Having spent many years in sales and marketing I know that we largely desire things for the feeling that they will bring us rather than the thing itself eg: to relax, have fun, loosen up. What has always fascinated me is that if we work out why we desire the thing, (ie: what feeling is it that we are craving?), then we can then try to attain that feeling without the thing itself. Try it! It raises your vibration and works with the law of attraction. The more you project that feeling, the more the feeling will be available to you and the less you will need the ‘thing’.
Ok so the ‘thing’ in this context is alcohol. I have been alcohol free now for nearly 2 years. It has been an ongoing experiment and is part of my spiritual journey and desire to connect with my inner truth. I realise that alcohol dulls the connection to my intuition and this was hampering my mission to connect to my true essence. Prior to January 2017, I had never before questioned the habit of alcohol in my life.
Alcohol was always around as I grew up – my parents didn’t drink much but a glass of wine to relax, and a few more to have a fun night out were commonplace. As kids we were offered a mini glass of wine a ‘soupcon’ my Dad would say, during family gatherings or our Sunday meal. As soon as I could drink legally, I did without question. Friends would meet in bars and pubs and our socialising was lubricated by booze. At University, more of my weekly budget was spent on booze and nights out than on food. I clubbed through my twenties and we drank to lift the energy on the night and drank the next day to take the edge off the hangover. We treasure our friends and love partying with them – the chatting, the dancing, the carefree behaviour all seemed so much more natural after a couple of drinks.
I knew that something was amiss because we had 4 kids, my husband worked away all week in London and the weekend was the highlight of the week, What did we do? We celebrated a Friday night with a G&T, followed by a bottle of wine between us. More alcohol flowed if we went out to party. This meant that we were feeling even a little hungover for most of the weekend, which certainly dulled the potential fun family time – the time we had been looking forward to each week. Often by a Sunday night we would feel as though we weren’t ready for the new week to start because we hadn’t made the most of the weekend.
Every January we had a Dry month and my oh my did it feel dry. Going out for dinner felt all the more empty without booze to accompany it. Nights out with friends seemed less amusing. We often didn’t drink during the week, during the rest of the year, unless we were out or entertaining but in Dry January the lack of booze lessened the delineation of week day to weekend – it all felt the same. During my pregnancies I abstained for the health of my baby – with the odd exception of a small celebratory glass of fizz. The abstinence was a hardship and I certainly felt like I was missing out. I felt as though something was lacking – how could a Sunday fireside-meal taste as good without a glass of red wine to accompany it?
So what changed in January 2017? It was an as per usual Dry January, during which my sister gave me the Annie Grace book ‘This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol’ which I read with interest. It is a very easy read and by the time I had finished the booked I chose to spontaneously give up alcohol for longer than the traditional dry January as part of an ongoing experiment.
The experiment is still ongoing and I truly feel that I have embraced this new way of living and can see no reason to return to what was. The overwhelming feeling is that I am happier than I was – there are no artificial alcohol-fuelled highs but I am also free of the associated lows of the hangover. My mind is clearer, I feel brighter, more connected with myself and with others, and I genuinely feel more joy. I have embraced various parties – 40th celebrations, family gatherings, parties in London and Ibiza. Dare I say it, all of these have been more enjoyable without the booze. I can have all the up side without the lows.
1 year ago, my husband was fascinated by my transformation and decided to give it a go himself – he read the book to same effect and is now a more radiant being than I can ever remember. He is thrilled with the positive impact on his life and feels that the blinkers have been lifted!
I remember thinking that I would miss the buzz-stage of drinking — when your inhibitions begin to fade, you let yourself go, relax and have fun. The truth is that this sober buzz is better in every way – I have more fun, remember it all and feel truly free.
Now when I was a drinker I used to look upon the teetotallers, who were few and far between in our group, with much suspicion. Why did they not drink? Bet they were dull. Did they have a problem with alcohol – members of AA? I questioned whether to invite them to parties as I wondered how much fun they would be and worried that might judge the drinking antics of the rest of the party goers. So now I am on the flip side of that. I am that person and I see the confusion flash across the faces of my drinking friends when they can’t believe that I can be having a better time not drinking than drinking. Even my very best friends question it. There is an intimation that I am ruining their drinking experience by not joining them because they feel as though they are under greater scrutiny and my not drinking makes them feel uncomfortable with their drinking. I have been quizzed time and time again – it has certainly got rather boring, about why I am not drinking and surely I must feel as though I am missing out and maybe I could treat myself to ‘just one”. My stock response now is “I am still a hedonist but now I truly get more pleasure from not drinking than drinking!” That usually shuts them up and I can swiftly change the subject.
So here goes, having seen both sides of the coin and experienced life on each:
I Choose: Energy over lethargy. A clear bright complexion vs dulled skin. Clarity vs a muddled mind. Early morning rises with a smile and excitement for the day ahead over a dull headache and desire to stay in bed. Meaningful conversations that I remember the next day vs drunken conversations that I promptly forget. Connection vs disconnection. Incredible natural highs with no downside. Productivity over procrastination. Being fully present to it all over distracting and numbing out. Self care over self medication. Connection with my true essence over losing sight of her. Self love over self recrimination. Daily joy of BEING vs lost in the time warp of DOING. Amazing sleep vs disturbed nights. Sparkling eyes over exhausted stares. Best sex ever over drunken romps. Dancing with carefree abandon vs dancing with my head spinning.
All Hail Sober Sensations!
June 2018 – Jay and I partying hard in Ibiza, stone cold sober and loving every bit of it!! x