So, how did I come to be where I am today?
A few years ago, I visited a hypnotherapist to help me to give up smoking. It was a last resort and to say I was nervous walking into that office is a nice way of putting it! But I did it – because i’d tried everything else and failed. After 15 years of trying a failing and shaming myself for being weak, I walked out of the office a non smoker. I couldn’t believe it!
My interest grew in hypnotherapy – how did I give up so easily after years and years of struggles?? I started studying hypnosis and I became hooked on it and the amazing results hypnotherapy brings. Eventually I decided to become certified so I could help others, which I did in 2016. I have used hypnotherapy for personal development since and other areas in my life and truly stand behind hypnosis and its effects. I know that everyone can have success if they really want it.
On my personal development journey, I decided to give up drinking alcohol last year. I had been thinking about it for years but never managed to get past the first few days. I wondered what was holding me back and achieving my alcohol free lifestyle goal as I didn’t categorize as an ‘alcoholic’.
The sliding scale of alcohol
I started questioning my relationship with alcohol when I had my first child. I had always used alcohol to unwind, to let my hair down, to relax. It’s what all of my friends did. After I had my baby I realized that I was not able to go back to drinking the way I had pre-pregnancy and be able to give my child 100% so decided to moderate. My baby had colic and cried a lot! It led me to feel very down and anxious about my parenting. I quickly went back to my old habits of using alcohol as a coping mechanism and began to drink wine at home, as was becoming fashionable at the time.
(I was using alcohol as an emotion blocker since I was 14 years of age but I never realized what I was doing, because a nice drink after a long day was self care right?! Wrong!)
So began my battle with alcohol. Each time I would drink too much, I’d promise myself the following morning through feelings of guilt and shame that I would not drink again that evening. Yet come evening time, my stress levels would be screaming for a glass of red to wash the crazy day to the back of my mind. I wasn’t a huge drinker. I’d drink a glass or two of red wine in the evenings, more if I had visitors and sometimes I’d drink more at weekends – a lot more if out with friends. Shots were obligatory! I could not stop even though I would wake every night at 3am feeling dehydrated, anxious and unable to get back to sleep, waves of sadness and guilt consuming me. Why couldn’t I stick to my goals? Why did alcohol not suit me? Why am I the only one that feels crap after alcohol?
(I thought I was alone, and there was no one around me that I could see to offer me the support I badly needed).
I was so afraid of giving up alcohol and dealing with the feelings of sadness. What if I couldn’t do it? What would I use to relax? To have fun? How would I deal with the boredom that would surely come from not drinking alcohol? How would I have FUN without it?
The cycle continued for the next 15 years and 3 more children. At times I moderated well, would feel great after a couple of weeks, only to ‘reward’ myself with a glass of wine, and so it began again.
My feelings of despair came and went. I searched google for answers on giving up alcohol but it just told me to moderate. Moderation made me think about alcohol all the time! I didn’t like anything taking up my head space in this way and yet I couldn’t stop. How was it helping me to relax but also heightening my anxiety?
This brought me to the realization that alcohol is the very same as cigarettes. A drug that needs to be stopped in order to regain control and freedom from it.
So, winter 2017, I set up the tools through hypnosis and coaching and decided to try a full year without alcohol, to finally see if it was alcohol that was the problem, or if indeed it was me (as I believed).
I will forever be thankful that I was strong enough and loved myself enough to take a jump off a cliff and try the new way of living without alcohol. I have finally found freedom, joy and peace. Things I thought just weren’t meant for me. I thought I was just born not to feel as much as others did. Wrong again! It wasn’t all plain sailing but it was worth every minute of the journey.