REDUCE BOOZE FOR BOOBS EVENT

I have met a lot of people in the sober space but two of my favs would have to be Kathryn Elliott Founder of The Alcohol Mindset Coach and Van Nguyen Owner of NA Bottle shop Sip & Enjoy.

From the moment I met them both, they have made me feel comfortable and supported on my sober journey. I have said this many times, but the sober journey can be lonely which is why I find comfort in knowing there are other women who are in my corner.

With that being said, I would love for you to meet these amazing women at their upcoming Reduce Booze for Boobs event. These power women are tackling the topic of booze and breast cancer, by generating awareness and discussion about the research and facts that currently exist, in the hope that you will share what you learn with friends and family.

Guest speaker Kathryn will be sharing her inspiring story on how she survived breast cancer and how sobriety has continued to help her overcome some of life’s most hardest challenges.

20% of the ticket purchase goes towards BCNA. 
For anyone who like to donate to the cause, you may do so in the link.

USE DISCOUNT CODE INMIB15 TO RECEIVE 15% OFF YOUR TICKET

Link Below:

Reduce Booze for Boobs

Event Details 

The Event includes:

· Drink on arrival from Sip & Enjoy, Melbourne’s first non-alcoholic beverage bottle shop

· Nibbles provided (vegan, gluten-free available)

· Ticket to event will automatically enter you into the draw to win a prize pack valued at over $200

Saturday 15th October 
2pm – 4pm 
Located: Sip & Enjoy Melbourne 1st Non Alcoholic Drinks Store

I let sobriety bore me so I drank

We are here again, at a familiar place where I am contemplating taking you back.
After two years believing you are toxic, I think maybe you could be different this
time because I have a better understanding of myself. You are probably
wondering why I am suddenly coming back to you…honestly it feels too hard to
be without you. When I think of you, I have all these memories of all the
spontaneous things we’ve done together and the connections we have made. You
can make me confident and fun in a group of strangers. You give me excitement
and make me want to go out and be amongst people. I miss that woman….
although even when I’m writing this I’m torn because … it was only a month ago, I
tried taking you back. But again, you took the little bit of confidence I had left
away from me. I came running back because I felt lost and needed some
excitement. I thought you would give me that spontaneous rush I was looking for.
And, for a couple of hours it did, until you left me alone to vomit and pass out.
You left me for days to drown in my own self-loathing and depression. Again, you
brought out all my fears and insecurities and I can’t even recognise myself. Then
as I start to lift myself from this bottom, I can hear you call my name, and again I
am stuck in this endless loop. 

 
 
When I wrote this letter a while ago, I was unsure if I still believed in
sobriety. I was constantly playing mental gymnastics and it was exhausting. So,
like I have done many times before I wrote a letter to alcohol so I could separate
its voice from myself. The alcohol voice can be so loud it’s hard to hear what your
true self really needs. It wasn’t until writing this reflection, that I relised I was
missing excitement in my life.

When I chose to drink alcohol that night, I wasn’t craving alcohol I was craving the excitement I thought alcohol could fulfill. Except it didn’t, because if it did why was I still sending out dozen of texts and swallowing dexys like I was eating a pack of mentos. For those who don’t know what dexys are, it is a stimulant which treats attention deficiency used for people diagnosed with ADHD and from my knowledge I do not have ADHD. Again alcohol wasn’t enough to give me the excitement I was craving, so I was bingeing on anything else that could give me the high I was looking for until it registers in my drunken haze that the high doesn’t exist and all I desperately want is to be sober again. From my experience this is usually a good time to vomit and pass out.

So if you can’t get your excitement from booze, how do you fulfil that craving because I promise you, you will have this craving during your sobriety. Pay attention because you need hear this ASAP – REAL EXCITEMENT IS GETTING YOURSELF OUTSIDE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE!
The concept of “comfort zone” is a familiar one because it makes us feel safe. When we are in our comfort zone, we can keep a level of confidence because we aren’t taking too many risks.
Although, at times our comfort zone can be a prison which can stop us from
missing out on the exciting things in life.

This is what can happen when we become sober, we get stuck in a life where we feel comfortable. Away from triggers, a way from any situation that doesn’t fit into our sober bubble. When the
pink cloud of sobriety wears off life can become mundane and somewhat boring.
For a lot of us who binge drink we have personality traits which are impulsive and
excitement seeking. So just because we become sober doesn’t mean those
personality traits aren’t still there, which is why it can lead to other bingeing
behaviours.

But, the wonderful part about sobriety is its excitement and spontaneity, because
you aren’t chasing a high that doesn’t exist. From my own experience if I take the
option of drinking out of the equation, life becomes magical. Social events
become more exciting, because you can have deep meaningful conversations and
create connections that are real. When you truly connect with someone it feels
exhilarating. It’s those conversations that make you laugh until your belly hurts, or
makes you want to cry because you can feel what the other person is feeling.
Sobriety allows you to be spontaneous because you can do whatever you want.
You do what your true self wants not what alcohol is telling you to do or restricting you to do.

There is so much you can experience being sober, but it does mean taking a risk and trying
activities outside of your sober comfort zone. Start by creating a sober bucket list
and start ticking them off, whether it be going on a sober holiday, going on a
sober date, or learning an new hobby. Start creating new sober memories so your
brain can relearn that real excitement is not dependent on alcohol.

