my relationship with alcohol: the updates

07.17.17

Health

hello my beautiful angels!

this month has been a whirlwind. i can’t even believe it’s already mid-july. i’ve been gone for the last few months far more than i’ve been home, and while it’s been a fun adventure, excess travel always leaves me craving quiet, alone time at home with hudson + lots of downtime to write and slide back into my routine.

the older i get, the more i find that routine serves me so well. it used to always be adventure that i craved. long exotic vacations, european getaways, trips with friends and with family and lots of partying and being away from reality. these days, i couldn’t feel LESS that way. i love my reality, and i want to live IN my reality more than away from it!

that’s just a little aside because lately, as my blog posts have been fewer and further between, i always like to give you guys a little update. not  because you can’t find out where i’ve been by my constant social media updates, or by tuning into my podcast once or twice a week, but because blogging about what i’ve been up to always sorts things out for me too. in my head. my wild monkey brain. it helps me collect my thoughts and feel more centered and grounded.

today i was looking at the photos on my phone that i’ve wracked up from the last few trips (one huge benefit of all this travel!), and noticed that there is one i’ve been saving for several weeks now. it’s a photo of a mocktail (alcohol-free cocktail, just to be real clear) that i snapped while i was in maui with my family. everyone was sipping on their martinis (my mom and sis!!!) and jack & coke (for byron, duh) and i ordered a fun sparkling water with lime and mint.

i was going to post it at the time and write a whole big long caption about how i feel about alcohol, where i stand with my own alcohol consumption, how it makes me feel, etc. but i stopped myself because there was SO much i wanted to say i felt like it would overwhelm the instagram world and potentially unintentionally offend some people. so i decided to pause and get my thoughts together first.

here they are. 😉

my alcohol journey…

let’s just say that starting by the time i was about 15, i was ready to party. i went to a tiny school in sacramento and was all about the idea of spreading my wings, meeting people from the bigger schools, and… partying. a lot.

from the age of 15ish all the way until about 21, i was what you’d call a good time girl. fun party to go to? i was there. frat party on a weeknight during college? i was there. pregame before an event? i was hosting that ish. and don’t even get me started on the weekends, day AND night. i was ALL about the partying.

not because i loved drinking or loved the taste of alcohol, because i really didn’t. i would drink so much vodka until i was so heavily buzzed i would almost always throw up the next day. looking back, i know i was clearly overdoing it but at the time it seemed like it was normal. most people i hung out with were the same!

it was the social aspect of drinking that i liked. i loved having a good time with people, letting down my inhibitions, and enjoying a good night out. i was a night owl and also had was felt like endless reserves of energy so i was able to power through my schoolwork / exercise / everything else during the day to maintain this lifestyle at night. i loved it!

when it began to shift //

i remember the first time a little voice in my head started telling me it didn’t want to go out as much… this deep inner craving to stay home and relax and research yoga retreats and watch a good TV show in bed. i was like “WHAT, who is this and who are you?!” to the voice in my head.

i was 21. living in florence, italy while i was studying abroad. maybe it had something to do with how gorgeous italy is, how much i looked forward to my weekend trips there and all of the inspiration i felt about writing and creating in the beautiful old cities in the italian countryside. maybe i was just starting to grow up a little, and realize that the friendships i made while i was out were not the lasting friendships i valued most in life.

i started to yearn for more energy during the day to get my yoga on and to NOT be hungover in my classes. my passion for wellness started to really rear its head, and more and more drinking and staying out late just became less and less appealing to me.

there was no huge catalyst — it was really a slow and steady evolvement from the age of 21 until i graduated about a year and a half later. at that point, i had almost NO desire to go out and drink. i was thrilled to graduate school and go off and do my own thing, full of wellness and high vibes and healthy food and good sleep and meaningful, depthful relationships that were based in so much more heart and soul than my “going out” friendships.

post-college //

it was so nice to graduate, move to New York and live a healthy life that felt so much more in alignment with my goals and the rest of my healthy path. the friends that i met living in the city only knew me as the jordan that would go out and have ONE cocktail at the most, which was fabulous. i didn’t have to explain myself and i was known more as the “girl who is down to go home very early” than the all nighter, call her for a good time girl that i was when i was younger.

i still found myself drinking occasionally, as i was definitely still going out a lot and trying to balance drinking WATER at bars with also keeping up with my friends’ plans and staying out late — i mean, new york is the city that never sleeps after all.

ultimately it was very easy to transition into this lifestyle for me, and as the year went on i started drinking less, and less, and less, and less. i really only found myself drinking at that point if someone else really wanted me to, which really isn’t a valid reason to drink.

