In order for me to truly write, complete, finish and publish a book on becoming the authentic version of ourselves at middle age, I had to rid myself of the one habit that would surely negate all my work, all my success and most importantly, all my self respect. I had to quit drinking.
I had been talking about it for years and starting in 2009, had made numerous attempts to curb and ultimately, stop my drinking. I had achieved a few sober days in a row, one or two thirty day stints and a 134 day marathon that had ended with a shrug and a ‘What the Hell!’.
My drinking was more of an emotional problem than a physical one. I definitely was addicted but, for the most part I was not a text book alcoholic. Whenever I had failed in one of my frequent sobriety runs, I tended to ease into daily drinking. I drank a total of 4 units on average per day; sometimes more and sometimes less. I would often skip a few nights or try another boozeless blitz but inevitably, I would fall right back into the pattern.
Physically when I drank, I would feel heart palpitations, my sleep would suffer with the three a.m. wakefulness and insomnia, I would feel dull and listless in the mornings.
Emotionally, when I was in a daily drinking run, I hated myself, plain and simple. I let myself go and left important tasks uncompleted. My busy life would begin to spin out of control and I would begin double booking, forgetting things and letting the office work fall behind sometimes, inadvertently, costing the family run business money.
Spiritually, I had plateaued in that I had enough sober time to explore my consciousness and had met a lovely friend whose daily guidance was aiding me in seeking my higher self, but I could not go any further. My drinking obsession was keeping me from moving forward in any meaningful way.
I had already started my first book and was intending on gifting each of the ladies at our Inaugural Wise Woman’s Retreat with a copy of it. My meditation partner and friend, Justyna and I had decided to begin holding retreats for us Menopausal Women and we were on the cusp of a beautiful time in our lives. I was still drinking.
It was June 2nd and had been drinking on and off for the past few weeks despite my many promises, challenges, commitments and bets. When I really think about it, I had been drinking on and off since my 134 day screw-up in July of the year before.
Those close to me knew I was drinking but nobody was counting my drinks or commenting about my intake. My drinking problem was so quiet that, only I noticed it or so I thought. At home, I was applauded when I broke an abstinence run and patted on the back for not being so ‘boring’. So, you can imagine how difficult it was for me to remain convinced myself that I truly needed to stop.
On days when I wished to justify my drinking I could truthfully point out that I was drinking a lot less than I was a few years ago. With all my stops and starts and frequent low dosage nights, I had cut my intake to about half of what it was at the time I had admitted to myself that I had a problem. But it was difficult; a constant struggle and had, indeed, become an obsession that had dragged on for the same amount of time I had been problem drinking: six years.
To recap, and I must recap here; I had been drinking in an alcoholic way for six years, then had a Eureka moment and realized I was addicted and, then, had been unsuccessfully trying to give up alcohol for the following six years. In reality, I had thought of alcohol on a daily, if not hourly basis for the past twelve years. Well, well, well.
I decided that night, I had had enough. I was done. I wanted off this Ship of Destruction. I wanted ME back. I did not want to waste another moment of my life thinking about alcohol; the chemical called Ethanol. That chemical was not entering my body again. Ever.
I decided then and there that I will do whatever it takes to stop putting alcohol into my body. I made a list of what I wanted to achieve that would not happen if I allowed alcohol to take precedence in my life any more.
- · I want to feel complete, whole and alive every day for the rest of my life. I will not let my addiction win over my life. I will own it.
- · I want to write my book, share it with women like me; women who can do what they need to do in order to achieve bliss. I will write my book.
- · I want to put these past, dozen, alcohol centred years behind me and finally become the person I was meant to be
- · I want to live the life I want to be remembered by.
I cannot say that the past twelve years had been a waste. I met and married my wonderful husband who is a very evolved, salt of the earth, man. I had enjoyed so many incredible moments with my husband and our friends and families during my drinking days. Lots of laughs were had.
But my relationship with alcohol had run its course. I could no longer live with the hypocrisy of my life. I was a student of consciousness by day and a drinker or rehab patient by night. My soul, in the form of my authentic self, woke up in the morning and brought me to wonderful places and many spiritual realizations. I was rising at dawn, meditating, walking in the forest, reading spiritual literature. By mid-afternoon my ego, my dissatisfied self, began tugging at me to procrastinate, put things off and have a little drink while preparing dinner. By evening I was either half pissed or desperately seeking literature and sober websites to keep me company in my misery.
This is what my life had become.
It was over and I officially, and for the last time, quit that night of June 2nd, 2015.
Wrote on June 2, 2015