5 Ways to get your sobriety confidence back!

I could give you all the tips on how to deal with triggers, so you don’t drink but realistically some of us will slip up in our sobriety and by slip ups I mean we will consciously drink. Depending if you had a good or bad night on the booze your slip up could be a one-time thing or sometimes it can take us a while to get back to our sobriety. You may even catch yourself thinking maybe sobriety isn’t for me anymore, maybe I am just a drinker now.

I want to tell you something, just because you had a drink doesn’t make you are a drinker. The problem when people slip up is they start to question their sober identity and start to seek confirmation that they are a drinker now. We are our worst critics so of course it’s easier for our egos to protect us and say well you better be honest with yourself maybe you aren’t cut out to be sober if you can’t do it 100%.

This is called a cognitive distortion which is when we seek out information that is consistent with old beliefs and ignore information which is inconsistent to this. For example, yes you had a slip up but what about all the days, months, or years that you have been sober. We all know how much work it takes to be sober, so are you just going to not appreciate everything you worked on prior to your slip up.  A similar scenario you get all distinctions on your assignments at uni and then you fail an assignment, it doesn’t mean you fail the subject because the distinctions still make up a percentage of your whole mark and so does the fail. So my biggest advice to you is don’t get stuck in the labels and remember why you are on this journey, not because you can’t drink, it’s because you want to enjoy life!


So here are 5 tips to get your sobriety confidence back!

  1. Remember you are a non-drinker. If I was a vegan and ate Macca’s chicken nuggets as a one off, would you suddenly come at me for not being a vegan even though I am vegan for 90% of the time? No! So don’t define your sobriety by your slip up!

  2. Exercise and have a sauna. Often after a slip up we feel ashamed, vulnerable and stressed because alcohol increases our stress hormone cortisol. You need your clarity and good mental health back so do some high intensity training or any form of exercise because it will decrease your cortisol which will reduce your anxiety, depression and increase your resilience. If you are struggling to even move your body have a sauna because the excessive sweating will reduce your frustration and relax your body. Saunas also help the brain release euphoric hormones. You need all the happy hormones you can get right now!

  3. Embrace the sober journey offline. Whilst there are some amazing sober accounts, social media can trigger our stress hormones and remember you want to decrease your cortisol and an adrenaline entering your body. So instead listen to sober podcasts, read books or attend a sober workshop or meeting.

  4. Go for coffee with a sober friend. A friend who won’t judge you but understands the journey you are on. You want to feel empowered to get back on the sober journey and be able to discuss what triggered you to drink. There is power in feeling connected, validated, and respected. If you don’t have a friend, you feel comfortable with, book in a therapy session. I would recommend doing both! The more you talk about it, the more you will start changing your thought patterns.

  5. Have self-compassion. I know this is a classic tip but it’s true. You are human and humans aren’t perfect. We live in a world where alcohol is easily accessible and acceptable. It can get exhausting always trying to fight against something the whole world is doing. Remember that this journey is about progress not perfection, so consolidate a list of all your strengths and all the healing work you have done. Practise mindfulness and be present in knowing you are a beautiful powerful queen but sometimes even queens can’t control the challenges life throws at us. 

I triggered someone and this is what I learnt

Today I want to discuss Freud’s theory, the ego which is the only conscious part of the personality. It’s what the person is aware of when they think about themselves.

We all have an identity we have created for ourselves, and we project this identity onto others. 
When the identity is threatened, our body thinks we are in danger, so we go into survival mode. We start to try and fix the problem so our bodies can feel balanced again.

 I had an incident on the weekend where I knew I was irritating someone. This person was openly showing me I got on his nerves. He kept making negative remarks and rolled his eyes when I spoke. Even when he didn’t speak, I could feel his aggressive energy towards me.
Unfortunately, I was in a group space where I couldn’t leave. 

When I first heard his irritation towards me, I was annoyed. 
I wanted to shout at him. “How dare he treat me like that?”
I could feel my body pumping with adrenaline, I couldn’t focus and all I could think about was how annoying he was. He had threatened my ego, he had threatened my belief that I was a likeable person. 

Then my anger suddenly turned into sadness and I became submissive.
“I will just please him and stop talking. I am annoying and I should just be quiet”.
 Now this was the super ego speaking. The super ego is the part of the unconscious that is the voice of conscience (doing what is right) and the sources of self-criticism. It’s the part that controls your ego so you don’t behave inappropriately. My super ego is, telling me this has happened before; I annoyed my mum when I was younger, that’s why she didn’t want to live with me. I was annoying in primary school, that’s why I got bullied. My super ego was trying to tell my ego I am an annoying person so I should change my behaviour, so I keep this man happy.

This is where we have to remember our bodies are always searching for balance and it will make up whatever story it needs, to solve the problem. The super ego is  powerful and that’s why we easily fall into the people pleasing trap. We are convinced if we change our behaviours to meet the person’s needs, we will please our ego by being the likeable person. Except it doesn’t work, me quietening down and not participating in the group didn’t make this man like me.
He still only grunted when I tried to say goodbye.

