You might think quitting drinking is all about just letting go of the drink: swapping wine for water, enjoying fresh mornings instead of horrible hangovers hiding under the bedclothes, and honing a svelte physique to replace the muffin top you’ve been nurturing as a result of all those booze calories. Quitting drinking is all of those things. But it’s a lot more besides…
- Drinking put me in really dangerous situations with very dangerous people. It masked my innate fear radar, making me bold and reckless, taking silly risks that only by a series of miracles didn’t result in major catastrophe – at least, not very often.
- Drinking made me run away from my emotions instead of working through them and growing as a human being.
- Drinking kept me locked inside a teenager’s immature state of mind – all melodrama and narcissism and misplaced priorities.
- Drinking kept me from my responsibilities to the people I loved. It came before them and prevented me from seeing what really matters, from doing the right thing by all those who loved me.
- Drinking made me stare into the mirror and hate the person who looked back out. It made me want to crawl out of my skin and escape the very fibre of who I was.
- Drinking stopped me from aspiring to reach goals and fulfil my potential. It ensured that I always aimed low and persistently knocked me back every time I ever dared to want more for myself.
And what happened to me when I quit alcohol? All of this…
Peace of mind, inner contentment and a sense of emotional balance.
I started putting other people before myself for the first time in my whole adult life.
I began to work hard and believe in myself, knowing that I could achieve anything I wanted.
My ability to be a consistent and reliable parent increased massively.
I could look at my reflection and not hate the person I saw there.
I got really fit and began to enjoy properly hard physical challenges.
I opened up a big desire to learn more, explore more and know as much as possible about the world before I die.
I noticed a million tiny things all around me that I’d never previously paid attention to – a passer-by smiling, a flower, clouds in the sky, a lofty tree, a beautiful sunset…
I didn’t panic at the onset of feeling my emotions.
I learnt to love other human beings fully and with all my heart.
I recognised the power of creativity and fell in love with the buzz of making something that didn’t exist before.
I started to understand my place in the universe and to obtain a deep sense of calm from acknowledging both our significance and insignificance as human beings.
Planning for the future became manageable as opposed to something guaranteed to send me into a tailspin.
I got to know who I really am.