Written by: Alex McDowell
Photo by: Athena Pelton
September 17, 2014 I made one of the biggest decisions of my life: I made the choice to no longer drink and it has catapulted me into a life I could have only dreamed of. This choice was not made lightly – I began an out-patient treatment program, attended weekly meetings, and had to find a sponsor. Initially I felt discomfort, but I have come to embrace the choice of not drinking. I have learned to be honest about what my sobriety means to me and the importance it has in my life. Every morning I commit to being sober for that day. I still attend weekly meetings and meet with my sponsor. My sobriety is a huge part of who I am. It’s shaped me into the person I am and I cannot imagine where my life would be without it.
When I came to the realization that I needed to stop drinking, it never occurred to me how much of an impact it would make on my life. My drinking was leading me on a path I did not want to be on. I didn’t see it for a long time, but those around me did. I was in denial and didn’t want to admit that I had a problem, that I was different, or that I needed to make a change. I was just having fun like everyone else – or so I thought.
It took some time for me to realize I needed to make a change. I knew it was necessary, but I had a lot of fear of what change really meant meant. I feared how my life would look if I stopped drinking. Would I lose my friends? Would people understand? Would I still have fun and have a social life? Would I be looked at differently? When I finally let go of who I thought I was supposed to be and embraced who I could become, things began to take a significant turn in my life – and not in a negative way like I thought they might.
My life improved positively in all areas. My relationships with family and friends have gotten stronger, I am physically and mentally healthier, I am someone people can count on, I continue to have a ton of fun with family and friends, and I met an amazing man who I get to spend my life with. I work at a company that inspires me to strive for more every day. My heart explodes just from being surrounded by this unreal community who constantly encourages each other. I am happier than I have ever been because I embraced the change. It isn’t always easy and it is a constant commitment I make to myself every day, but the transformation in my life is worth it.
The path I was meant to be on was right in front of me the whole time. I needed to let go of the fear, stop holding myself back, and take the first step to lead me where I am today. The hardest part was taking the step to make the change, and now that I have, I cannot even imagine what my life would be like had I not. My sobriety has taught me not only about myself but numerous life lessons. It has lead me on a journey of continuing to push myself to try new opportunities, to be the best me possible, to live in the present, and to be open and share my experience with others.
Change is a scary thing, but when we are willing to let go of who we think we are and embrace the person we could become, there is a whole new life waiting for us.
Your legend is your story, your own personal path that leads you to where you are today – what will your legend be?
“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”
– Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
Alex McDowell is a coach at Alchemy North Loop. She’s always adventuring with her fiancé Jordan, loves spending time at the lake with her family, dancing with friends, binge-watching Criminal Minds, and enjoying Boom Chocolatta ice cream.
[The PYL Series highlights individuals that don’t just tolerate discomfort to purse their legend, they anticipate and embrace it. Knowing what you want, and knowing that you’ll do anything and overcome all obstacles to achieve it is not easy, but it is the only way to reach your own legend. Pursue it vigorously, and the universe will conspire to help you achieve yours too.]