Let me begin by saying this is not a shaming post on anyone who drinks alcohol! I love going out drinking with friends. I love beer. & I LOVE Tequila! However, for this season of my life, I am choosing not to drink. This is my testimony on why and the fruit that this decision is bringing to my life!

On November 4th, 2017, I quit drinking. I have had a lot of people ask why on earth I would do such a thing. It was not an immediate decision, nor was it something that I ever thought that I would do. I have always loved to drink, honestly. But this was simply something that I felt I was being led by God to do. 

I have drank alcohol ever since I was 15 years old. When I was in high school, I drank almost every weekend. I got myself into some sketchy situations doing it. I was a little bit out of control. This is actually part of my testimony for how I became a Christian. 

After I knew God, I very SLOWLY learned to pace myself and not make a fool of myself when I drink, or at least not as much of a fool as I’d used to. But I could never quit drinking. I didn’t want to because I liked doing it so much. I did slow down a lot, but honestly, I don’t think I ever didn’t drink to get drunk until I was 18 or 19. So drinking became something that I enjoyed doing socially with my good friends every weekend or so to blow off steam. I have always been the fun friend that you can’t count on to stay sober. My friends and I all believed that was one of the things about me that makes me such a fun person to be around.

Around this time, I used to carry so much guilt for how much I liked to drink. I felt like I wasn’t being a good Christian or a good person. (Not true at all, this was just the anxiety speaking. Drinking does NOT make you a bad person, or Christian. Anyone who tells you it does is a hypocrite.) But the same time, I never actually did anything wrong aside from some terrible dance moves. I just didn’t want to quit. And I felt so much more comfortable around people with a drink or 2 in me. My favorite kinds of dates were margaritas on the beach. And don’t get me wrong, I had a ton of fun times!  

But, I also have anxiety. I worry and overanalyze the heck out of every situation where I feel like I may have not done or said the right thing, sober or not. As we all know, alcohol is a depressant, and that doesn’t help either. My love for a Saturday night out had the consequence of a really depressing Sunday. Even if nothing went wrong, the next day I would be filled with so much guilt and dread that something was going to happen to me or my family. Not to mention, the overanalyzing of EVERYTHING I do is torture. I was so hard on myself. Regardless of if I had a hangover or not, it always took a full day to mentally recover.

By the time I turned 21, I was already a pretty seasoned drinker. But things quickly changed. I would still have fun nights out but I wasn’t drinking as fast or as much as before. I started getting sleepy by midnight when I was out with friends. When I moved to Nashville, I drank a lot the first month (If you live here you know the struggle) and these symptoms strangely compounded. And I felt that so much of my time and money was getting wasted doing something that wasn’t really fun to me anymore. I would have so much social anxiety from a night out that I’d oversleep and emotionally eat to comfort myself. And I’d try again, and the same thing would happen. I just wasn’t having fun anymore. It didn’t feel right.

On top of all of this, every time I drink I lose my voice for a few days. As I have mentioned before, I have already been having some voice issues. Alcohol is probably the #1 worse thing for your voice if you’re a singer. It dries everything out and makes your vocal chords become inflamed. And there was no denying the havoc alcohol was wreaking on my voice when I did drink.

Finally, one night I was at the gym and I had a mental break down because all the traveling I was doing wasn’t allowing my regular workout schedule. I could see the effect it was having on my physical appearance. I had an anxiety attack and left the gym. I sat in my car crying about the way I looked (ridiculous, I know, but it was causing me so much fear and angst at that time) and an hour later started to make a list of healthy choices to begin making to make myself FEEL better…things like go to sleep earlier, don’t watch the tv before bed, etc. Out of the blue, I wrote down, “Quit drinking”.

Seriously, this is something I have thought about plenty of times and I always decided that I did not have the willpower to do so. But the fact that it had become something that wasn’t fun to me recently combined with my will to take better care of myself made it seem like such a natural choice.

I believe that God did this because there is no way that I could’ve quit on my own. He made it less enjoyable for me and when I quit he gave me the strength to stay sober. (I’m not an alcoholic, just a weekend warrior, but it’s still hard, especially at my age to say no in social situations!) I believe that he did this so that I could further myself in my career and be happier! Not to mention, stop feeling so ANXIOUS, afterward!

Since quitting, I have lost weight, I feel better, and I am staying accountable to my commitments to a healthier life. I have found an amazing Church that I love and I have grown so much in my faith. Also, I have been getting some super cool opportunities in my music & writing career. I also have so much more TIME and MONEY!

Additionally, God has done a lot of emotional healing in my life in such little time. I believe the decision to stop drinking has moved this along as well.

I truly feel new. 

In the next year or 2, eventually, I may have a drink every now and then IF I feel like it, but alcohol will never be the same for me. I honestly don’t think there’s anything wrong with drinking. But when you do it every weekend, like I was, it becomes somewhat of a “void-filler” that never actually fills a void.

As for now, though, I feel amazing and I know that God is blessing me for trusting in him. Here’s to being 21 & sober 🙂

Thanks for reading my story. I hope it inspired you in some way!

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