 The only thing it did was trigger me and gave me resentment because I wasn’t able to be myself in the group. I had changed my personality to try and meet someone else’s needs but to be honest I didn’t even know what his needs were.
So I had created a story to try and restore my ego and super ego.

We live in a world where we are going to trigger people. I can could get triggered by you and you wouldn’t even know it. I could get trigged by the coffee man because he is wearing a Cologne that smells like my ex-boyfriend and it’s brought up some uneasy feelings. Though it’s not the coffee man’s fault, and him changing his Cologne doesn’t change the story behind the trigger.

  There was nothing I could do to change why this person was triggered by me because only he knows the story which activated the trigger. I can only control the stories I create and not feed the stories that serve me negatively.
This man wasn’t triggered because I was annoying, like the reason why I was bullied and left by my mother because I was annoying. I was just a child. These people have their stories and only the person has control of how they react and feel to a situation.

Love Mel xxx

Are you stuck on an emotional rollercoaster?

We have been reading the book ‘How to do the work’ by Dr Nicole Lepera aka @the.holistic.psychologist in our members book club.
As part of the 75 soft challenge we are reading 10 pages a day which I have been fitting in before I go to sleep, loving it!

Dr Lepera highlights how childhood trauma can be influenced by having parents who don’t know how to regulate their emotions, which I resonated with.

Growing up with my grandmother, I had a confusing relationship with my mother and father.
Sometimes they would take me on lavish holidays yet I lived in Salvation Army housing with my grandmother and other times they would tell me how special I was yet they continued to cancel plans to visit me.
 My relationship with them was inconsistent and looking back now these were symptoms of not being able to self-regulate their emotions. I know my parents loved me but the
decisions they made were based on stress responses and these behavioural patterns would be passed onto me.

Even until recently theories suggested that stress was an on and off button like a light switch. We have been taught coping mechanisms at school and work based on being able to turn our stress on and off.
 Except the stress response is more complex than that which is why therapists should be educating their clients on the Polyvagal theory. 

How many times have you gone to therapy and talked about all this heavy stuff and then afterwards you are left feeling really overwhelmed?
Even though you got everything off your chest, you feel more worse than good because you haven’t been taught how to regulate your emotions.

I am going to explain the polyvagal theory simply because once you know it, you can start to understand your symptoms of stress and learn to manage it.

Basically, you have a big nerve that connects your brain to all the main organs in your body and it is called the vagal nerve. This nerve effects a variety of different functions but the main one I want to chat about today is how it manages three stress responses.

Ventral Vagal – It’s the state of social engagement. You find it easy to connect and relate to other people. It’s your balanced and present state. It can trigger feelings such as  joy, fun, contentment etc.

Sympathetic Activation – It’s the state of mobilisation. You want to run or take immediate action. It can trigger anxiety, frenzy, worry and you can find it really hard to focus. 

Dorsal Vagal Shutdown – It’s a state of demobilisation. You want to dissociate and hide. It can make you feel lethargic, detached, hopeless or shameful.

I think we can all imagine times when we are in the sympathetic system. I just have to remember the morning after a night out. Waking up in a panic, not wanting to check my phone but also trying to remember everything I did last night.  I wouldn’t focus on anything else but trying to re-collect the night.

Then as the days go on, I start to fall into a spiral of self-hatred and shame because your body can’t stay in the sympathetic system for long. Your body is always trying to search for an equilibrium which is why the Dorsal Vagal will take over. Except this system is only putting a cap over your stress, it’s like a pressure cooker ready to explode at any minute.

When we don’t know how to self-regulate or even have awareness of our stress, we struggle to get back to our ventral vagal, our balanced state of mind. Over-time our bodies adapt to functioning between the sympathetic and dorsal system which is why we crave chaotic lives.

Even society tries to condition us to live on this emotional rollercoaster. You only have to watch a movie and you are addicted to watching the drama the characters create. The love that is so intense that they can’t be together. Or the classic cliff hanger where the person is boarding the plane and only then does the partner feel the need to come running and express their love. Yes we know it’s corny but we love the drama!

It took me taking a couple years off alcohol to understand my love for drama and how it’s affected my nervous system. I didn’t have a chance to mange my emotions when I was drinking because alcohol was enhancing the highs and lows. Living like that wasn’t sustainable yet it had always been my normal.

Therefore sobriety is hard because you have to learn to live differently. The chaos starts to disappear and the emotional rollercoaster begins to slow down.
It can feel uncomfortable but it also feels so freeing because you no longer feel trapped in a vicious cycle. You no longer have to be reactive to problems you create, which can be exhausting.

Although it doesn’t mean you won’t still have cravings for chaos. Have you thought about those times when you feel bored, everything is going really well but you just feel like getting wasted. Next time this happens, try to be aware of what you are actually after? Are you wanting alcohol or are you craving the familiar feelings of chaos and drama?

If you are wanting to learn more about your nervous system and how to regulate your emotions, book in a chat and we can start planning your recovery.

Love Mel xxx

How to learn real self-love

What I thought self-love was:

I was convinced self-love was when a guy confessed their love for me or when my mother was proud of me for losing 10kg. I thought self-love was the high after doing a line and revealing to everyone in the bar how important I was and denying all my shame. Except that self-love didn’t ever last and I would soon go from feeling like the most special woman in the world to thinking I was a stupid little girl.

