Happiness

Image courtesy of © Bparish | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

Does it sound evangelical to say that I felt complete joy and happiness last night, as I pushed the baby’s pram up a steep hill in the driving rain, no hood or hat protecting my head from the downfall and howling gales, and the baby unable to see me or anything else owing to her rain cover being totally misted up with condensation? If I’m honest, I did feel a momentary pang of ‘urrghh this is utterly horrible and miserable and I want to be at home in dry clothes, under a blanket in front of the TV.’ But only for a minute, and then I reminded myself that I am living and this is what life is about sometimes; taking the dog for a walk in cold, wet weather in the dark.

Everyone tells you that alcohol is a depressant, and you know it’s true but somehow it’s easy to push that to one side and imagine that your lack of real happiness stems from life just being a bit rubbish.

When you stop drinking alcohol for good, you can experience something akin to an evangelical awakening – moments of happiness that border on delirium, as you realise that you are alive, and lucky for all that you have, and that you’ve survived stuff and emerged out the other side strong and full of vigour.

I feel joy at seeing the sunrise, listening to the baby wake up, gurgling and burbling to herself in her cot, hearing a song that I love, going for a good run and knowing that I am growing in strength and stamina, having a coffee and a chat with a friend, cooking a new recipe and eating the results.

I am happy nearly every day, at least for most of every day. I do get a bit grumpy or tired, occasionally a little stressed if I’m having a particularly busy and fraught day, but that’s just the normal human experience – I would be a robot if I never felt those things. Generally though, I am on an even keel and happiness is the mainstay of my emotions.

I know that’s because I don’t drink alcohol. It’s as simple as that. Drinking turned me against myself and created an internal battle of depression, anxiety and self-pity versus normality. Giving it up has allowed the real me to emerge, and the real me is happy and optimistic, calm and centred, full of creativity and determination and passion.

I am eternally grateful that I gave myself the chance to discover who I really am.

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9 thoughts on “Happiness

  1. JoseyC says:

    Great Blog – I so agree with your comment that everyone says alcohol is a depressant but somehow you think that isn’t the cause for you – I am wondering how much of my roller coaster ride with depression might be different if I had not been drinking too much. In fact that is what I say to people when I decline a drink – “no, I can suffer from depression and alcohol doesn’t help” – it tackles the depression taboo which I feel able to help with!
    Cant wait for Monday ladies I am “with you” for your launch – and staying free of the wretched stuff with you.

    • Hi, thanks. That’s a really good way of dealing with the issue of what to say when someone offers to get you an alcoholic drink. I thought for years and years that I was just a bit of a moody sod, and that my anxiety was just the way I was. I even put up with regular panic attacks because I just kind of thought they were part of me. It does make you wonder what you might have achieved by now if you’d quit alcohol years earlier – but I guess we just have to be happy that we found out at all, and before it was too late.
      Thanks for your support, Lucy x

    • Hi thanks for your comment – I hope you will find some support on our website, launching tomorrow. 18 months is a long stretch, what made you go back to drinking again? I’m coming up to two years in April, but I wouldn’t go back to drinking now, life is much happier sober!
      Hope to see you there tomorrow and thanks again for getting in touch. Lucy x

  2. So true… I struggled with anxiety and depression for years. Knocked alcohol on the head 5 weeks ago and feel like a different person. Giving it up is so, so worth it. Looking forward to the website launch.

    • Hi Jen, thanks for getting in touch. I hope you enjoy our website – we just hope we get tonnes of members signed up quickly, as its the members who will make it a success. Feels like we are on the brink of something very exciting though, we can’t wait! See you tomorrow, Lucy x

  3. Great blog Lucy. Three months after I gave up alcohol I was feeling so much more positive and emotionally alive I stopped taking the anti-depressants I’d been on for the previous 3 years. Had no problem coming off them and continued to feel great. As alcohol stops anti-depressants working properly, as well as depressing you itself ,I must have wasted a small fortune between the two and still felt like rubbish! Life is very different now and I love it.

    Can’t wait to log on to the site tomorrow, its going to be brilliant, thanks so much to you and Anita for having the strength and commitment to set it up.

    Sue xx

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