Do you eat well, exercise and look after yourself during the working week, only to binge on alcohol at after work drinks on Friday or at a party on Saturday night?
Do you rely on alcohol to unwind and deal with your stresses?
Do you turn to alcohol to manage your anxiety or depression?
Can you go to a party, birthday, picnic or social occasion without relying on a few drinks to increase your level of enjoyment?
If the answer is yes to any of the above, you may have a drinking problem, or at least be on your way to one.
I have a confession…I used to be a big drinker! Now when I say big, I mean REALLY big! Dare I say, I had a problem. I was a highly functioning alcoholic, living life successfully all while downing a bottle or two of the sweet poison every day.
Unfortunately alcohol is so socially acceptable that I masked my excess consumption easily.
After all, when we’re happy, we drink. When we’re sad, we drink. We celebrate, we drink. When we are stressed, we drink. We need to sleep, we drink….and the list goes on.
I used to warm up at lunch with a few glasses, cool down in the evening with a few glasses and on the weekends… well it would be in excess! Alcohol was my saviour. I used it to mask my underlying anxiety, depression, body pains, allergies, stress and much more.
Bloating, feeling sluggish, dark circles under my eyes, dry skin, acne, weight, massive fatigue, headaches, depression, a cloudy head and no drive or get up to live my day. These were all the symptoms I used to suffer with daily.
I ignored every one of these signs that my body was trying to communicate to me and unfortunately I eventually paid the price. After hitting absolute rock bottom and getting severely sick, I decided it was time to end my relationship with alcohol for good! I had to heal and alcohol was the first thing that had to go………but boy was it hard!
I embarked on a journey and realised that I had to learn how to be comfortable again in my own skin at social occasions. I had to learn how to deal with the stresses of life without having anything to turn to. I had to learn how to relax and unwind naturally. I had to confront all my anxieties, insecurities and learn to love and accept myself all over again!
Ditching the booze gave me true freedom and it was one of the best things I have ever done.
It was incredible for my physical health and my body started healing immediately.
My excess weight came off easily, my skin cleared, I had less fatigue, more energy, a clearer head, better digestion, no brain fog and generally more vitality.
Life had become joyful instead of a daily struggle. Learning how to navigate social events and not have a drink in my hand, left me feeling empowered, confident and more like me!
The biggest change for me was that I finally started to get more clarity and creativity back into my life. I started waking up with a sense of purpose….I finally felt free!
This month is Dry July, which is a brilliant charity initiative and a chance for you to test your sobriety and love your liver a little, although I encourage you to think about continuing your sobriety when Dry July ends.
Instead of planning for a massive drinking bender to break the spell and undoing all the great work you have done, why not celebrate and plan a massive party but choose to enjoy it sober?
You might be surprised at how great you feel and realise that you are fun all on your own without the booze! Enjoy the music, have a dance, enjoy good conversation and leave feeling great, remembering the good times of the night. This could set you up to start August in a great place.
To help you on your journey here are three really simple strategies to try:
1. Swap your glass of wine for a glass of sparkling water
When you get to an event or bar, order a glass of sparkling water in a wine glass. Trust me the psychology of just holding the wine glass will make you feel like you are joining in.
2. Start meditation
This can help you deal with the stress, anxieties and hidden emotions in your life that might be causing you pain, which can lead to drinking more. Meditation also brings a certain inner contentment and peace in your thoughts and emotions which can have a profound effect on what you put into your body.
When you start cleansing your body through good foods and your mind through positive thoughts, you start to feel happier and healthier which can create a positive ripple effect in other areas of your life. Check out my four week online program Your Best Self as a great way to do this!
3. Start to love and accept yourself unconditionally
When you love and accept yourself, it is easier to let go of any insecurities or anxieties when you are out and about. Don’t be afraid to be authentically you! Faults and all! You can do this by starting to reaffirm a mantra to yourself on a daily basis; “I love and accept myself unconditionally”…
Are you ready to find your inner warrior and kick the booze? I would love to hear from you, please share your comments below…