The moment I became alcohol-free was when I drank my last ever drink around my birthday last year and I vowed that I was going to give it my best shot at quitting drinking; despite my mum buying me a posh bottle of gin and new gin glasses – whoops!
My decision to quit alcohol wasn’t on a whim, it’s been a decision that has brewed over the years. Whilst I wasn’t adding vodka or gin to my tea in the mornings to get a fix, I was becoming increasingly aware of my dependence on alcohol.
To be an alcoholic, you don’t need to be a heavy drinker or even drink daily. It’s the dependence of alcohol in order to cope or enjoy a situation that makes you an addict.
I can remember the instance I became dependant on a daily dose of booze, I was 22 and my then-boyfriend was cheating on me. I started to drink to block it out until I was ready to deal with the situation (gather evidence of his affair and then slap with everything I had kind of ready).
It spiralled and that seemed to be the way I dealt with every stressful situation in my life. It probably didn’t help that my aunty had passed away whilst he was having this affair and my dog passed away shortly after. It was definitely one of those – kick a girl while she’s down kind of moments.
But like we all do, we pick ourselves back up again and keep on trucking, right? But any given stressful situation, I was having a drink in order to cope with it. Nights out ended up with me drinking and sometimes regretting something that I said or did.
Becoming a mother definitely opened my eyes to a world without booze. Not drinking throughout my pregnancy and still being able to cope with everything being thrown at me throughout was a glimmer into how stress can be dealt with a lot more effectively.
Then came the babies, breastfeeding, sleepless nights, being left on my own majority of the time, lack of support, weight gain and postnatal depression. I turned to drinking again – even if it was just one large glass of wine a night, I was still counting down the hours until 7 pm came until I could have that drink in my hand and forget about my day in a red wine haze.
Then came more stress, I ended things with the girl’s dad 3 years ago (2015), started a course in social media management and started my own business. As well as being exhausted and having the weight of the world on my shoulders I was concerned financially.
The year after was a blur. I was overweight, depressed again and wasn’t happy with so many areas of my life. 2017 was the beginning of the girls staying at their dad’s every other weekend. I found this really hard to cope with as he had met someone else as well. But mainly because I missed the girls, I hated them being away. The moment they left for the weekend, I hit the bottle. I would drink a whole bottle to myself on a Friday night and then spend the weekend hungover, depressed and wasted that precious time I should have been doing things for myself, the house and work by mopping around.
I Promised Myself
Alcohol just doesn’t agree with me. I don’t have to drink much to feel like utter crap. Most people can drink a bottle and it doesn’t even touch the sides. I was drinking water in between too. Come the Easter holidays, I made another promise to myself that I would sort my situation out and I did.
If you have been reading this blog from its birth last April, then you will know that I said goodbye to my last blog and started this one. It was one of the best decisions I have made as this blog is 100% my voice and every brand I work with is 100% part of my vision.
Last year was definitely a year for getting my life straight again. I know everyone around me at the time didn’t think it was in any way derailed, but to me – I wasn’t living my life in the way in which I really wanted to be living it.
Quitting The Easyway
I quit coffee in August because I was sick of the jitters it was giving me. Then I started reading ‘Allen Carr Easyway to Control Alcohol’ because I knew deep down, I needed to take the bull by the horns and whilst on a natural high from quitting coffee I thought – sod it, let’s do this.
My last drink was the day after my birthday – the bank holiday weekend in the summer and I haven’t touched a drop since and I don’t ever intend to. There have been a couple of occasions I have had a teeny tiny craving for a glass but those cravings quickly pass when my brain kicks in and reminds me of all the things I learned from the book.
I was easy on myself at the start, I thought to myself – ‘even if I quit for a few weeks I’ll still be really proud of myself’; but I’ve kept going and it’s been easy – just as Allen Carr promised. The thought of drinking now makes my stomach turn and I feel so much more in control of my life.
Don’t be mistaken for the fact I don’t get stressed, I still do – its how I deal with that stress that makes all the difference.
I also have to give gratitude to my friends and family who have been extremely supportive and encouraging of my decisions over the past few years, I am really blessed that I have family and friends that support everything I do. Some have questioned it but pretty much all have been more open and interested in the whys and the hows and have expressed that I have inspired them.
Not only do I feel free, liberated, in control and enjoy social occasions more than I did than when I drank. I live each day and make the most of my days. I don’t wish the time away and I am the most productive I have ever been.
There are additional pluses to being alcohol-free which include weight loss, no coughing, more energy, happier, sleep better, depression is practically non-existent, my mind is sharper and I have definitely felt an increase in serotonin levels – I find myself laughing at pretty much everything again, just like I used to before becoming a drinker.
But the main benefit has been for the girls. They will never see me as a drinker, they will see mummy as someone that deals with life without a crutch. It will hopefully decrease the chances of them ever drinking too.
Have you ever contemplated quitting alcohol? If so what method have you used? Have you succeeded?
Would love to know your thoughts.
PS: Check out my list of fabulous non-alcoholic drinks everyone can enjoy.