During my drinking years, my first waking thought was a dull, painful, despairing “What’s wrong with me?”, a thought that created the unexpressed sob of sadness, lodged, frozen in my chest, cooling the warmth of my loving heart , and all because I had drunk too much the night before, as I did every ‘night before’.
Each day , without fail, I would look in the mirror, into my frightened of life eyes, and promise myself that I would not drink tonight.
In all my promised ‘not tonight’s’ I would be the sober, engaged, emotionally stable mother, partner, friend I longed to be, but couldn’t quite find. And I would mean those promises from the bottom of my wounded heart.
Today would be the day that everything changed, that I changed.
Today would be the first day of my in control drinking life – I never promised myself a ‘never drinking again’ life – let’s not get carried away here, the thought of that was terrifying. No, I would settle for a safely ‘not every night drinking’ life. My decision was made (again).
And I would feel a little better about myself. Just enough for me to face my day and one-in-a-million son, with a crushing hug of love and a smile of hope, if not quite the happiness we both deserved.
But unbelievably, every day as the hours slipped by, my thinking would shift and the old thoughts of alcohol would, seemingly out of nowhere, sneak back in and, as they settled, they grew, literally multiplying in size and intensity, as I attempted to calm them, to control them, to plead with them, to find ways of working my way around them. It was both exhausting.
I would be pleading with myself, to protect me from me. To protect my health, my wellness, my mothering, and what almost felt like my sanity, from the harsh noise in my head.
I would be begging me to stop, and for reasons I never understood (but do completely now), I couldn’t/wouldn’t, and ultimately didn’t listen, and again, as with almost every night for 28 years, I seemingly ignored every instinct for my wellbeing and the wellbeing of my son, and drank, in tears after the first few sips (scratch that, gulps).
The constant cry from my heart, during those sad, isolating times, where I was so far from who I knew myself to be somewhere deep inside was, “What’s wrong with me?” and “Why can’t I change?”
And the answer, the simple compassionate answer, that I now know to be absolutely true of myself, and true of you too, is that nothing was wrong with me (or you).
I wasn’t broken, or flawed, I wasn’t weak or a failure, I just didn’t know how to stop, and nor do you. Because if you did, by God you would.
I hope that your drinking life isn’t the same chaos as mine. But the fact that you are taking the time to read this, means that you drink in a way that concerns you, and that concern ultimately is about your inability to stop – maybe not completely, but to choose when you drink, rather than feel compelled to, and to be able to let go of your energy sapping alcohol thinking, feeling storm that overwhelms you to the point where you have to drink to end it. You just have to.
I understand you completely and I know why you can’t (just for now) make the changes you deserve.
You drink in the way you don’t like for ONE reason and ONE reason only.
To make yourself feel better – whatever feeling better is to you in the moment.
And here is where the problem truly lies, you drink with the INTENTION of making yourself feel better, which of course is in direct conflict with what you KNOW on every intellectual level possible, that feeling better will not be the result.
In fact you are completely aware that you will feel worse, and that knowledge makes absolutely no difference, as your INTENTION, your perceived need for alcohol as your method of ‘comfort’ is always so much more powerful.
So, what is your intention behind your evening glass of wine?
Maybe it’s to find a little peace, a bit of calm, some you time, some confidence, to feel less lonely.
Or maybe your evening glass of wine is a marker at the end of your working day, before you start on your most demanding ‘evening’ job of being a mother. The job you love most in the world, and gives the most to you, yet takes the most from you too, both physically (cooking evening meals, homework supervision, dog walker, extra curricular activities driver – wow, that’s exhausted me just writing it), as well as emotionally (confidante, comforter, worry remover) whatever you are needed to be when you are at your most depleted.
When you are tired, probably hungry and needing some quite time and a bit of comfort yourself.
And in the absence of acknowledging your own basic, simple to deliver, with a little pre-planning, tweaking and communication requiring needs, you ignore you and push forward and use wine to deliver the ‘comfort’ you truly need.
You treat yourself as though you are a machine and wine is the fuel of your engine. Wine ‘get’s you through’, ‘helps you relax’ and of course it doesn’t do either, but you have learnt to believe it does, and then you beat yourself up for trying to comfort yourself!!
Do you recognise you here? I definitely recognise me.
You go to bed, ‘wined up’, probably have a poorer nights sleep, feel low the next day and promise yourself, ‘not tonight’.
You are back on the hamster wheel of your drinking, and you will stay there in discomfort and unhappiness, until you start to shift your awareness of you back to you, and acknowledge and care for you.
Ultimately you cannot change because you have lost sight of who you are, what you need and your deservedness and self-loving responsibility for delivering those simple needs. And, in your innocent awareness of what is going on, you focus on the alcohol being the problem that needs to be addressed, when it is your lack of understanding of you, lack of connection of you to your needs and self-care of you that is the issue.
Then, (and here’s the A word again), in the absence of any awareness of what you are lacking, your ‘need’ for alcohol, or your fear of life without it, will never go. It can’t. For now you feel that alcohol brings you ‘comfort’ and you cannot live uncomforted.
Effortless change starts with the intentional awareness of what you are looking for, in intention, when you pick up the glass for your first drink.
From that intentional awareness, you can start to gently question yourself and listen to your answers.
Take the few seconds that is all you need to ask yourself “What do you need from me right now darling?” then pause, breathe deeply and allow your answers to bubble up from your heart, from your soul. They always come when you allow them too, when you ask yourself with kindness and love. One thing I can absolutely promise you is that alcohol will not be one of them!
Allow yourself to receive your gratefully acknowledged, heartfelt answers of “I need some rest/quiet time, a hug, some fresh air, a kind word, nourishment” and you will notice with relief that you can deliver all of them to you. Even the hug and the kind word.
Everything starts with with how you are towards you.
In that simple asking of me, what I needed from me, and trusting myself to consistently easily deliver, my ‘need’ for the non-comforts, of alcohol no longer existed. It really was as simple and self-loving as that.
There is no effort to changing the way you drink, there is never any effort in loving yourself. You have simply forgotten how to.
Yes, it is very helpful and supportive to have some simple strategies to keep you safe as you re-connect with you, but they are part of who you are, nothing new to learn, just to re-connect with.
Change seems hard to you because you are putting all your energy on trying to PUSH open your door to peaceful freedom, when all it needs is a gentle PUSH, you just can’t see the sign.
If you are ready to re-connect with who you are, on the most joyful journey back to peace and freedom, let’s talk. I offer a COMPLIMENTARY 20 Minute Recovery Coaching Call, and that alone will offer you the start of the awareness you need to be peacefully free.
If you are ready to be peacefully free, with ease and confidence, contact me here.
The life you and your loves deserve it waiting for you it and it always will be, it is who you are and how you are designed to live.
Love & respect
If you would like to know more about how my unique Recovery Coaching works, take a look at my How I Work For You page.
And, finally, I promise, if you would like to know more about my journey into and safely out of addiction, here’s the link to my Internationally Acclaimed book, This Isn’t Me. x