BYOB: February

I have struggled with my drinking habits since I started drinking. Growing up in a culture where binge drinking is popular, combined with alcoholism in my genes, and the Irish love of beer in my heart, the odds have forever been against me. But, this February, I am making a commitment to stay sober… and single

Before I began drinking, people thought I was on drugs. I would be so happy that people would ask me what I was high on, to which I would reply “life,” and then invite them to my church’s youth group. I was that girl.

That all changed when I started dating a boy.

Recently, I allowed myself to look back at this first relationship. It had began when my mom had first been going through her brain aneurism days. I can remember getting one of the first texts he sent: My mom was driving me to the salon to get an acne treatment. We were having a great conversation when I got a text from a number I didn’t know. I read the text, but didn’t respond right away because I wanted to continue chatting with my mom.

It’s funny what sticks with you.

Within six months I had fallen under what can only be described as a spell. Unfortunately, this love spell was that of a love in a hidden cloak of a mental abuse. Just weeks ago I mentioned this to my sister – that I thought it was an abusive relationship – to which she responded, “YA THINK?!” It’s been ten years and I am only now realizing that the relationship was as unhealthy as it was.

I’ve heard it said that, “it’s not what happens to us that hurts us, but our response to what happens that hurts us.” Ten years ago, I didn’t know how to deal with my mom’s health issues, so I threw myself into a relationship that didn’t serve me which then began my steady struggle with alcohol.

While I may not be proud of all the choices I have made, I am proud that I have learned from them and tried never to do them again.

This upcoming month has the potential to be brutal, but I am determined to come to the end of February as “the best version of myself to date.” So, instead of focusing on what my life is lacking, I am going to find the beauty in: the world that is around me, the spirit that is within me, and the body with which I am blessed.

As a visual learner and to- do list lover, I knew I needed a tool to help me stay on track, so I made my first B.Y.O.B. Calendar! The purpose of my “Be Your Own Beautiful” calendar challenge to help you find happiness in the world, create happiness for yourself, and share your happiness with others. After all, happiest girls are the prettiest!

Photo Feb 01, 11 41 23 PM.png

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