About Us
You are entirely up to yourself! - Tess Forrest

ABOUT ME

Since you’re embarking on a very personal journey, I thought I’d share my story. I grew up in Hobart, Tasmania with my grandmother and met alcohol when I was fourteen. Since day one it’s been the most toxic relationship I have ever been in. From sitting at home alone drinking vodka to being the drunkest person at the party, alcohol knew how to pull me in and spit me out into the gutter (literally). I’m not going to lie, there were fun times but like any toxic relationship there were the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. When I turned 20 I decided to move to Melbourne, not because I wanted to pursue my dream career or lifestyle, but on a drunken whim where I decided it was a good idea to follow a guy.

After moving to Melbourne I spent most of my professional life working in events and sales. Given my line of work, socialising and living a fast lifestyle became my entire world and I confused that with my purpose. I believed I was living my best life, but my personal life was in chaos and so was my mental health. It wasn’t until I went to a funeral for a loved one that I realised I needed to change how I was living my life. I decided I didn’t want to feel broken anymore and I certainly didn’t want my friends and family attending my funeral anytime soon. With this in mind, I tried something different and set out to live an alcohol-free lifestyle. I thought, what’s the worst that can happen if I take a break?

I had no idea what breaking up with booze would do for me, but it turned my life around. Living AF gave me clarity to trust my own decisions and know what I want. It gave me confidence and freedom to explore new opportunities. Most importantly it gave me self-love and empowerment. When you don’t live with guilt and shame, you can start building on your strengths and that’s powerful. I’ll admit that it took a few tries until I came to the decision that I didn’t actually want to drink at all anymore. It’s so much easier to make the decisions to not drink when you know you can but simply don’t want to. So, I decided to leave my event-filled lifestyle behind and leave the industry right around the time COVID-19 hit.

Now I run a coaching business and an alcohol-free (AF) community that helps people explore their relationship with alcohol and themselves. When I started It’s Not Me It’s Booze, my goal was to make AF friends. I had just moved to Sydney and wanted to connect with others who felt the same way. Now I’m proud to say we have a beautiful community across the nation. Our incredible community supports and motivates each other through our individual journeys – whether it’s a full-blown break up with alcohol or a little holiday from boozing, It’s Not Me It’s Booze is for everyone.

-Mel