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Sober September? WHY?!

16 DAYS! It has been about 16 days without alcohol. I decided to participate in Sober September, and many of you want to know why the hell I would do that! September is a month of change for us, there is always a move, training camp, time to get ready for the season and find a new routine. With all of that comes stress, and for me anxiety. Anxiety looks different for everyone, but here is a peek into mine, and my why behind saying "no" to alcohol right now.

 

Many times people ask if it is hard to make friends in this life. There is no simple answer to that question. I have struggled with social anxiety since moving to Toronto. I would get worked up and flushed red before any team event. I can't trace back to the starting point, it may be the transitions of life and drifting apart from some friends, which lead to feeling very lonely.


When I first meet people I try and be on my "best behavior". I become afraid and insecure, careful not to offend anyone. I have even found myself "white lying" to fit in and keep conversation neutral in nature. The anxiety really sets in after a social function, my head hits the pillow.. Did I say the wrong thing? Did I look bitchy? Do people like me? Was I annoying? These shuffle through my head all night. I give myself a sort of Social Report Card to review and review and review and..


Want to know the kicker? I am an extrovert. I love conversation, I love people. Sometimes I talk too much, and I never want to be a one upper. I just empathize with everyone. I'm afraid of judgment, especially judgment of my character. But I know, If I don't show my true self I will never be authentically happy. I know I am a good person, I know my values, and I know that no one is perfect.


I am still working with my social anxiety, and I'm sure I will always have to. I try and take notes about what makes it worse. Alchohol is a HUGE catalyst. I have one drink, I can't sleep, once I finally do, I wake up sweating wondering where everything went wrong. I am starting this season out sober so I can better manage the anxiety. I also work with a therapist, she turned me onto Brene Brown. Brene Brown's work has helped me accept vulnerability. A good friend once said to me "The people above you aren't looking down" meaning most people who are in the arena with you aren't judging, just the spectators. I am also working on the idea of if I have a problem with someone, the root problem is me and something that I need to work on, not the other person. I think about this daily, as I push myself into this digital atmosphere. I'm on this earth to do good, and I won't let anyone stop me, including myself.

Please know if you struggling with anxiety, you are not alone. I have put many hours into bettering myself, and do not plan to ever stop. Taking action, noticing what helps it, what makes it worse is all a part of managing it. You don't have to live in fear. Your higher self knows you are capable.


- Lexi