I’m proud of my alcohol-free decision. Proud to stand up, speak out, and shake the stigma that we don’t have to “hit rock bottom” in order to stop drinking. I have no crash and burn story. Nothing “bad” happened. I didn’t have to stop. I wanted to stop. The decision wasn’t made on a whim. It was made over the course of many years. Stopping, re-starting, I was sick of the merry-go-round and decided after a non-eventful drinking Saturday in December 2014 that I was done for good.

That was it.

Even though I drank like most everyone around me, I also used alcohol to regulate and medicate my anxiety. But feeling nauseated and queasy the next day only to return and drink the next night was becoming a habit that was all too frequent. It was a train bound to nowhere for me.

A worry-free, perfect life didn’t happen as a result of my decision to stop drinking, but I’m glad I made the choice to exit the alcohol train when I did.

If you’ve been rethinking your drinking, but don’t know if you could stop “forever” that’s okay, just give it go for a month or two. See how you feel, see what shifts and changes happen in your life. You can always drink again if you want. But just so you know, the movement is growing. It’s hip to take the early exit (with no big rock bottom story) and get off the alcohol train. More and more people are making this choice.

If you’re silently wondering or struggling, here’s what I would say — there’s never a good time to stop drinking, but any day of the year is a perfect time to stop drinking.

For more on this topic: Listen to Episode 16, Should You Stop Drinking? on the “Editing Our Drinking and Our Lives” Podcast with Aidan Donnelley Rowley and Jolene Park.

Also, check out my first public interview on the HOME podcast about my decision to stop drinking.