It’s now 500 days since I last had a drink of alcohol. Virtual pat on my back! This is something that I am proud of as I have never been that good at making commitments to self care projects.
There are so many positives that have come out of this last 500 days but the stellar parts just have to be; being truly present for my partner, family and friends, feeling healthy and energised, travelling to awesome places including Bali, Australia, Canada and New York, meeting a new sober tribe but most of all finding my real authentic self again.
By not drinking wine, I have been practising self care. Amongst other reasons, I also drank wine as I thought I deserved it, it was a reward and a “treat”. Much of the pleasure was in the anticipation of the nice buzz I would get from that first glass. My personality type is one that loves the beginnings of things and a full glass of wine always seemed so full of promise. If only it could have been enough to stop just with that one glass. In honesty, I am a bit sad about this and do believe that for some people alcohol can be a good thing, a happy thing, a celebratory thing and a healthy moderate kind of thing. However for me this is not the case, in fact it became an insidious trap for both my mind and body. So I moved on!
From my journey in recovery from alcohol over use, I have 5 key tips in self care to share:
- Use that clear head in the morning to get outside and walk/stretch before the busy day starts, it gets the blood flowing and it is so good to get early morning sunlight into the eyes (weather providing!)
- Reward yourself at least once a week with the money you have saved from not buying booze on wee treats like buying yourself flowers, getting your nails done, having a massage or getting a sober coach
- Find a new creative outlet for all the spare mental energy you will soon have once the brain has adjusted to functioning without its regular uptake of ethanol
- Let go of false friends, human and otherwise. Changing patterns and habits often involves leaving situations, people and things that do not serve us well
- Find a tribe that supports your new lifestyle, try new pursuits, hobbies, things you have never had the energy or time to do
When we remove something addictive like alcohol from our lives we create a void. The void may contain deep issues that need resolving. This may require expert help in the form of therapy. The void can then be filled with positive life affirming habits and rituals that add quality and richness rather than subtract. A sober coach can be just the trick to keep you on track and real through this process of replacing old with new.