What self-love really is:

I realised self-love is the opposite to what I thought…self-love is about accepting everything about yourself including your experiences. I remember when I put on 15kg and I was bullied for my weight. I soon lost it and made sure I deleted every single photo of me when I weighed more. It was easier to delete the memories and pretend I was never that weight than accept my experience.

We do that a lot when we don’t like our past, we try to pretend it never happened, but our experiences are a part of us even the ones that cause us pain. The truth is if we accept ur experience no-one can hurt us because we have owned it. 

Self-love also requires for you to know yourself better than anyone else. To be sure of your beliefs, what you like or dislike and have a strong sense of self. Your identity needs to be yours, not formed from beliefs others have installed in you. When you can back your choices 100%, your inner power can start creating the life you deserve.

How to learn real self-love:

Allow yourself the space to discover yourself again. When we drink, we use so much energy to recover from our hangovers, we don’t have the mental capacity to get past the barriers that are holding us back. You need the space to learn who you are without the blockages drinking can give us. 

Discover your values so you can be sure your beliefs are yours and not formed from external influences. 

Discover what is important to you in life and whether you are satisfied with these areas of your life. 

Set your intentions for the year and imagine what it feels like when you have achieved these.

Reflect on past experiences that have hurt you and write down your learnings from them. How have those experiences helped you be stronger?

Is socialising making you anxious?

What a weird couple of weeks hey? If you are feeling anxious, I totally get it. On the weekend I went to dinner, lunch, a party, and I felt weird during it all.

I thought my days of feeling socially awkward were over, but I think this lockdown has really screwed with me! 

At a party on Saturday, I was so tempted to have a tequila shot! I mean who would know if I just had one secret shot. Though the problem was I would know!

Then I remembered my decision to give up drinking wasn’t about anyone else it was about the anxiety I had with myself. It was about the guilt and shame knowing I could be so much more without alcohol, and I was holding myself back. 

So again, I played out that tape and realised my true self doesn’t want to have a drink. My true self wants to wake up fresh in the morning, do my assignment, go for a walk, and improve my mental health.

My biggest advice as we go back into socialising is patient with yourself and don’t think too far ahead. Just think about being sober in that moment.

Don’t think about Christmas, New Years and all the other festive events.

Just think about now and question yourself: Are you wanting to drink because you are feeling impulsive or uncomfortable?

If it’s a yes know that those feelings will pass and just accept them. It’s ok to feel uncomfortable because being uncomfortable is what facilitates growth. 

Remember when you first started that new job, it’s always awkward when you are the new person and must learn everything again. You just want to skip the first couple of months to the part where you know everything and everyone! Socialising sober is exactly the same, it won’t always be hard, but you do need to feel awkward at the start because it’s something new. 

What makes this time even harder is that most of us have come out of lock down, so we are trying to adjust to being around people again. It’s a double whammy but I promise you it will be worth it. 

When you wake up in the morning feeling fresh and empowered because you did the thing you said you were going to do, there is no better feeling. 

Love Mel xxx

The relapse – why am I still drinking?

It was only yesterday I was confused about my relationship with alcohol. I thought we could be casual, I thought having a relationship with you could be on my terms but I have quickly realised this is not possible. The worst is you make me hurt other people and hurt myself. You aren’t my friend, you are secretly trying to ruin me…

Well I just read that and it sounds, dramatic. To be honest some people are probably thinking, here we go again… The fact is I need to stop bullshitting myself and realise I can’t do moderation. If I’m feeling guilty for drinking, it is my intuition telling me I shouldn’t drink. I am not going to remind myself about the shitty things I do when I drink or how crap alcohol makes me feel. I know consciously I do not want to drink so subconscious please wake the fuck up!

Going into summer has been a massive trigger for me, the balmy nights, colourful cold cocktails, loud tropical beats and a social scene that is always on. It’s exciting and I crave the thrill of that buzz you get drunk on a night out, it’s exhilarating fun! For a lot of people they can have a few drinks and call the night at a decent hour but for me I need to keep on having fun until I am the last one standing and things aren’t usually as fun anymore, they are just weird. The problem is over the years I have upped my threshold of fun which means regular activities like going to the movies, socialising sober or going for walk are not as fun.

I have been listening to a podcast, ‘This Naked Mind by Annie Grace.’ One of her regular podcasts is ‘Questions with Scott Pinyard’. In episode 221 Scott speaks about people’s fun threshold and how we have upped it so high that it can only be done with artificial substances. This hits the nail on the head, I remember when I use to get a buzz from hanging out with my friends sober. Then I was introduced to alcohol and going out sober was never as fun. A few years later I started experimenting with party drugs and almost instantly I required drugs and alcohol to have a fun night out. I had without thinking rewired my fun threshold in my brain.

