Monthly Archives: March 2016

Spring Forward? Or Fall Back.

 

Spring. Pretty bloody great time of year, all things considered. Daffodils blooming. Fluffy little lambs frolicking all over the shop. Waking up to our old friend the sun, instead of pitch black mornings.
 

Seems like the ideal time to stop drinking, really, doesn’t it? A chance to feel fresh and clean and new. To feel perfect and good. As opposed to washed-up and faded. Old and stagnant. Whatever it is we associate with the way our drinking makes us feel. Whatever those adjectives are we use to beat ourselves up. Those words that wound. The blades we turn only on ourselves.

 

But only if we get to be perfect. Only if we do it right immediately. Whichever arbitrary day we assign as “Day One”. And definitely only if the entire world falls into place with our new regime at the same time. If our body obeys us and automatically drops those dress sizes to give us the holy grail of single figure status. Because if these things don’t happen? We don’t want to Spring anywhere. We wish to Fall back, and stay back.

 

I do want to be sober, but only if I have what I believe is the perfect body, at exactly the right size. Yes, I want to stop drinking, but I want to know exactly what to do with all that time I’ve got on my hands, I want all the new hobbies and people and places and interests to be instantly assembled, ready to step into and zip up now, (kind of like that little black dress I will be wearing effortlessly in that perfect size we already discussed…)

Of course being alcohol free is the goal for me. But I want to be totally comfortable in every social situation. Automatically. And permanently. And if that isn’t going to happen?

Then I’ll just stay here. Wait until it does.

The Waiting Room is not a wonderful place to spring into. Though it will feel comfortable and familiar, because it’s very similar to the Waiting Room we sit in during our drinking days. The room we wait in until our relationships feel strong enough to withstand us taking the apparently “dramatic” decision to not drink. I’ll wait here until I understand how to manage my social anxiety. Or to be able to switch off from work without the aid of a bottle of wine.

 

So when things aren’t going 100% to plan. When we’ve had a hard day with colleagues, or home is making us stressed. When friends or lovers are making us feel insecure. Do we continue to Spring Forward? Or do we choose to Fall Back? To wait until the world is a more easily controllable place? Until we are loved unconditionally. Until we feel like the real success we wish to be.

 

The truth is, even when we nail the art of non-drinking, the ground beneath us is never guaranteed to be steady. People still leave us in various ways. The shifting components of our life we have no control over still keep moving, at whatever pace they choose to.

 

It’s undeniable that one of the only things we can control is how we react to things. But if we choose to Spring Forward, and keep Springing Forward? There is a far more important life skill we need to cultivate: How to set the emotional tone of our day. How to choose a way to feel and stick with it, irrespective of external circumstance. To choose our mood with the same care we choose our clothes in the morning, or the food we eat. To not be swayed by other people’s words or sentiments towards us. To rise above and keep moving towards our goal of a full, happy, alcohol free life.

 

We’ve all Fallen Back. All given in to the myth of perfection. All felt another season pass us by in a haze or regret and self-loathing.

 

Isn’t it time we tried something different?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Stef’s Alcohol-Free Journey

Stef’s Alcohol-Free Journey 
Stef is an inspirational lady I have been working with since 2015. She wanted to share her journey with you on here because she is kind and wonderful in too many ways to count.

A
snapshot of my alcohol free journey – 

It started with a webinar on the website Soberistas , Carrie was a guest on the site and watching and listening to her tell her story of giving up alcohol inspired me so much that I immediately emailed her and the rest is nothing short of amazing.

 My journey has not always been easy and it has required commitment and hard work but each step has taught me something significant about myself which has encouraged me to continue. 
It is not easy for me to put this into words because much of this is my own personal stuff, but I can say that since working with Carrie I have been much more at peace with myself and my perception and outlook have completely changed for the better.

 
I had been struggling to give up alcohol for several years -if the truth be known, and I would always find a reason/ excuse to go back to drinking:-

I’d had a bad day at work,
someone had upset me ,
I was tired,
I was bored,
I was happy,
I was celebrating something,
I was on holiday,
I was needing a holiday

This list goes on and If you are reading this it may well be familiar to you.
 
Carrie has helped me to understand that the problem was quite simple – I felt that I was missing out, that I was sacrificing something huge when I gave up alcohol. As long as I had that mentality l was always going to fail. Once I truly believed I was not sacrificing anything and that my world had got bigger and oh so much better since giving up, I didn’t look back.

 
How did I come to the conclusion that giving up alcohol is truly not a sacrifice ?
By working with Carrie I absolutely know that not drinking alcohol is not a sacrifice.

One of the many things that Carrie said to me which really struck a chord was “if you are saving money being sober you are not doing it right” . I now treat myself to wonderful AF cocktails and delicious food amongst other lovely treats.

