Hello there! I’m Alex, the Social Media Manager and Customer Service Support Specialist for The Dry Goods Beverage Company. I have my own company, Digital by Alex, where I provide Digital Marketing services to small and medium sized businesses alike in the Bay Area. I started working for Adrienne and Jake in 2021 and it has been so fun getting to know this new, up and coming, segment of the beverage market—NA drinks. During this time, I quit drinking! Here are 10 things that helped me quit drinking on a personal level. I hope you enjoy hearing my experiences.
- First and foremost, therapy helped. Together with my therapist, I realized after about a year of seeing her weekly that (in the words of my therapist) “alcohol just doesn’t work for me”. She explained that (obviously) many people are allergic to certain foods, and so too people can be allergic to alcohol in much the same way. I had been dealing with pretty rough anxiety and depression for the last 12 or so years—nothing helped, until I stopped drinking. That’s when the lightbulb went off that drinking wasn’t good for my mental health. That’s me personally, but everyone is different and I’d recommend if you’re struggling with something similar to talk to a therapist about it before you make any cold-turkey decisions. It was hugely beneficial for me to understand the choice on a deeper level.
- Secondly, working for Adrienne & Jake here at Dry Goods has been another huge inspiration and motivation for me. I quit drinking for good on July 6th 2022, about 6 months ago from writing this blog. I had already been their social media manager for over a year, and tried the products every once in a while. Then I started picking up some customer service hours with them as well, which has been really rewarding to help their lovely customer base. The more invested I got, the more motivated I got that I didn’t need alcohol in my life. It helps that I’m so closely involved, I’m not gunna lie! I started buying more of the products I would write about for their instagram, and found many favorites including the Sovi Alcohol-Free Canned Wines (so easy to take anywhere, or just grab one from the fridge to have with dinner!), Noughty non-alcoholic Sparkling Wines (you would never know these aren't "real" champagne, it’s perfect in a mimosa), and Spiritless non-alcoholic Bourbon, Kentucky 74 (I’m a big Whiskey Sour lover, and this is a perfect replacement for that).
- Third—more of my peers have been giving up alcohol, or going sober. That’s helped a lot. And they’ve stuck with it! It’s been amazing to see how it’s been changing their lives for the better and know they wouldn’t go back to a life with alcohol in it. Some have even started networking groups. There are many out there if you look for them! In my close circle of friends, everyone still drinks, except my pregnant friends lol. But it’s nice to have other people you can talk to especially in the beginning when cravings can get the best of you.
- Fourth thing was my calendar. I bought a simple wall calendar and I just crossed off the days for each day that passed and put a number on the date for “days sober” This was really motivating to see the days add up. This was a the inspiration behind the calendar in our Dry January Journal that you can download for free here. Now I have an app that counts for me instead and I put a widget on the home screen of my iPhone. The app is called “Days Since”. Game changer.
- Fifth, this was kind of a big one… but I took a break from working in the wine industry until I was in a better mental position to handle it. I’d worked in wine for the last 3 years, received free wine all the time, and it took a toll. I was the kind of person that didn’t want to waste a drop of precious wine down the sink. Also writing about wine all the time, when I was actively quitting wasn’t the best thing for me. You gotta do you, even if it means making some big changes and/or financial sacrifices along the way to better your life. If I haven’t said this already, I’ve never been happier.
- I set boundaries around family gatherings. My family can be big drinkers especially around the holidays. I’m really proud to report that I didn’t drink at my sister’s wedding, at Thanksgiving, at Christmas, or at New Years. What an accomplishment. This was probably the most challenging of all, since I can control my environment at home and what’s stocked in the fridge— but I can’t when I’m out of town or at an event. Bring non-alcoholic options with you to these things!! You cannot depend on people to have non-alcoholic cocktail options or alcohol-free wines at events. I just don’t think the world is quite there yet, but I hope it will be soon enough. Otherwise, be prepared to drink some super sugary sodas or La Croix’s, which is boring and we all know that sodas aren't what's best for you.
- Read books. There are a ton out there. The two I read were “Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol” by Holly Whitaker (which I recommend for a person of any gender trying to quit), and “The Sober Lush: A Hedonist's Guide to Living a Decadent, Adventurous, Soulful Life” by Amanda Eyre Ward. I got both on Audible and listened every day while walking my dog in the morning.
- My partner has been really supportive. Unfortunately he’s all-too-familiar with the emotional costs of addiction with loved ones, and even though I wouldn’t categorize myself as an alcoholic, I recognized that I wanted better for myself and it’s not like he could say no to that! We are planning to start a family soon, and we both want to set the best example we can for our future kids. Although he still has the occasional beer on the weekends, he’s also cut his alcohol intake way back, and he is doing Dry January. Turns out not drinking is not bad! We don’t feel like we’re missing out on anything.
- My friends have learned that “Alex doesn’t drink” and that’s been great and really supportive. No more peer pressure. They don’t drink all the non-alcoholic drinks at parties which is really nice but I still share! They are getting interested in trying some of the new things I bring over too, and a few are doing the Dry Goods Dry January challenge and got our free Journal!
- Lastly, I think honoring myself, and putting myself first has been really life changing. Being mindful of what I put into my body and feeding my soul with has been hard, but is worth doing. I recently saw a post about what advice 90-year-olds had for a 32-year-old (my age btw) and one of the biggest pieces of advice was to “treat your body like a house you’re going to spend the next 70 years in.” Let that sink in. It’s pretty crazy to think that we could be around for another 70 years. I sure as hell want my body to operate to the best of it’s potential in year 2093 if I have the chance get there.
I hope this was helpful if you’re thinking about quitting drinking. I really hope sharing my experience and tools I have been using proves helpful in your own journey to go alcohol-free! It’s totally doable. You got this!