Scientifically this fun threshold is the brain’s reward system, the place where dopamine, a chemical messenger, is released and creates pleasure and reward. Guess what, my brain is amazing and did this naturally but I chose to fuck the whole system up. Now my brain needs large amounts of dopamine for an amazing fun time, which can only be done with alcohol and drugs. The good news is the brain is powerful and does more than just create pleasure. My mission is to rewire my brain by creating new thrills, trying to bring down that fun threshold by keeping myself distracted with challenges and new activities. Using tools such as meditation and being more mindful can help quieten down the brain’s craving for reward and hopefully I can be at peace with no alcohol.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/09/the-addicted-brain

https://thisnakedmind.com/

Alcohol after a break

Alcohol I have been silent…I’ve been ignoring the conversation. You have re-entered my life and I’m still not sure on what capacity that is. Are we casual, can we just be friends or are we done?

Four months ago I decided to change myself. Even as I write this I know it’s a huge and rather dramatic statement but I had to be real. For years I have been waking up regretting my reckless decisions and living life to get through the hours rather then making the hours count. From the surface everything looked fine but occasionally I would break and it was the people close to me that had to pick up the pieces. Living this life can bring excitement and even insanely mind blowing moments. Though it’s the days in between that leave me feeling like i’m just going through the motions and could break any moment. These days make up the majority of life.

Recently I broke my booze free life and started moderately drinking socially again. There is a part of me that was disappointed in myself and there were days I thought I had failed. But then I realised how can I fail when my journey is still beginning. I’m still here living and trying to change myself every day. I gave up alcohol for three months and I am proud of myself because through that break I found out what I value in life, who I want to be and the standards I want to live up to. As quoted from Henry Ford Don’t find fault, find a remedy:anybody can complain.

The truth is right now I don’t know where I am at with my relationship with alcohol. I know how to differentiate myself drinking mindfully to drinking recklessly. Before I had the break from booze I had no idea of my actual intentions when drinking and now I realise I can’t drink when I’m stressed or seeking that rush of excitement/high because I’m bored or hyped up. I have continually lived life from one extreme to another, my personality hasn’t understood balance. Over the past few months I’ve introduced discipline into certain areas of my life from drinking, diet and exercise. I’ve had non-negotiable rituals and habits that have given me strength and resilience in my body and mind. Having this consistency in my life has given me integrity and confidence. My overall goal is to find a peaceful balance so I can consistently be that reliable friend, loving partner, influential boss and a happy me.

Can you keep your social life and be alcohol free

Alcohol, I hear you mentioned at least five time a day. People talk about you because it’s what everyone has in common. You are relateable and you create stories, conversations and connections that people may not naturally have. So how do I stay relateable and connected to the world when I’m practically going against it?

I find the biggest challenge to giving up alcohol is the concern that I will become boring or people will think I’m boring. I don’t want to lose my social life and my friends. I love the excitement of knowing I have a party or an event coming up. I enjoy thinking about what I am going to wear and who I’m going to hang out with on the night. Life can be so stressful and chaotic it’s nice to have something to look forward to. A day/night that is dedicated to having fun , where you can let your hair down. So why should I loose these experiences because I don’t drink alcohol. When did alcohol become the vital part of me having a good time and connecting with people? Surely this can’t be true.

On Tuesday night I hosted an event where I had invited clients and friends. A couple days prior I had got that rush of excitement I usually do before a night out drinking. I was excited to have my friends and favourite clients in the same room. I planned what I was going to wear and even went to the hairdressers to get my hair coloured. Usually doing this preparation before an event meant I was going to have a big one. The kind of big one that would result in rocking up to work the morning after late and operating on no sleep. I think subconsciously I still thought there was a chance of this happening as I left my car at work.

I remember on my way to the event I was having an internal battle questioning why I shouldn’t drink tonight.
“If you drink you will most likely be depressed and be unproductive for the next week.”
“But this is an event with all my favourite people, I want to have a good time and be fun.”
“Yes you may be more funny and entertaining but there is also a chance you will be disengaged, inappropriate and sloppy.”
“But I know better now, I can drink and be well behaved!”
“Mm looking at your past trends, drunk you doesn’t think rationally, drunk you doesn’t give a fuck about anything or anyone. It’s not one occasion you have got drunk and made mistakes, this happens about eighty percent of the time you drink.”
I have my answer, I simply don’t want to be fucked for the rest of the week or make a dick of myself.

It’s Saturday and I went for a run this morning, spent time with my partner and am now writing this. I feel motivated, energy levels are high and my head space is good. The event was successful and to my surprise I was one of the last people standing. I didn’t touch a drink and I can honestly say I enjoyed being sober. I loved the conversations I had and my friends said they have never seen me so engaging. In the past week I have been the most social I have ever been post event. Usually I would do one social outing and then I would feel so shit I would spend my evenings in bed eating crap and watching Netflix. Being alcohol free hasn’t made me less social or fun, it’s actually increased my energy to spend more time with my friends and helped me be a better person to hang out with.

Alcohol, 3 reasons to go back to you…

1. Alcohol, It’s party season, you are at every event. Everyone is drinking you and I don’t want to be the odd one out. I want to have fun with my friends and you have always made this happen!

An ongoing internal battle, when did it become a thing that I needed alcohol to socialise with my friends. The past month I have been experimenting with no alcohol at social events. My friends are drinking but I simply choose not to. I remember now why I call them my friends because these are the people I have chosen to be close to in my life and they make me feel good. I take my non alcoholic wine to these parties and no one even questions me. I have also discovered I’m still fun when I am not drunk and my decision to not drink doesn’t make anyone feel uncomfortable. Yes there are times when It has been hard or tempting to drink but that feeling always passes. Now I spend my weekends catching up with more friends and not laying in bed hungover and depressed on Sunday!

