One of the hardest things about giving up alcohol is coming to terms with the fact that your life will need to change.
Your daily routines, your social life, your relationships, your attitude to work – in one way or another something about all of these things will change when you become confidently, comfortably, happily sober.
Thinking about this can seem daunting, overwhelming and downright scary. Generally, humans aren’t known for their love of change. We tend to fight it, fear it and have massive FOMO over it. We believe that the unknown is more or less bad and that life without alcohol will somehow be ‘less’.
And yet, change happens to you every day. You eat different things, you look different, you wear different clothes, you have different conversations. We don’t see these as changes because they have become the background hum of our lives. They’ve become so commonplace that we don’t even realise that change happens around us every day. If you are willing to embrace change your sobriety can become part of that hum too.
Of course, unplanned change can stop us in our tracks and make us feel stressed and anxious. Learning that a loved one is sick, that you might be made redundant or that your partner is cheating can be devastating and leave you with your head spinning and not knowing what to do next. Disliking this type of change is natural and understandable.
However, deciding to give up alcohol is a planned change that you want. It is something you desire. And yet, I see so many of you fighting it, despite the fact that you know it will be good for you in so many ways.
This weekend I was thinking about my planning for next week in the Sacred Circle. We usually have a monthly group session where myself and 5 Sobersistas get together and share experiences, ideas and thoughts about where they are in their own particular journey. As I was thinking about it I got an anxious feeling in my stomach. I stopped writing my action list and sat back to tap into why I was feeling this way.
I realised quite quickly that my anxiousness came from the fact that, in reality, they haven’t really worked out as I had hoped they would. Trying to offer 5 women who literally live all over the world at the same hour and hope they can still make it a week later proved almost impossible. It took up a disproportionate amount of my time and I felt that I was letting my sistas down.
So I asked myself – okay, if that’s not working what can I do to change it? The moment I asked the question the solution popped into my head and the relaxed, comfortable feeling I had reassured me that I had come up with the right answer.
I could have stuck to my original offering, afraid that the group would see it as a failure on my part. Would I be judged? Would women cancel their subscription and leave? These questions popped into my mind but I knew that I felt so good about the alternative I have offered that I am confident that I have made a really positive change. (5 women get a one to one with me each month).
How to Embrace Change
By being in Sobersistas, by reading this blog you are already on the cusp of embracing the change you need to in order to change your life for the better. The thoughts are already there, the desire is already burning in you.
Acknowledging the fear that comes with that is natural but you can overcome it by educating yourself on what a sober life is really like. It may feel like staring into a black hole with you unable to see any hope of light but hope is there. So many women are living wonderful sober lives and it won’t take a great deal of effort on your part to find them. You can read quit lit, join free sober groups like Sobersistas, check out other sober groups, talk to your doctor – there is much you can do to be better informed about sober life.
Give yourself an achievable sobriety target. I would recommend 30 days but if one day at a time is what works for you then that’s fine.
Alter your mindset to accept that things will change. If you fight this change you’re only fighting with yourself. Don’t use your body and mind as a battleground for your fears and anxieties. Alcohol is likely to be causing much of your anxiety and as you become sober your anxiousness will lessen. This, in turn, will build your resilience and make change much easier to deal with.
Accept that loving yourself is a necessary part of sobriety. We are so hard on ourselves. We beat ourselves up at the first opportunity, we rarely believe that we deserve good things and alcohol helps to keep us in this state. Do one small self care thing every day to remind yourself that you are worth feeling good about yourself every day. The more sober you become, the easier loving yourself will become.
Do one thing. If giving up completely today is too hard to contemplate, just do one small thing. Buy one book. Do some journaling to understand WHY you drink. If 6 pm on Friday is your big drinking night, just for one week, make a plan to do something different or be somewhere else – create a distraction that takes your mind off automatically drinking.
My life has changed in so many wonderful ways since I became sober. I have confidence, I am the most authentic I’ve ever been, I am calm and happy just about every day. Yes, of course, there are some bad days and moments but they come and go and rarely make a significant impact on my life because I deal with everything with a clarity of mind that I absolutely love.
I have boundless energy, I sleep brilliantly (and sometimes I don’t but it’s not a big deal), my relationships have all improved, I am 100% hopeful about the future and life just feels gooooooooood.
For the first time in my life I feel truly free and I know that every day I live life on my own terms. The feeling of liberation is amazing.
I promise you that this, and so much more, is available to you. You just have to believe that you can make the changes you know you want to.
So, thinking about your desire to give up, what one thing can you change today that will put you on the path to sobriety?
With love, Jules. xx
If you’re ready to commit to 3 months of sobriety to change your life forever then working with me on a one to one basis is just what you need. Read more here.