Our Stories: Taryn
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?
Taryn Dickey is a wellness coach and mentor for overwhelmed moms who want to be relaxed and calm, bring balance to their life, and find joy and peace. She recently celebrated six years as an online health and fitness coach and has really felt the healthiest she has ever been since she embraced sobriety last year (it’s the ultimate healthy lifestyle guys). From mommy wine culture to having open honest conversations about alcohol with her daughters, Taryn’s ability to be authentic and listen to her inner guide is inspiring. I love her story.
I had been wanting to quit drinking for six years. Actually, that’s a lie. I had been wanting to quit since I started, so for about twenty years. I never liked who I was when I was drinking. I mean, sometimes the buzz was fun and sometimes I was referred to as Fun Taryn when I drank, but I hated the loss of control, the slurring, the slow motion, the poor decision-making, the regrets, the hangovers, the mistakes, the anger, the promiscuity, the cheating, the fights, the inability to consent … and the taste.
But what I hated more than anything was myself. I had learned and believed that I was unlovable, undeserving, unworthy -- I carried such disdain toward who I was at my core, and so, in an effort to not deal with it and not face me, I drank. And drank.
I became a mom in 2012, and my drinking slowed a bit, but the hatred was still there and unlucky for me, the message was clear: In order to parent, we need alcohol. I was totally duped into Mommy Wine Culture and it took me several more years of embarrassment, regret, hangovers, and struggle to take a serious look at what I was doing to myself.
In October of 2017, I experienced what I can only explain as a spiritual awakening. Like some really weird and bizarre unexplained symptoms and happenings: My head was itching/tingling for no reason, my sleep was a MESS and I was getting 3-5 broken hours a night and waking up at 3am, my dreams were WILD, my ears were ringing, I was craving different foods, experiencing some soreness and joint pain and tiredness that had no rhyme or reason, my emotions were all over the place, electricity and devices were getting funky around me, was bumping into shit left and right and super clumsy, I wanted to be alone, time was almost nonexistent for me, and synchronicities were so commonplace it wasn’t even funny after a while. I began to feel a DEEP sense of connection to God/the Universe/Source. I was listening to my intuition more and more and I had this voice inside my head saying, “Alcohol isn’t serving you.”
I attempted to remove alcohol for good in January of 2018 when I started a new 80-day health & fitness program where no alcohol was allowed. I thought this would help me FINALLY break free of the hold it had on me. And I made it through the whole program and felt AMAZING, but had a setback in April when I went to a Justin Timberlake concert, got so incredibly drunk, had a HUGE fight with my husband, and was bound to the couch the whole next day with pangs of guilt when my children asked me to play with them and I physically. just. couldn’t. And while I swore off alcohol forever that day, it would be 3 more months before I made a full commitment to living my life alcohol free.
July 26, 2018 is my first day of my new life. One of the major reasons for wanting to quit was my daughters. I thought about all that I suffered through and wanted to break the cycle. I’m having open and honest conversations with them even though they are young (7 and 4) about alcohol and why I used to drink and why I no longer drink. I’m hopeful that the example I am actually setting helps them when they are older and faced with the decision to drink.
I “thought” that me drinking was impeding my role as their mother, which it totally was, but I’m realizing that the REAL reason I was ready to stop was entirely for me. I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been. Physically and mentally. I feel incredible. I am content and at peace. Not drinking forced me to face feelings and emotions I had never dealt with, which led me to seek out a new therapist who is the perfect match and helped me to see an issue that was a total blindspot: I am codependent. And honestly, it explained everything. The most beautiful thing for me is that in discovering this and understanding it, has allowed me to fall in love with my current self and look back on who I was, not with disdain, but with compassion and empathy. For the first time in my life, I am me and I am whole.
I acknowledge the role alcohol has had in all of this. And truthfully, I’m grateful for the whole mess, because it brought me to all of the growth. For some, it might be hard to get to a place where you actually THANK alcohol, but for me, even the worst of it, seems worth it to be where I am right now.
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