my fitness. But behind the stage of social media I am working on running my own business targeted at helping others get in shape and find their sobriety. My struggle is now my strength. I know if I try hard enough, there is nothing I can't do. When someone says I can't do something, a fire is lit in me to prove them wrong.
Do you have any tips or words of inspiration for people exploring sobriety?
Do it your way. If AA is your answer, then go. If religion is your way, pray. If working out is your way, hit the gym. If reading motivational books and sobriety blogs keeps you sober, read away. There is NO cookie cutter method to sobriety. It looks differently for everyone. I would encourage anyone who is struggling to know this. You are normal. You are ok. You will be ok and there IS a better, cooler, hipper and happier life on the other side of booze. And finally, I would like them to realize we all are being duped by a very clever alcohol industry that is shoving booze down our throats without us even realizing it and I for one, do not like anyone telling me what to do. Sobriety is being rebellious and I will fight this new war with all I have.
You know you want to check out Rhi’s website/instagram for kickass inspiration: