Not sure what trained professionals would say about bribing yourself to overcome addictions. But I’m doing it and so far, it’s working. 01/01/19 will mark two years since I decided to hang up my drinking hat. My ‘reward to self’ is a two week holiday in tropical Bali, Indonesia. And here I am!
I arrived around midnight local time last night – the photo below is my balcony I woke up to this morning when I opened the curtains. Serenity was a word offered by two special Twittersphere friends, so I’ll relay their accurate one-word description (thanks Jenny and Mark!).
The first year I gave up drinking was hell, I won’t lie. Hell because I had to face all the demons that I had previously swept under the carpet with alcohol. I had to get over myself. I did a lot of growing up in that first year. I had to work out how to deal with stuff and not just pretend awkward and uncomfortable stuff wasn’t happening. I could no longer ignore it by drinking it away.
The second year has been easier. Actually, it wasn’t until about six months ago that started to feel like I was my own person. My own true me. A person with self respect, goals and a clear conscience.
- I discovered a love that both my late grandmothers shared: nature and gardening. So I built myself an outdoors yoga garden.
- I mended some relationships that I had previously broke. After doing this a couple of times, I think the next couple will be easier. A work in progress.
- I set a hard line with someone who struggled greatly with my sobriety. I sense she detests me greatly for this but her desperation, manipulation and mind games actually helped me. Her behavior helped me because fast forward 10, 20, 30 years… I could have become her if I didn’t quit drinking. It is sad but I cannot be responsible for her. We are talking about someone in a deep place of addiction and denial and we hope she will eventually reach out for the professional help she needs to get well.
- I am learning how to become a better friend, partner, colleague and daughter through mindfulness. My daily meditation practice and learning about mindfulness is a work in progress but one I get a lot of joy out of.
So that’s me and the changes I have experienced during the two years. There were shaky patches. I was unsure if I’d be sitting here on my little Balinese balcony, celebrating two years alcoholfree. But here we are, we made it.
As I mentioned before, I’m unsure if it is orthodox to bribe oneself when quitting an addiction. Either way, if you haven’t set yourself some milestones and accompanying rewards and want to give up drinking this New Year, I encourage you to give it a go. There is so much support out there and you’ll be amazed where it comes from.
Love and sober hugs,