Let me tell you a little about my story.
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 my friends did.
So it must be OK right?
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 cut right down. My child cried for most of the day and a lot of the night (I didn’t know then that she had colic) and 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 that time. So it 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.
It’s a stress reliever I told myself, right? Everyone does it, so it must be OK. Right?
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 would drink alcohol 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. I was so afraid of giving up alcohol and dealing with the emotions. I felt like my life was in turmoil even though from the outside in, it looked great.
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 it continued again.
Can you relate to any of this?
I thought I’d never get off the roller coaster. It felt scary. I looked around for help but didn’t like the options I found. I didn’t classify as an alcoholic so I just kept on drinking. I didn’t know another way.
So I stayed on the path I knew but didn’t wanna be on.
There was no huge blackout or arrest or fight that changed my ways.
I finally made the decision. I was going to give up alcohol for 12 months. And if I didn’t do it, or couldn’t do it, I was going to go and confess to my doctor that I had a problem.
I was a hypnotherapist. I set up a personalized plan for myself and successfully quit for good. At that time I was totally unsure if I could do it, I had tried so many times before, literally 100s, and I was so full of fear. That fear of failure was huge. But I had to try. Little did I realize that I would never have to deal with the sadness or the guilt or the shame that I had been so fearful of – in fact alcohol caused them and as the poison left my body, so did most of the negative emotions.
Alcohol fooled me.
My only regret now is that I did not find the tools 15 years earlier.
My life is amazing; in just 19 months of becoming alcohol free I am reaching my life goals at an astounding rate. For the first time in my life I value my self-worth, I am following my dreams without fear, without running away from emotions that come up every day. I have lost nearly 2 stone in weight and my skin has never been clearer or looked so well.