When opening the lens on their health and wellness habits, many moms are resistant to breaking up with overindulging in alcohol due to feeling like they are going to miss out. They are more afraid of the idea that they may experience FOMO, (The Fear of Missing Out), instead of focusing on what they have to gain in their life.
What do you feel you will be missing out on? Getting invited to social events with your friends? Not having an alcoholic beverage in your hand, believing it is serving you positively in some way? When you take the time to stop and think about it, what are you really missing out on?
I experienced FOMO big time after I made the decision to stop overindulging in alcohol. To quiet down the chatter in my mind about it, I decided to make a list of what I was really missing out on. The results were not what I had expected — not being fully present, saying something stupid, repeating myself, speaking loudly, getting a terrible night’s sleep and of course, the horrible hangover, guilt, regret, worrying my sons noticed how bad I was, and feeling completely and utterly exhausted the next day. WHAT?? I was upset that I was missing out on THAT??
From that point on, I decided to make a mindset shift, and instead of focusing on FOMO, I would focus on JOMO — the JOY of missing out! I am actually THANKFUL that I am no longer in that vicious cycle with alcohol and the need to include it in my life because society has bred me to believe it is necessary to have fun and relax.
While I don’t get invited to as many social events as I did when I was a big drinker, I am totally OK with that and am thankful I don’t experience any of the negative side effects I mentioned. Those types of events are just not my thing anymore, and I would rather do activities that leave me full of joy and positivity instead of partaking in something that leaves me waking up the next day beating myself up!
And when I do get invited to social gatherings, I show up with a smile on my face and genuinely enjoy myself because I am fully present and engaged in the conversations I am having. Others are impressed that I can still have fun, dance and do karaoke without being intoxicated. It also feels good to show my sons that alcohol is not necessary to have fun.
I admit this was a tough shift for me in the beginning the first time I gave up alcohol. I was able to stay alcohol-free for about seven months and then found myself having FOMO and like I was not fitting in with my friends, who are all heavy drinkers. I ended up giving in and going back to binge drinking for another year and a half. What I realized after the fact was it was all in my head. My friends still wanted to spend time with me and have me be a part of their lives. I automatically went into victim mode and believed everyone was judging me, when they absolutely were not. Realizing this was a huge learning experience for me, and while it took me some time to figure out, I have never looked back.
Shifting my mindset from FOMO to JOMO has also led me to new experiences and fun in my life that I would have never even considered in the past. It has connected me with some amazing, like-minded people who I am so thankful to have in my life and who I would have never crossed paths with if I were still drinking alcohol. I was so used to being on autopilot with the continuous drinking that I never knew there was another way and that there were more nourishing options out there for me to explore, and they continue to show up in my life!
I feel completely empowered that I call the shots for the direction I want my life to go in. I never thought I would be that girl who would be thankful that I am no longer a part of the drinking tribe, but here I am, and my relationship with myself and with others just keeps getting better and better!
I know it sounds cliché, but it is so true — it is not what you lose but what you gain when you decide to move in a direction that benefits your overall health and wellness.