I am human!! And I am certainly NOT perfect!! But that is 100% OK!
Sometimes through the use of social media society can paint a pretty perfect picture of people’s lives. Especially those who claim to be in the health and wellness industry so I think it is important for me to write this post to bare myself to you and show you that despite all I know, all I’ve learnt, I am still not perfect, I am vulnerable at times and I am just like you!
You would have heard my story by now, but I used to be a BIG drinker…now when I say big…I mean border line highly functioning alcoholic!
I would start at lunch with client meetings, then I would continue on throughout the day when I got home after work with a few glasses of wine or when I finished hockey training to “relax” my body and help me sleep. On the weekends, I would justify the excessive binge drinking with social occasions that I “couldn’t miss out on” or because I didn’t want to be the “odd one out.” Then Monday would roll around, I would feel terrible, my body would cry out for help but I would start all over again! I felt like my life was a blur.… I desperately wanted to stop but didn’t know how despite my good intentions and deep down I knew it was costing me something as my body was constantly trying to communicate to me through subtle symptoms.
But it was hard…so hard!!!
You see, alcohol was my addiction and I used it to mask everything! I used to drink when I was happy, when I was sad, when I was angry, when I was stressed, when I needed to celebrate, when I needed to relax and on and on and on……..It was my go to for every emotion!
Quitting the booze was long, hard, confronting but one of the best things I have ever done! I felt like I had been asleep for years and was finally awake again, experiencing life with a freshness that I had forgotten about!
It has been incredible and I have managed to stay away from it for the past 6 years!
Not even having ONE SIP! Yes, that’s right, not a single sip or snippet of the stuff!
UNTIL A few weeks ago When I had my first sip of beer in 6 years!
I only had one single sip of beer, but to me that was enough to make me feel like I had seriously cheated on myself, enough to make me feel sick about how LOW I was feeling…It was rock bottom again for me….
“But it was only a SIP Desiree”…I hear you saying….
Well…yes it was and I might sound crazy, but I have worked SO incredibly hard these past few years to cleanse my body and get it back to a state where I am completely healthy, that I felt as if I had crushed my soul and spirit! It had left me in tears
Why did I do it???
After a crazy, beautiful, hectic, rewarding, challenging, sleep deprived, love-fest year of being a first time mum, I had been feeling very vulnerable all year! All year I have been craving the comfort I used to seek out in a nice glass of red wine or a relaxing scotch to help me unwind at the end of a busy day. Alcohol was my go to during times of increased stress and vulnerability, just as food or shopping is to others and for the whole year I had managed to utilize my handy tricks on my coaching tool belt and coach myself out of it! However, the day I caved I was in a very vulnerable place and I just could not win in my head!!
What went wrong??
The internal dialogue I had with myself was TOXIC- my inner mean girl took hold…
The constant barrage of negative thoughts from society took precedent and…..
I was lacking some serious self love!
Up until now when things got tough, I had survived by changing my thoughts, releasing the societal norms and giving myself fulfillment and what I was really craving in other forms such as meditation, reading a book or nourishing and nurturing my body!
What was overwhelming in my head on this day was the never ending thoughts that society places in our heads which often are not our own. Such as;
“You should have a drink, you deserve it as a mum”
“Everyone else drinks, it’s normal”
“One sip or drink never hurt anyone”
“Everyone else does it, why can’t you”
“You have to drink as a mum just to get by…”
Thoughts like these can often get the better of you. They can eventually wear you down and plain old willpower doesn’t cut it as you are literally coaching yourself into performing a negative act with justifications. But just as you can coach yourself into something, you can coach yourself out of something! You are NOT your thoughts! You have the power to change the way you think which automatically creates a ripple effect into your actions, behaviours and all areas of your life!
Following my despair, sadness and anger at myself, I was lucky that I had the tools to pick myself back up the next day and start paving a strong foundation for myself again with practicing the things I had previously learnt that helped me stay away from the booze for so long!
You see, it’s not about how hard your fall but your ability to pick yourself back up and how you move forward….
If you are struggling with an addiction, feeling overwhelmed by societies pressures or feeling down on yourself, I would love to be able to help you on your journey back to health and happiness……you are not alone. Find a friend, family member, coach or some sort of support to help you through it.
What makes you feel vulnerable? How do you overcome this? What do you find works for you? Would love to hear from you…
Photo by Tanja Heffner
Photo by Kinga Cichewicz
For more info about the treatment of alcohol addiction click here.