2. Alcohol, work is stressful and my life is turning to chaos. I need you to let me escape for a moment and help me relax.

The past three weeks have been stressful and I have been tempted to have a wine to stop my thoughts for a moment. Though I know as soon as I would of taken that first sip, I’d be chasing the alcohol high until the bottle was gone. I had to remember when I used alcohol to numb the pain I would constantly wake up the next morning feeling anxious, groggy and tired. Now I wake up alert and motivated for the day. I realise now it’s not normal to wake up feeling shit, it’s not normal to still be half asleep whilst driving to work. Lately work has been hard and some bad shit has happened in my personal life but because I haven’t touched alcohol I have been able to stay rational, strong and determined to be happy.

3. Alcohol, you help me at work events to be confident and charismatic. You give the courage and motivation to be out with clients. You make work fun and exciting!

When I think about client entertaining and connecting with work colleagues, this is what really tempts me to drink. Reflecting on nights I have had with clients and colleagues over bottles of wine and music makes me want to go back to my drinking habits. Though when I dissect this, was it as good as I remembered? I also remember not turning up to work and if I did turn up I was dishevelled and unproductive. The other memories I have are making bad decisions and saying things I regret. The taxis home at five am in the morning being filled with anxiety knowing I had to work in a couple of hours. I use to think I wouldn’t be able to connect with clients and colleagues without alcohol but since being alcohol free this is not the case. When I am not drunk I am actually a better listener, my conversations are more engaging and I am present in the moment. Now when walking into the office I still have my dignity.

I wish I could of fixed you, alcohol you never help

Today I want a drink. It’s the first time since I started this sober journey I have actually had a craving for alcohol. I want to forget, I want alcohol to get rid of this ongoing sadness inside me. I had focused so much on socialising alcohol free, I had forgotten how you feel when you are hurting so much you need something to stop the pain. 

I put down the phone in shock. What were distant memories now seemed like yesterday. Two days since I have heard those heart breaking words. I feel numb and hopeless. I never wanted this for you, I wanted you to be happy. I’d spent so many years trying to stop loving you and now all those feelings are back in abundance. Your touch, your laugh and they way you looked at me. I’m shocked and confused, I can’t comprehend how you would do this to yourself.

I can’t stop thinking about you and analysing every moment we shared. Trying to piece together where it all went wrong. We both partied hard. I wonder if it was the drugs and alcohol that ruined us. I’m sure they made us hurt each other and created so much unnecessary turbulence. The more we partied, the more intoxicating we became. When we were good we were fucking amazing and when it was bad it would hit us both hard. We tried so hard to make us work, but we didn’t get what we needed. We were stuck in an ongoing vicious cycle.

I think about going to a bar and grabbing a drink, to numb the pain for ten minutes. Seeing your name on the funeral upcoming services makes me shake, I can’t believe this is real? I want to contact you and tell you everything I didn’t say when we caught up two years ago. I was tying so hard to not connect with you, I kept my distance. I know I left you that day feeling shit. I’m sorry, I’m sorry for everything. Tears stream down my face, I wish I could of fixed you. We once shared a life, a future. We had dreams of travel, having kids, growing old. Time passes, life changes but I would of never thought I would lose the chance of seeing you again.

My reason for trying an alcohol free life was to learn how to connect with people sober and not be reliant on booze for a good time. Now it’s more than that, I know I have been slowly changing but your death has dramatically impacted me. I look at how drugs and alcohol have contributed pain to the people I love and myself. I’m giving up alcohol because I never want to give myself the chance to fall into a dark place that I would ever consider taking my own life and hurt so many people around me. I know There are many variables that cause people to end their lives but how can we ever have a chance of happiness if we are continuing to put substances in our bodies that fuck with our minds.

This is in the memory of you Sam, you will always be in my heart. Your memories will live with me forever. RIP

I stopped drinking with clients and this is what I learnt

Dear Alcohol,

Don’t worry you haven’t been forgotten. I still talk about you and I’m reminded of your existence every day. The thing is unless I quit my job and live under a rock you will always be there. I’m not trying to run away from you, I’m trying to stand up to you.

It’s the Monday morning sales meeting and the pressure is intense. The market is competitive and I have to stand out from my competitors to be successful. Sales is fast paced and if I am not out in the industry networking and reaching out to new clients I won’t be able to reach my targets. This industry expects a lot and I know my competitors are entertaining clients every night of the week, schmoozing over wine and cocaine until early hours of the morning.

It wasn’t long ago that sales manager was me. Long lunches, late night drinking and the dread of knowing I had to be at work the following day. Those early morning alarms where I have only had two hours sleep still make me shudder. When I finally did manage to get to work, I looked like shit and I stunk of booze. I could hardly string a sentence together and I was exhausted. It didn’t end there, this would continue for three days, post the client event. Every time I justified to myself that it was worth it. It was worth using alcohol to break down the barriers with a client so we could connect. I was so willing to make myself physically and mentally sick for three days to build a relationship with a human being. When did I start thinking like this?