i mean… drinking for other people? what’s that all about? not balanced. not fun.

i started noticing that my truest, most valued friendships consisted of the people who could care LESS whether i had a drink with them or not. i always made it very clear that i am open to what anyone else chooses to do / have, but for the most part drinks just haven’t been appealing to me in a long while.

where i am now…!

so, during those transitional years from about 22 to now (now i am 26), there were some rough patches with my whole outlook on alcohol.

at a certain point in the middle of that transition, i grew very resentful of the people who constantly begged me to drink and acted like i was no fun / a disgrace to 20 somethings everywhere / someone who shouldn’t be invited out just because i mostly choose not to drink. i felt a little misunderstood and definitely different than the norm… the norm, in my opinion, being drinking quite a bit for many people in their 20s.

i even had issues with some of my close friends pressuring me and acting like i didn’t care about them even to drink with them, which was so far from why i was making the decisions that i was. needless to say, i am either no longer close with those people or they have grown up and gotten past it.

i have seen a huge shift in other’s reactions to my alcohol outlook now. my closest friends, every single one of them, respect my decisions and have all matured enough to understand that what i choose to put into my body doesn’t have anything to do with how much fun i want to have with them or how much time we can spend together. or how much i care about them / value them!

also it helps that they’ve now had several years to get used to it. meaning that… they expect it now! versus expecting the old, “outdated,” younger version of me.

i try to be mindful of other people’s choices just like i want them to be mindful of mine, so when i am in a situation that is not about me at all (like my good friend laura’s bachelorette party in napa this past weekend), i will be more flexible and have a few drinks. and i will enjoy it, you better believe, because i’ve made the conscious choice to do it!

celebrating others at bachelorettes, birthdays, weddings, etc. is obviously about so much more than the alcohol itself — so i totally get why people who DON’T drink don’t need to feel like they need to make exceptions for these events — but for me, sometimes letting my usual preferences go and going with the flow for a few days is MORE healing and balanced than holding onto my non-drinking preferences.

or at least that’s how this weekend was! i enjoyed myself. that’s what life is all about. i try to ask myself in each situation: will i ENJOY doing this? do i WANT this drink? if the answer is yes, then i’ll freakin have it! no rules.

you know what i mean?

i had so much fun in napa this weekend, and i can pretty much guarantee i drank the least of anyone (like 3-4 drinks total throughout the weekend? and a few shots with the bachelorette!) BUT for me that was plenty and got me nice and buzzed. i stick to vodka soda with lime and i don’t let people push me past my limits. and, if i hadn’t felt comfortable or wanted to do that, i wouldn’t have.

for me, it’s about surrounding myself with people who get me and respect my choices. i respect ALL of my friend’s choices, whether they are 100% sober or whether they like to drink every time they go out. i think it’s awesome to do YOU, and as long as you don’t have a drinking problem… making those own choices for yourself is part of our own self-expression and we all have the right to do that.

i ultimately feel my BEST when i’m not drinking. i didn’t have one sip of alcohol from early may until this past weekend in napa, and i freaking loved it. my body felt more relaxed and balanced than ever. it helps my stomach problems, my skin, my sleeping schedule, my routine and so much more to NOT drink… even when it’s just one drink at a time that i have.

i definitely feel the drinks i had this weekend, as i am super tired today and potentially sick (maybe unrelated?) but i don’t regret my choices. i made them consciously, and that’s what is important. if i had done it simply out of pressure it wouldn’t have been worthwhile or enjoyable!!

long story short…

it’s usually easy to say “i don’t drink,” because 95% of the time i don’t. and yes, jonathan mostly chooses not to drink too buttttt he probably drinks a little more often than i do. and for the record, he can do whatever he wants! it just so happens to be super nice that we live similar lifestyles and support each other in all of our healthy goals and endeavors. 🙂

but the people who know me best know that i do drink… just when i am comfortable and when the vibe is RIGHT! it’s all about that vibe.

all in all, my best advice for people who are playing around with drinking less or not drinking at all is to just keep doing YOU!! keep making those decisions that feel good in your body. i get hungover super easily which does hold me back from my usual goals. but don’t take anything (even not drinking) too far to the point where you are holding back from enjoying yourself.

the MOCKTAIL LIFE is my fave life right now. a little sparkling water, lime, mint, yum. and i feel amazing all the time, which is pretty awesome.

okay long post i know but this is something i have wanted to talk and write about for a while!

i would love to hear your thoughts. thoughts on drinking? do you find it easy to avoid alcohol, or difficult? i am sure my relationship with alcohol will continue to ebb and flow, and i am happy i have found my balance with it. <3