By more than double. Twice as many people opened that email than any other email I’d ever written. That’s hundreds of more people!
When I went into my studio to teach later that day, it was all anyone was talking about. They were immediately registering for Sober October.
Honestly, I’d been hesitant about even creating the offer. I’d never heard of a yoga studio offering a sobriety challenge and I was insecure about how it would be received.
The response blew my mind and I knew I was on the right track. From there, supporting women as they remove alcohol from their diet and their life has been one of my greatest passions.
I started drinking alcohol on the regular relatively late in life. I wasn’t much of a high school or college drinker and I didn’t drink in my twenties. I was a serious student and athlete and I just didn’t give alcohol much brain space or time.
Once I was done with school, I started climbing the corporate ladder in earnest. By the year 2000, I was traveling full time for work. My life was on airplanes, in conference rooms, in hotels, and at business dinners.
Business dinners that always included wine.
I remember when I first started looking forward to alcohol after work. I was in my early 30s and working on a project in Phoenix. I was there on my own, no one else in my company was assigned to that job with me. The project was being run by another company who clearly didn’t want me there but the client wanted me involved so things were tense between me and the rest of the team. The project leader would try to make me look bad so I would be kicked out. I’d go back to my hotel every night alone.
You can see where this is going.
After work, I didn’t have anyone to go to dinner with so I’d hit the gym and then go to dinner by myself with a glass of wine, which wasn’t really a problem. Except I looked forward to that glass of wine as my favorite part of the day.
I was learning to drink to cope with stress.
That project eventually ended and I continued to get promotions and tougher clients as well as increased time away from my friends and support network.
So I leaned into my new stress and loneliness reduction technique.
Alcohol works great for that. Until it doesn’t.
There is this term: functioning alcoholic and I think I would have been described as that.
I didn’t drink every day. I never missed a minute of work and I was a star performer. I trained daily as a Boston marathon runner and an Ironman triathlete. I won races and was a top national athlete in my age group. I was a prestigious All World Athlete in Ironman.
And I used the drug known as alcohol to calm my anxiety.
I became one of those people who couldn’t have just one drink. When the party was on, I was fully in and partied like a rockstar (but no other drugs, alcohol was my drug of choice.) I was invited to A LOT of parties, and I went to them all.
I loved my life. I was enjoying success as defined by society, the movies, my peers, my employer and everyone else with a vision of what corporate success looks like. I was a single woman with a high-paying, prestigious job, her own house, a fancy car and a lavish lifestyle.
I was winning…
…And losing all at the same time. Everything on the outside was perfect but on the inside I knew I was dying. I had absolutely no inner peace.
It wasn’t all at once, but over time, through meditation, I came to a hard realization. I had to leave the job, probably move, stop drinking and overhaul everything.
Then the inner-demon known as resistance appeared and gave me every reason not to do it.
Next post, I’ll share what came next…