I remember when I was young I’d go to parties and school dances with my friends. We would spend our holidays at the beach, explore the local mall, watch movies and have sleepovers. I was an only child so I was always meeting new kids and making new friends. Except back then I didn’t need alcohol to connect with people. It wasn’t until I was fifteen that I got introduced to booze and like everyone else I got addicted to the way it made me feel. I also liked that alcohol brought everyone together and allowed us to be our true selves. It felt like we were creating special bonds between each other. But looking back I realised I had already created those bonds and I was always myself before I had ever taken that first sip of alcohol.

This reliance on alcohol to connect with people isn’t real and has nearly ruined me so many time. As soon as I stopped drinking with clients I realised I didn’t need it. I am an empath so naturally I absorbed the energy from my clients. I forgot that I had the ability to be energised by someone else and I didn’t have to touch a drop of alcohol. When I stopped drinking I started to really enjoy being present with my clients, I loved conversing and actually listened to what they wanted. Being sober allowed me to be authentic and not a person who didn’t have to run to the bathroom every ten minutes.

Now I know one of the main reasons I hadn’t stopped drinking with clients sooner was because I wasn’t confident enough to believe that people would like me or want to do business with me without alcohol. Now it’s empowering to know that my success doesn’t come from alcohol, it comes from me.

Alcohol, why would I let you take credit for that?

The fear of missing out if you are sober

We are both here but it’s different. I’m not thirsty for you, tonight for the first time I see what you are. I don’t even look at you and when I get asked if I want a drink I say no without hesitation. Tonight I’m in control. Not you or anyone else.

Thursday night was the first test, a work event that I attended sober. I have attempted this a million times before, even driven my car to hold me accountable. More times then none I would end up drinking more than I normally would and then have to deal with a hefty fine in the morning because I have left my car in a clear way.

I arrived at the event alone and walked in nervously. Usually I would of already had a few drinks to have taken the edge off. I locate my colleagues quickly and we are all gathered near the bar. They have all been drinking prior to the event but to be honest it wasn’t noticeable. In the first couple of hours a few people ask me why I am not drinking and I reply with saying I’m having a night off. The subject changes fast and people want to talk about other things. For once I have my colleagues and clients talking to me and I am able to engage and listen to what they are saying. A couple of hours pass and I notice people getting drunker and the music getting louder. I breathe and take in the moment, I feel energised by the people I’m surrounded by and the upbeat music. I’m soon dancing, laughing and everyone including myself have forgotten I’m sober. The only time I am reminded is when someone questions how much have I had to drink? I reply nothing!
Midnight arrives, tiredness creeps over me and I no longer want to stand on my sore feet. I say my good byes mentioning I have an early flight the next morning.

In the taxi home I reminisce of similar rides but previously they have been when the sun is rising. I would be sitting in the same seat with my head in my hands feeling alone. It’s as if as soon as you leave the bar anxiety and depression are waiting to grab you. All types of worry and angst would go through my head, physically and mentally I was exhausted.
As I am sitting in this taxi now I think why the fuck would I have put myself through those emotions? For what? The fear that if I don’t drink alcohol I won’t have the experiences I have when I am drunk. Those meaningful conversations, dancing like you are the only one in the room and laughing so hard your whole body hurts. I had those experiences tonight they weren’t as intense but I know I’ll remember them tomorrow and there are no regrets.

Connecting with people is a a part of me, it’s what contributes to my happiness. This can make me vulnerable especially when I’ve consumed too much alcohol, I loose all my inhibitions and inhibitions which are there to protect me. I crave the intimate moments that come with losing my inhibitions but I have continuously put myself in situations where there is too much risk. The amount of times I have woken up the next day and watched a video where I am sloppy on the dance floor and actually look like a dickhead. Waking up to a messages where people has been offended from something I have said or I have told someone something I shouldn’t have. Coming in on a Monday morning and being disciplined for making inappropriate jokes at a work event and I should be more professional.
It’s not worth it and it’s not who I want to be. Going to a work event sober didn’t stop me from connecting with people or having fun. I had all these experiences but this time I also kept my integrity.


I’m scared about being sober at a work event

Alcohol, one week since I’ve touched you, two seconds since I’ve thought of you. I know you are waiting for me to fail, I can hear your niggling voice, it’s my sub-conscious. You are taunting me, you think I rely on you and I’ll crumble without you. Why do I feel embarrassed for wanting to do something that I know is good for me. This decision doesn’t come lightly it’s a build up of pain, guilt, sickness and anxiety that you have caused. Yet I am so scared of how I am going to be perceived by society and also by myself. The hardest thing about making a commitment to being sober is how do I keep connecting with people and staying motivated when I am going against the majority.

This week has been good, there has been zero hangovers so I feel healthy. I’ve been able to be productive every day, as I am not bed ridden and using all my brain power stressing. I wish I could say one week sober magically changes your whole life but I think it will require more time. I know these first few weeks will be hard, I have to be strong and stop craving instant gratification. If I want to see the benefits of being sober I need to commit long term.


It’s my first work event tomorrow. I’m uncomfortable talking about it, the whole thing makes me anxious. For some reason I think that I am ruining people’s night if I attend sober. That I won’t be the fun one and I’ll be boring. Or even worse I will be bored! Heaven forbid if I am in a situation where I don’t feel comfortable. It is deeply-rooted in us that we should always feel good but is this realistic? How can we ever change if we can’t be open to new experiences.

