When we think of nutrition, the first thing that comes to mind is the food we put into our bodies. But many of us also have other habits that are getting in the way of us living our healthiest lives.
Making the decision to let go of a part of yourself that no longer suits who are you is bar none the start to the healthiest and happiest version of yourself. It certainly isn’t easy—as you’ll see from my own journey towards a new lifestyle—but it’s definitely worth it.
For me, that decision was breaking up with alcohol.
Breaking up with alcohol to get healthy
Alcohol was the greatest love affair I ever had, and at times it seduced me to the point of no return. It was my best buddy, my partner in crime, and my voice when I failed to possess one for myself. It was my one constant when there wasn’t one in my life. It was the only thing that I could depend and rely on to be there for me.
Having woken up with more hangovers than I care to admit (well, if I’m being honest, can even remember), I epitomized a wrecking ball, leaving a wake of damage everywhere I went. During my drinking days, my life consisted of drama, work, relationships with toxic people (myself included), and more drama. The harder I tried to sever ties with alcohol and toxicity, the more addicted I became to both. In a constant act of blaming others, I failed to take the responsibility for my own actions, behavior, thoughts, body, and spiritual and physical health.
On one of the most fateful days of my life, I finally got sick of encountering humiliating hangover after humiliating hangover.
Alcohol as kryptonite
But how could I ever leave the sadomasochistic relationship that had me feeling like I could conquer the world? I was able to acknowledge it needed to end because it was making me act like a person I knew I wasn’t. On a sober day, I would do yoga, meditate, read voraciously, pray and cook healthy meals. Yet, it was a total paradox because I was actually so spiritually malnourished. It became exhausting wearing the mask of what I wanted others to see while secretly hiding who I’d become. There simply wasn’t room for both spiritual enlightenment and kryptonite (AKA alcohol) in my life.
Resolving to stay away from drinking proved to be not only the biggest challenge that I had to face, but it was also incredibly spiritually transformational. It’s been 2 1/2 years since I stopped drinking, and I’m now opening up for the first time. So, I know that being consumed with guilt and shame can often prevent us from striving to be better versions of ourselves. The state of vulnerability that we have to expose ourselves to seems too daunting to manage. Just thinking about what to say creates a wave of panic. For fear of rejection or criticism, we often shy away from going down the path that we’re destined for.
Eventually, fate brings us back where we’re meant to be, but usually after we’ve suffered and been torn, bruised and broken. The pain of giving something up that we’re attached to may not seem worth it to most people, but it’s the pain that teaches us what happiness truly means. If we don’t experience pain, then we won’t fully comprehend the meaning of happiness, and vice versa. To find your happiness, you must search for the one thing that causes you the most amount of pain, the thing that is keeping you from being the person you know you are (or could be).
Divorcing alcohol was the biggest heartbreak I had to endure up to that point in my life. Choosing to traverse sober life alone was difficult, but I knew what I needed: a healthy relationship with myself. Up to that point, everything about me screamed co-dependent.
In the end, it made me courageous enough to brave the wilderness by myself, made me strengthen my faith in the universe and myself, and taught me to be completely independent.
All of those things put me on a pathway to make better choices in all aspects of my life—from food and nutrition to relationships—and to live my most Nutritious Life, overall.