January 25th, 2020
A letter from our Founder, Carlee
I have been sober for 6 months today. I find it weird to write about my short/long journey without alcohol but since it is an aspect of my life that pushed me to start my company, I feel it is only right to share it with my people.
6 months ago I was frustrated. I was sick and tired of being mentally sick and tired. My anxiety was all over the place, my mood swings that were once under control, were starting to become out of control again. I was working 60 hour weeks on my feet and drinking at least every 3rd night after my shift. It was my outlet. Alcohol was my reward for working so hard. Beer was my therapist, my break, my night off. It was what I looked forward to every night and at every up-coming event. It triggered my depression and anxiety more than I could handle but I barely cared. It was the “fun” in my life and I didn’t understand how I would have a life without it.
Through a couple rough experiences and mental arguments with myself, I finally decided to stop. “For now” I told myself. “just for now” I’ll stop and see how I feel. I kept telling myself every day that after a month or two I would have a beer again and it would be glorious. I learned a couple things in my first two months of sobriety.
1. If you don’t “hit rock bottom” or have to go to rehab, a lot of people will not understand, let alone support your sobriety. Because society has created this idea that alcohol is an acceptable outlet, it’s pretty hard to convince people that it will not effect their lives if you stop drinking.
2. Stop giving a shit about the opinion of other people.
After a few months of not drinking, I finally let go of the idea that everyone in my life had to be “okay” with my decision or had to understand why I made the choice that I did. I let myself be proud of myself and realized that the only opinion I needed to worry about was my own.
In the next few months I realized two more things…
1. I am a lot more emotionally attached to alcohol than I originally thought I was.
2. Self-discipline is a bitch.
I have learned the hard way that the only person who is truly holding me accountable for my health is myself. At the end of the day, no one, I repeat, NO ONE is going to give a shit about your well-being like you do. I had to stop looking for people that were proud of me and just be proud of myself. I learned to stop expecting recognition for doing the hardest thing I’ve ever done and recognize my courage myself.
After 6 months, not drinking still sucks. It’s still the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Harder than losing a loved one and harder than starting my own company. And that is exactly why I want it. I want to prove to myself that I can stay sober. I want to feel the mental clarity and the physical energy that I have now, for the rest of my life. I have learned that self-discipline sucks but the rewards outweigh the tough shit.
I wanted to stop drinking for so many reasons. For my anxiety, my depression, for having my mornings back without hangovers. For my best friend who is 3 years sober, for my friends and family that I have lost to overdose. But mostly I am doing it for me. And for my happiness. And I have learned that that is enough.
In the last 6 months I have created The Change Concept. I want women to embrace this company as a safe space to talk about the positive changes in their lives. Maybe yours does not look like mine. Maybe your change does not look like anyone else's and that is okay. I want this company to be a place of motivation, accountability, and courage. I want to provide all of the aspects of growth and change that I was lacking in early sobriety. The Change Concept is a community where we can push each other, show each other love and compassion and remind each other that we are all worth positive change. I hope that everyone here feels welcomed. And everyone here feels worthy of change.