A Two-Part Antidote
For years, I’d get the Sunday Scaries. That feeling of anxiety that would set in when I started to think about going back to reality after the weekend. I’d have a sense of sadness and dread. It would be difficult to wind down and fall asleep on Sunday night. The anxiety would spill over into Monday morning as I’d trudge back into the office…have you been there?
Typically, I’d be fading out of a hangover that started at happy hour on Friday night. I’d meet up with my other young, successful contemporaries and we’d lament about the workweek with a few cocktails, eventually staying up until the late hours of the evening.
Often, we’d each rise the next morning feeling less-than-stellar and start a plan to meet up for brunch (read: mimosas and bloody Mary’s) to quell our hangovers, perhaps repeating the entire saga for Saturday night.
I never questioned this process…it’s just what single people in their 20s and 30s did. We were all successful, properly functioning people who’d unwind and celebrate the week by tying it on hard during the weekend…again, I ask: Have you been there?
If so, let me share my two-part antidote for beating the Sunday Scaries with you. But first, let me warn you that my approach goes against the grain just a bit. But, if you’re curious and brave and have even the tiniest bit of a feeling you are meant for something extraordinary in this life, I invite you to keep reading with an open mind.
The Antidote, Part 1: Remove the Barrier
I was about mid-way through my 30th year of life when I started to wonder: “Isn’t there more than this?” I was becoming exhausted by the endless happy hours, boozy brunches, and Sunday Fundays. I wanted to have time and energy to pursue my dreams and work on myself. Between the weekends filled with imbibing and nursing hangovers, I felt like I had zero time left to unwind before I had to go right back into the 9–5 grind. It was a never-ending loop and I wanted off.
After many failed attempts to half-sustain my social life and simply moderate my drinking (sounds easy enough, right?), I made the decision that I needed to take a break from alcohol…which eventually led to a full-on break-up (I assure you, this was not in my original plan).
Slowly, I started to see a more vibrant me emerge. A version of me which I’d never actually met as she’d been submerged in a bottle of vodka for over a decade (mind you, I never “had a problem” with drinking, which is what makes this revelation all-the-more concerning…I know how many more women there are like me out there…trudging along on a path that is socially supported, yet miserable). The version of me that I met was more authentic. She showed up as-is, with no liquid veil to cover her flaws or dull her sparkle.
At some point, the old Sunday Scaries I’d been experiencing started to fade (yet, not completely disappear). I was spending my weekends being productive. I actually had time and motivation to pursue my passions and focus on self-care. I’d still end my weekends wanting more time, but I no longer had that deep sense of anxiety which had been plaguing me as a drinker.
You see, while we use alcohol to reward and relax after a week of hard work, the effects are completely counterproductive. Yet, we ignore them because we are told and shown how much we deserve a drink to unwind and fit in with our peers. With so much social proof supporting our lifestyle, why would we want to live any other way?
In reality, if you experience anxiety, stress, or any other “negative” emotion which you use alcohol to minimize, you’re truly only dulling the effects while simultaneously fueling them to return at an even greater magnitude.
Yet, most of the very high-functioning, intelligent women I know drink…and heavily. It’s as if their high level of intelligence allows them to justify that they’ve done no damage by drinking because they’re still able to get up and perform above standard. However, I can’t help but wonder…what would they be capable of without alcohol? What would they achieve in their careers? What type of romantic partners and friends and mentors and opportunities might they attract if they were vibrating at a higher frequency? This brings me to my next point…
Antidote, Part 2: Get on the Right Path
As a drinker, I was drastically underestimating my abilities because I was already showing up and performing at a high level. I was allowing myself to be complacent at an okay job that paid me really well but was getting me no closer to my true passion and calling. I was still stuck on a hamster wheel of what was socially acceptable and once the effects of alcohol were no longer there to distract me, it became painfully obvious that I was in the wrong place.
I told you before that my Sunday Scaries hadn’t completely gone away…it’s because under the anxiety caused by alcohol, was a small quiet voice whispering, “There IS more than this for you. You are meant for something bigger.”
As writer, Rebecca Campbell , says,
I believe that you came into this life with a deep inner knowing of what you were here to do and an inner guidance system to make it happen.
I’m not talking a carefully laid out path which comes with an instruction manual, rather an unshakable deep seeded knowing that you’re here for a reason, there is serious work to do and the universe will support you in doing it.
I believe until you answer this calling you will always feel like there is something missing and something you have forgotten. No matter what you use to numb it out, it will be there. The only way to stop the calling is to answer it.
Without the haze of alcohol to cover the sound of my inner voice, it was clear that I DID have serious work to do…it was time to answer the calling. For me, this eventually led to me leaving my 9–5 job to launch my own coaching business and focus writing and teaching. What would it look like for you?
The important thing to note is that what gave me the wherewithal to even fully recognize and embrace that I had a higher calling was my willingness and bravery to explore a life outside of what society told me was “normal” — a life without alcohol. And, once I had my full wits about me, I had to be curious enough to wonder what that tiny voice was trying to tell me. Why was I still so unsettled after months-and-months of being clear-headed and doing intense inner work?
When I stopped to listen, the answer became clear: I’d been using alcohol to cover up the incongruence I felt trying to conform to societal norms — staying at my 9–5 job, partying with friends on the weekend, essentially playing a constant game of comparison and catch-up. What my soul truly desired was a life where friendships were deep and meaningful and work was filled with passion and purpose. While the younger version of me hadn’t had the courage to pursue those dreams and passions, the 30-something version of me knew I would continue to be unsettled if I did not.
What I know now is that the Sunday Scaries are not some “normal” thing that we all experience. I know that it’s a concept manufactured to help us feel a sense of normalcy and camaraderie around a set of emotions that are actually placed in our hearts to TELL US SOMETHING. While I think it’s normal to wish for more weekend, what’s not normal is to feel angst about going back into our weeks.
If you experience the paradigm known as the “Sunday Scaries” I challenge you to ask yourself, how much of the Scaries are a combination of your body responding to the effects of alcohol and how much of them are you responding to the weight of a job which is not an energetic match?
Now you may be wrestling with a few conflicting thoughts as you answer this question. Maybe you’re still a drinker and you’re hopeful that you might stumble upon your calling and still be able to keep up your current lifestyle. While that is faintly possible, let me stress to you (as someone who has been fooled by this illusion) that your happiness and fulfillment are SO MUCH closer should you only stop blocking them with booze.
Perhaps you are already alcohol-free and feel trapped by the paycheck and security that your current job provides. You do not see the possibility of the suggestions I’m making here to escape a job that is no longer fulfilling. To you, I challenge you to get very, VERY clear about what it is that you desire in a career. Spend time each week journaling about what that might look like. Hold that vision in your heart and then start taking small steps to manifest it. Know that it will not come without your effort, but that because you have already opened up energetic space for it to find you by removing alcohol from your life, that it is so much nearer.
If you’re interested in learning more about alcohol-free living & pursuing your authentic truth, connect with me on Instagram and download my Guide to Finding Your Authentic Self here.