Tomorrow I may not be ready to tell people I am sober and I will most likely be pretending I am drinking a vodka soda through out the night. That’s fine, I’m still figuring this stuff out. I know I could loose my confidence, which may lead me into temptation but if this happens I need to breathe and let the moment pass. The moment will pass because it’s just a thought. We have different thoughts every day doesn’t mean we have to action them. My plan is to always try to hold a soda water in my hand to at least allude my sub-conscious that I am drinking.

The Ultimate Party Girl – Does alcohol make you the fun one?

Alcohol you are fun, you transform me into a new person. You remove all the barriers allowing me to be playful, interesting, funny and confident. You make me the ultimate party girl. So why are all my friends distancing themselves from me?

The anticipation gives me butterflies, tonight has been on a the cards for a while. The thought of seeing my friends is exciting and I wonder what stories and secrets will be told. We use to catch up every week but lately it’s got harder and before you know it 6 months has passed without seeing each other. Tonight will be a treat, it will be special and we will create memories.

The night starts with cracking open a bottle of champagne. That crispy fizzy taste swells around my mouth. I feel the warmth creeping up my body and the adrenaline is kicking in. The alcohol is rapidly filling every part of me and it feels good. The first glass goes down fast, so fast that I haven’t even allowed for someone else to pour before I’m filling my glass again. It’s not long before I’ve already drunk a bottle to myself.

The low lighting and upbeat music gives the restaurant an urban sophisticated ambience. We have been here for about twenty minutes and the conversation is flowing. I hear my voice getting louder and my movements getting more disruptive . I know I’m being obnoxious but my confidence is increasing. There is a break in conversation and I realise my friend is grabbing my attention. I try hard to engage with her but I’m hardly listening , I’m quickly distracted by a joke from the other side of the table. I abruptly leave my seat and walk over.

We head to the bar, I’m starting to feel sloppy and tired. I need something harder to straighten me up. In 5 minutes I’ve left my friends to pick up cocaine on the other side of town. I haven’t even acknowledged the thought that I’m taking out the rent money to pay for this. With my co-ordination decreasing and my concept of time lapsing, two hours have past and I’m only just getting back to the bar.

Well I’m here and all my friends have left, though I don’t care because I’m high on the dance floor. Four am arrives and all I have left is a bag of coke and a bunch of randoms. All of my inhibitions have gone and I invite absolute strangers back to my house, my home which is meant to be my sanctuary. Though now this does not exist and I have turned it into a drug den that you would see in the movies. Bottles everywhere, rubbish sprawled on the floor, plates with little plastic bags on the coffee table. Ten am creeps up and I feel disgusted, guilty and I know I need to get these fuck wits out of my house.

Does alcohol make me carefree?

Alcohol, this is my first blog and I want you to understand this is going to be hard for me to break it off. I’m the girl who doesn’t leave your side until early hours of the morning. I love the way you make me feel and how you help me to forget all my cares and stresses in the world. But I’m starting to question your intentions, what about the morning after?

My mouth is dry, my head is pounding and I know in 10 minutes my body is going to be smothered with anxiety. I grasp a glass of water, which is sitting beside my bed, well at least I had prepared myself for what is to come. I feel the trickles of warm water down my throat and there is no sense of relief that I fantasised. My mouth feels disgusting like it’s been drained from any saliva I once had. My lips are dry and raw. My body feels like it has been in a car crash and I am reeking of sweat and alcohol.

I see my phone from the corner of my eye. Well at least I managed to get it home. Then dread suddenly takes over, I don’t want to even think about who I messaged and dialled in the early hours of the morning. I am certain whoever was on the receiving end won’t be impressed today. Flashbacks come to me from the night, I feel sick. Did I really say those things? Did I really act that way? I want to devour my blanket and wrap myself up so no one can see me. I see the sun peeking in, I put my head under my pillow. Today I want to slip away and pretend I don’t exist. 

The Morning After – Does alcohol calm stress?

Alcohol, this is my first blog and I want you to understand this is going to be hard for me to break it off. I’m the girl who doesn’t leave your side until early hours of the morning. I love the way you make me feel and how you help me to forget all my cares and stresses in the world. But I’m starting to question your intentions, what about the morning after?

My mouth is dry, my head is pounding and I know in 10 minutes my body is going to be smothered with anxiety. I grasp a glass of water, which is sitting beside my bed, well at least I had prepared myself for what is to come. I feel the trickles of warm water down my throat and there is no sense of relief that I fantasised. My mouth feels disgusting like it’s been drained from any saliva I once had. My lips are dry and raw. My body feels like it has been in a car crash and I am reeking of sweat and alcohol.

I see my phone from the corner of my eye. Well at least I managed to get it home. Then dread suddenly takes over, I don’t want to even think about who I messaged and dialled in the early hours of the morning. I am certain whoever was on the receiving end won’t be impressed today. Flash backs come back to me from the night, I feel sick. Did I really say those things? Did I really act that way? I want to devour my blanket and wrap myself up so no one can see me. I see the sun peeking in, I put my head under my pillow. Today I want to slip away and pretend I don’t exist.