The extended version.
I was on holidays down near Coffs Harbour 38 days ago. It was a Sunday morning, and I’d had yet another terrible sleep after a night on the booze. I was lucky if I got 3 hours in. Waking at 1am, and finally falling back to sleep between 3-5am was the norm for me, and I knew it was because of alcohol. Yet, I did this for years because I loved drinking so much.
I couldn’t begin to imagine how my Friday and Sunday arvos would be without wine. And play dates. BBQ’s with friends. Going out for dinner. A stressful day. A celebration. How on earth do people do these things without wine? I could never fathom it.
But on that Sunday morning 38 days ago, I was sitting on the balcony of our AirBNB with my partner having a coffee, feeling exhausted AF and I simply said to him, “I’m going to stop drinking now. I’ve had enough. I can’t do it to myself anymore”. And he said, “Okay”.
And that was that. It was unplanned and spontaneous.
So I downloaded the sober app, joined a sober group on Facebook, and told my closest friends what I had decided to do. I had never felt so sure and so determined about something in my life, but I knew I needed a cheer squad and a support system around me.
My drinking would go in waves; some weeks I would be “good” and wouldn’t drink during the week, but then on weekends I’d “reward myself” and drink 3 bottles of wine.
Then some weeks, I would drink everyday: 1/2 – 1 bottle at a time. Some days I’d even crack open a bottle at midday… Those days I’d polish off 2 bottles without blinking.
But I wasn’t an “alcoholic”. I wasn’t in a gutter, living out of a trolley, drinking goon, unemployed and smoking a pack of ciggies a day. I was doing what other mums were doing. I was doing what was acceptable in our society. I didn’t think I had a problem.
I was sick of not sleeping through the night.
I was sick of the chronic anxiety that had lead to medicating myself with Lexapro.
I was sick of the cyclic breast pain, and the painful ovulation each month.
I was sick of feeling unmotivated, and lazy.
I was sick of not meditating twice a day cause I was either drunk or hungover.
I was sick of not being able to lose my “baby weight” (if you can call it that when your child is 5).
I was sick of feeling unhealthy.
I was sick of escaping.
So now, I am creating a version of myself that I don’t need to escape from.
I have stepped away from toxic relationships or people who were not bringing out the best in me.
I have cleaned up my diet; If a certain food makes me feel like shit, I won’t eat it – I don’t want it in my body.
I am doing 10,000 steps a day.
I am doing strength work 3 times a week at the gym.
My phone is off at 8pm each night. In bed at 9pm and asleep by 9:30pm.
I wake at 5:30am each day.
I meditate twice a day.
I file my nails, and take better care of my skin and hair.
I use plant medicines every day to support my health and emotional wellbeing.
I podcast, read and fill my mind with inspiration everyday.
So as you can see, this isn’t just about “quitting the booze”. It’s about creating a world that does not support alcohol. It’s about loving myself and respecting myself and taking care of myself, for no one else but me, myself and I.
I don’t feel deprived – I feel alive! It’s exciting, fulfilling, self-directed, rich and of my own design.
I am in control of my life again.
Thanks for reading. Lots of Love, Erin xo