Drinker? Non drinker? 3 things you should know

Who am I, if I’m not a drinker?

 

I was a bit lost when I stopped drinking.

 

In my 20s I was “the party girl”, the fun one, the crazy one … I kinda knew I was a bit over the top – maybe a tad scary – when I was pissed, but told myself I was fun and non-drinkers were booorrrrrring.  I was avoiding dealing with all kinds of shit, and put myself in some super scary situations.  I look back in a kind of shocked awe at the way I treated myself.  And others.  Sorry, world. 

 

In my 30s I was a mum and I struggled.  Privately.  In public I more or less had it together.  I thanked God for the whole “mummy juice” and “mummy time” thing, even though I was a bit horrified that we were basically saying our kids drove us to drink.  I was no longer the party girl, because I was Now A Mum.  I was the one at the back of the barbie, surreptitiously trying to pour another glass when no-one was looking.  I made an art form out of holding it together and not slurring (or so I thought at the time).

 

In my early 40s I was terrified.  I had decided to make a stand and Cut Back on My Drinking.  But I couldn’t.  It scared the crap out of me.  I thought I was in the driving seat, and I really, really wasn’t.  I didn’t know what to do or who to turn to or what was wrong with me.

 

So THEN, when I finally beat the booze beast and finally became happily alcohol free, I really struggled with who the frick I actually was. 

 

It took a while.

 

I’m now the one who likes mornings.  The one whose eyes are clear, not red and puffy.  The one who likes and respects the person she is, warts, bunions, wrinkles, cranky bits and all.  The one who did the work, who dealt with – and is still dealing with - trauma and the fallout from that.  Who is learning to forgive.  Who is learning to be authentic (even though holy crap being authentic is scary) and how totally amazeballs that feels.  You get the gist.  It’s a journey and I’m now enjoying puzzling it out.

 

So if you’re new to this journey, here’s my suggestions:

 

  1. Plod along and be patient. It’s not an overnight thing, it’s a marathon not a sprint and it’s worth every step.  When we’re drinking regularly, we doof up our brain chemistry and that takes a while to reset.  But it does reset.

 

  1. If there’s trauma and/or abuse in your background, get some help. Get professional assistance, with a trauma-informed practioner if possible, and deal with it, because if you don’t it will continue to bleed into your life.

 

  1. Be kind to yourself. I was so full of shame and self disgust for years, and drinking too much made it worse.  I’ve learnt that I’m actually not a bad person, and I’ve learnt new ways to self regulate.  I’m ok.

 

Now I’m an adventurous gypsy-hearted soul who’s also a mum; who loves her family and running and dancing badly, who sings off key and hates being late. 

(I also don’t drink alcohol, but that’s the least interesting thing about me).

 

Who are you?

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