This year, I committed to overcoming my lifelong delusional perspective that alcohol was awesome. It’s not been easy but on the whole, so far so good. Not a glass of wine has entered my body, or any other alcoholic drinks for that matter.
To enable me to do this, I’m taking a multi-dimensional approach:
- Physical: better diet, more exercise, more sleep.
- Emotional: solid, core network of friends and family who are supporting me (you included!)
- Spiritual: studying Buddhist meditation, improving my yoga and practicing mindfulness.
- Psychological: retraining the brain and understanding neuroplasticity via books, podcasts and online self acceptance summits.
It’s been almost nine months since I quit drinking, and I can’t quite believe it. But only in the last couple of months have I started comming into my own. That is, I think my confidence is genuinely starting to shine. How do I know this?
- I care less about what other people think of me these days. For example, I recently found out that a friend (or should I say ‘friend’) has been complaining about my lack of drinking. Basically without going into detail, they were trying to make me feel bad because I’m not their boozing buddy anymore. Rather than getting upset at this person, I now feel compassion. I feel sorry for them as they are in a dark place of addiction themselves. They cannot see reality and people are now worried about this person’s addictions. I am pleasant to this person but they are at arms length in my life now as peer pressure to drink is just not helpful.
- I don’t say yes to everything. As a drinker, I used to be a needy people pleaser. I used to be desperate for acceptance because my self esteem was low. These days, rather than searching for external forms of validation, the Buddhist meditation teachings have been instrumental. I now understand that happiness comes from within, not money/Facebook likes/holidays/assets/job promotions. I was superficial and shallow. Now I am working on being less so.
- Small things make me smile, drama doesn’t phase me like it used to. They say ‘neurons that fire together wire together’ – a fundamental concept within the science of neuroplasticity. In practice, this means that focusing on daily gratitude journalling and meditation helps me focus on the positive and remain calmer at work (for example). It’s taken many months but at last!! It’s really happening!!!
That’s me in a nutshell these days. I’m loving this alcoholfree journey. I don’t have life perfectly sorted but it’s a huuuge improvement relative to my life as a drinker. Your support, ideas and encouragement continues to grow my confidence and inspire.
Have a great week xoxo