It’s interesting where our ‘life path’ takes us. 1145 days ago (25th of July 2014) I gave up drinking alcohol ‘officially’ by joining an online community of people doing similar (I’d stopped and started a couple of times earlier in the year for surgical reasons). ‘Living Sober‘ is a community of incredible people who do not judge, or reprimand or belittle you or say your need is not greater or lesser than theirs – http://www.livingsober.org.nz
This very kind and caring community was started because one lovely lady, Lotta Dann, saw a need for it. Lotta’s worked tirelessly in conjunction with AA and other health groups and professionals to bring about the success it is today. Currently there are 5404 registered members worldwide; of which I am but ‘1’.
Lotta’s written two revealing books about her experiences. One on her relationship with alcohol – the other on her inner journey to freedom. Lotta had had enough of her boozy lifestyle and where her life was heading. Maybe you have too? I definitely needed to make changes for the sake of my physical, emotional, spiritual and mental wellbeing; for me, no good ever came from drinking to excess and driving drunk, verbally abusing a partner of almost 42 years, never mind not owning up to the fact that alcohol and I do not need to have ‘a relationship of any sort’ just to please other people (how dumb is that-drinking to be part of the ‘it-crowd’)?
This is my quick check-list, the one I’ve been toying with while considering what to write on this most unique of days – my 1145th day without alcohol flowing through my precious ‘one of a kind’ body:
- Physical – I was allergic to wine but kept drinking it and taking prescription medication to combat the side effects of the alcohol. And writing that just now makes me realise how dumb I really was! The allergic effects had become much more apparent as more chemicals seemed to be added to what used to be ‘essentially’ a natural fermentation process; and now the business of making wine and money from it has jumped into the stratosphere. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a preachy-purist now, I’m happy to be around people that are drinking for their own pleasure and reasons. But if things change (if personalities or moods change) then I leave; whatever anyone else does is their business, but I don’t need to witness it. I accept that. This is about me and my choice to stop drinking alcohol.
- Emotional – there were many ‘not so good memories’ playing a huge part in my desire to step away from what had become a boozy lifestyle in the end and the desire to give it up totally was strong; apart from the fact that my father was an alcoholic, and other family members have had or have alcohol addiction issues. I also found myself in a couple of sexually compromising situations, and if I hadn’t left ‘the party’ the fall-out would’ve been catastrophic. And not just for me.
- Spiritual – when you’re told you have a lesion in your bladder you do everything you can to heal yourself. It soon became apparent that my overall survival and wellbeing would dictate my final choice to stop drinking alcohol in any form. I also stopped caffeine at the same time (for over 12 months) I’ve since allowed myself to go back to single shot latte’s once or twice a week. I began a meditation and self-healing visualisations for my bladder after surgery in March 2014. It worked. The health issues that presented in mid 2013/14/15/16/17 are all dealt with. I’m VGrateful to those specialists that have made my life so much comfortable.
- Mental – I, now, march quite confidently to the beat of my own drum. Making no apologies here because I no longer care to have, or need the approval of others. And as part of my ‘overall healing process’ in 2014 I sought professional counselling to help me deal with the fall-out and consequences of my ‘disconnect’ from what I perceived as ‘unhealthy relationships that no longer served my best interests’.
The best bit for me is that I’m content with a simple life-plan going forward which most definitely includes being AF (alcohol-free) for the foreseeable future…