 
Giving up is the easy bit -it’s sustaining it that needs work and that’s why Carries method works so well. Carrie is a bundle of positive energy and has been such an amazing support. Carries Skype’s and regular emails have helped me to work through my difficulties, and my own personal weird and wonderful belief systems.

 
What has changed for me in just under a year? – well I have had a promotion at work, and become much more confident , I have amazed myself when dealing with difficult colleagues and situations . I have dipped my toe into several new hobbies and experiences that I have never had the courage or inclination to try before. 

Some I have never wanted to repeat (such as walking the Samari gorge in the August heat) and some which have been life changing. I have been on summer and winter holidays with friends who are heavy drinkers and had a ball without drinking. I have thrown myself into making my world bigger ,which has been easy as I have so much more energy and time. A year ago I would never have believed that any of this would be even be possible.

 
One huge surprise for me was that I taught myself to sew and I am now able to sew my own clothes which I absolutely love and am obsessed with. I would never have done this if I hadn’t been determined and had the courage and time/ energy (thanks to Carrie) to try new things and throw myself in at the deep end and be open to have a go.

 
Carrie is an inspiration. I have often felt that she is reading my mind as her approach is so personal to me and she truly understands where I am coming from. Carrie has worked with my at my own pace giving me information and support only as I have needed it, this is not advice on a plate, but has required work and honesty from me also . This approach has been just the ticket for me and I started to reap the benefits immediately.

My family are proud of me and many friends have commented on how well I look , and at the age of 50 plus I feel as though I have grown up in so many ways, including the way I perceive and respond to life, than ever before. 

It really is similar to peeling back the layers of an onion, the work continues and I am currently working on body image which for me may be a longer process than giving up alcohol, but I am willing to put the work in and I have total faith that I will crack this one too with the help of Carrie without whom I would never have reached this point and turned my life around.
 

In her words

A lady I’ve had the privilege of working with this past year took the time to write thisand  share with you her journey of alcohol-free living. She is simply incredible. I couldn’t be any prouder of her and everything she has achieved:




“Last year I hit a giant, booze-soaked brick wall. I’d been a binge drinker since my teens, but in the past ten years the hilarity of getting hammered, dancing on a table until 3am and snogging a total stranger had lost its appeal.

 

I didn’t want to carry on waking up each morning knowing my day was going to be shit because my hangover was so horrendous. Or keep checking my bank account to find that, yet again, I’d spent a fortune on overpriced cocktails and a £50 taxi home, and all I had to show for it was some regretful tears and a banging headache.

 

I’d known for a long time that my drinking had morphed from a fun pastime to being out of control. Instead of enhancing my life and making it more enjoyable, alcohol was making me miserable, overweight and permanently exhausted. And yet I didn’t seem to be able to stop throwing booze down my neck and money down the drain.  

 

I’d tried pretty much everything to give up over the past ten years; counselling, hypnosis, spiritual healing, cutting myself off from certain friends, ‘just having a couple’ on nights out (funnily enough that didn’t work out so well), and once or twice I dipped my toe into the heady world of AA. But I would always find myself back in the same frustrating, desperate place wishing I could just stop once and for all.

 

Then I discovered Carrie via a webinar on the brilliant Soberistas website. I had no idea that the hour I spent watching her talk about her alcohol problems and subsequent recovery was about to change my life. Pretty much everything she said struck a chord with me, and seeing how she’d turned her life around and created this joyful, alcohol-free existence gave me genuine hope.

 

I emailed Carrie that night to thank her for her inspirational words, and shortly afterwards we began working together. Over the next few months things started to shift massively for me. I had a few stumbles here and there but I always knew I was heading in the right direction, and I could see so clearly where I actually wanted to be.

 

Mine and Carrie’s regular Skype sessions and her insightful advice gave me focus, and knowing she was on the end of an email when I was struggling meant I never felt like I was walking that tricky road alone.

 

Finally on January 2nd – after a couple of ill-advised Christmas indulgences – I waved a firm goodbye to wine (and beer. And vodka. And Gin. You get the idea). Something clicked and for the first time probably ever, I knew I deserved to be happy and take proper care of myself. And it is, without a doubt, the best thing I’ve ever done.

 

I sleep better, I make better decisions, I have more money, I’ve lost some of my excess cider weight, and I wake up every morning so grateful that my head is clear and I know I’ll have a good day, no matter what it throws at me.

 

Carrie enabled me make so many changes, and ensure they stuck. I could honestly tell her a hundred times a day for the rest of my life the ways in which she’s helped me, and I still wouldn’t be able to explain just how much. I remember saying to her once that ‘everyone needs a Carrie in their life’ and I truly believe that. If she could clone herself millions of times the world would be a much happier and more together place.”