Choosing Sobriety

Choosing Sobriety with Grüvi Bevies

DenaSeptember 30, 2020

Choosing Sobriety

Today marks 45 days since I’ve had an alcoholic beverage. For a long time, I’ve known that alcohol didn’t agree with me. No matter how many, or how few, drinks that I had, I always suffered a hangover after drinking. Even just a couple of glasses of wine with dinner would leave me with a headache the next day. Aside from the physical effects–headaches, upset stomach, dehydration–drinking also took a horrific toll on my anxiety. While the initial “buzzy” feeling of alcohol was a nice reprieve, it always quickly devolved into something painful.

What many people don’t realize is that alcohol is a disaster for people with anxiety. When you drink alcohol, the chemical balance in your brain is disrupted. After a few drinks, you feel more relaxed and less inhibited. Dopamine, the ‘feel-good’ chemical is released in greater supply into your brain–thus you feel great for a short time. Unfortunately, there is a price to pay for this. What comes up, must come down. When you begin to sober up, your brain tries feverishly to correct the chemical imbalance caused by drinking–and anxiety floods in. For some, this transition is minor, but for those with high levels of anxiety, it can wreak havoc, even causing full blown panic attacks.

And even though I suffered through this painful cycle for years, I never considered it as optional. In my family and among my friend groups, drinking is “just something that we do.” Period. And so, I spent my life, from adolescence to this past summer, drinking alcohol with abandon.

I can’t recall exactly when I decided that choosing sobriety might be a good option for me. Years ago I had participated in No Alcohol November and a few years back, I gave up drinking for a couple of months to “clear my head.” These experiences were positive, but I always went back to my old habits. But this time around, this decision to make a permanent change, has been a long-time coming I suppose. Something first began to click for me a few months into the COVID pandemic. I was drinking to manage the stress of life in quarantine. Needless to say, that didn’t work out well.

Around that time I began moving deeply into the work of two women who I admire tremendously, Brené Brown and Glennon Doyle. One day, I was walking around the lake, listening to Brené’s podcast, and she was interviewing Glennon. Brené referenced the fact that both women had been sober for over a decade. I suppose a light bulb went on for me in that moment. I became curious about sobriety in a way that I had never felt before. If sobriety had been so utterly transformational for these two women whom I adored and admired so greatly, perhaps it was something that I, too, should consider.

As summer began to wind down and autumn was approaching, like all parents, I was under a tremendous amount of stress wondering what “back-to-school” would look like in this pandemic. My anxiety was worsening by the day, and once again, I was using alcohol to cope. There was an endless stream of alcohol-related memes being pumped out on the internet.

“The most expensive part of having kids is all the wine you have to drink.”
“There are days when you need that second glass of wine, and days when you need that second bottle.”
“What wine pairs well with homeschooling 3 kids?”
“Wine. Because yoga can’t solve all your problems.”

The “Mommy Wine Culture” is rampant right now. Like many, I used to eat that stuff up. Justification! Wine is touted as a cure-all for the woes of motherhood; but the truth is, and especially if you struggle with anxiety, that wine is one of the most destructive coping mechanisms out there. It’s normalized poison. But I don’t want this post to turn into a lecture and I trust that most adults are capable of making good, healthy decisions for themselves. I suppose that today, I just want to share that there is another option out there for those of us who want a different lifestyle.

There were a couple of incidences in August, where I drank too much and suffered severe panic attacks the next morning as a result. That, coupled with my existing curiosity about sobriety, pushed me to pull the trigger. On August 16th, I made the decision that I was done with alcohol.

A few years ago I stumbled on a quote that read: “Decide what kind of life you really want… and then, say no to everything that isn’t that.” I loved that advice so much that I saved it as the background on my phone. Over these last few years, I’ve worked incredibly hard to do just that, to move away from the things that were not serving me well. To embrace the life that I really want, a life of peace, wellness, joy, productivity, love, growth and inspiration. No where in that life that I want does it say: alcohol, drunkenness, hangovers, unhealthy coping mechanisms, and so on. What I want a is a life that fills my heart with so much joy that I do not need to escape from it. Alcohol was never going to help me get there. In fact, it has only been derailing me all this time.

As fate would have it, a few days after I made this decision, I was contacted by a company called Grüvi and they asked if I would like to try out their non-alcoholic beverages and I was so excited to do so. Honestly, at the time I didn’t know how I was going to manage social situations where other people were drinking. When Grüvi reached out it was literally an answered prayer. I have carried their drinks with me to all of the social gatherings that we’ve attended and it has been a joy. I don’t feel left out and their drinks are truly delicious.

Choosing Sobriety

I just love the company’s mission. Grüvi strives to create an inclusive community focused on making better choices within our daily lives. They truly believe in a world where we don’t always need to feel inclined to drink in a social setting, and a world where everyone can feel comfortable, regardless of what’s in their cup.

Their mission is simple- help others be healthy and stay social, one drink at a time. They’ve created a line of craft, non-alcoholic beers and wine because you deserve it. Your health is your wealth, and the beverage you consume shouldn’t compromise that.

While alcohol remains so pervasive in our society, Grüvi has created a brand that breaks this cycle. They’ve created drinks that dispel the common notion that non-alcoholic beer tastes, well, not great.

I’ve been enjoying the drinks that they sent me so very much and I am so grateful to have a tasty, healthy brew, that allows me to live in the moment, alcohol free. Before I close this post I want to say that this post isn’t sponsored. I was sent these drinks and asked to share my honest opinion if I felt moved to do so. I will be forever grateful that this company reached out to me when they did. It was perfect timing, and the perfect confirmation to remind me that I am on the right track.

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