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
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
As you move through January, and ‘normal’ life settles back in, how is your ‘New Year, New You’ mantra sounding to you?
And how are you feeling?
Regardless of whether it is food or alcohol you struggle with, or whether you are cutting down or completely out, you are probably already reaping the physical and emotional benefits.
Maybe you are feeling more energized, sleeping better, less bloated, skin looking better – the list is endless.
- But you are feeling more at peace?
- Does it feel like you need to be in a state of control or rely on strength?
- That you are avoiding, just for now?
- Or are you replacing one with another, or a third, such as exercise?
- Are you eating more in the absence of alcohol?
- Or maybe drinking more in the absence of sweet stuffs?
You know at the very core of you that you want to make changes, and not just for January.
You know that you want to feel better, look better, act better.
That you want to be the mother/partner/hell, even the dog owner you and your loves deserve, and you know that a huge leap towards that would be cutting down/out the crap that is literally poisoning your body and life, and yet, and yet, you feel you start to miss it.
What on earth is going on?
All that has happened is that your thoughts have started to slip back on their well worn track of focusing on ‘not doing‘, which creates the feelings of anxiety and deprivation around what you perceive you will miss from food & alcohol.
Does that make sense?
However, if you weren’t buying into your old food and alcohol thinking, you wouldn’t be creating any feelings.
Everything you do is through a process of Think, Feel, Re-Act – re-acting being the drowning of yourself in food / alcohol.
And you have learnt to believe your thinking is your Reality. Your Truth.
But, and this is key,
It is only Your Reality, Your Truth, if you buy into it. If YOU Believe it.
And you don’t have to believe it! You really don’t.
Recovery Coaching Tip
To keep you safe, here’s one of my top tips to support you when your old stinking food & alcohol thinking comes up.
The first thing is to become aware of your thoughts.
To notice them, and when they arrive – maybe you are tired, low, lonely, anxious about work/relationships, only you know. Notice, and don’t buy into them.
By not buying into your thinking, by not accepting your temporary thoughts as your truth, your thoughts have no power.
Yes, the thoughts are still there, but without the fertilizer of your energy of arguing with them, pleading with them, trying to avoid them, they can’t grow like out of control weeds, strangling your mind, your heart, your actions.
Then all you have to do is simply take Conscious Responsibility to release that thinking, by simply choosing to think another, more empowering thought, such as “Here you come again, I am tired etc, and so here it is again, this silly old stinking thinking that means nothing to me” and then Let.It.Go.
The process I give to my clients when their stinking thinking comes up is,
- Breathe Deeply
- See your thinking for what it is, merely a thought you are used to thinking. And one that you are innocently choosing to buy into again.
You can even change the ‘voice’ of your thoughts to someone you would laugh at if they gave you advice, someone you would be crazy to consider listening to.
An idiot from your past – we all have them, or maybe a politician you know is talking crap in the now, we all know them.
Just by changing the voice you will notice the feelings of deprivation and anxiety die away, which they always will, and all because you have shifted your thinking.
Freedom from your food & alcohol pain is not hard – you have learnt to BELIEVE IT IS.
You simply need a new way of Thinking, which creates new Feelings which gift you the opportunity for new Re-Actions. That’s It! Done, dusted, free.
My clients enjoy huge success, through my uniquely simple Recovery Coaching process.
I have supported many amazing men and women to find peaceful freedom.
A number of my clients have spent at least one term in Rehab and struggled in the ‘real’ world.
Other clients have come feeling that they felt they were close to losing everything and some who just didn’t want to drink / eat, on a daily basis, in a way they don’t like.
All of them, when they trust the process (me) and work the simple tools (you), have found the balance they desired and deserve. It will be the same for you too.
My unique process was created from the awareness, understanding and simple strategies that released me from my 28 years of alcoholism and secret binge eating, along with my learned skills as a Master Practitioner of NLP and Master Coach.
Now, in just 6 weeks, every aspect of my clients lives change, as yours will too.
You too will have the peace, calm, awareness and all that spills into every area of your life.
It doesn’t matter where you are now, or how long you have been struggling, release is within you all the time. The Sober, Slim person you long to be is who you are. x
If 2020 is the time for you to make the changes you deserve for you and your family, Contact me today.
Nothing will change until you understand the truth of what the hell is going on in your inner world, and how to release that ‘going on’ without stress, struggle, willpower or control.
Love & respect
You are heartsick of the way you drink. Of feeling out of control before you pick up the first glass, almost tearful from the exhausting inner struggle of “I want/I don’t want, please stop me” around alcohol.
A struggle that has built over your day to the point where you feel almost battered into submission, and defeat (and drinking) is inevitable. Again………
Every day you make the decision that THIS. IS. IT!
You are going to do it, you are going to change the way you drink (not stop for ever, you want to be able to raise a glass of something chilled at a celebration. You want to enjoy a social night out, and why should’t you?)
And you are going to stick with it, for your family, for your health, your relationships, your work – you know your reasons.
And how do you always feel having made the decision of ‘ENOUGH’?
Do you feel empowered and excited at the thought, or does your ‘stopping’ fill you with fear and dread?
And if it does fill you with fear or dread, why does it, when you know, on every intellectual level that these changes are potentially the most necessary of your life?
There can be many reasons why stopping/cutting down/cutting out your poison cause you distress, and when that distress is present, it makes your journey feel even harder. It is even harder, and here are the two, completely intertwined, reasons why.
First, Starting with the stopping is always the hardest way.
It is not the result, but it is always the intention.
And behind that intention, there is a process you go through every single time you return to you poison.
It is never, ever, any other way around.
Whilst you act on your feelings, your ‘cravings’, they are the second step of the process, the first one always being your thinking, which creates your feelings, which lead you to re-act.
Picking up the wine glass the slab of cake is only ever the end result of the thinking, feeling process, and it is your attempt to comfort that thinking, feeling storm.
This is an absolute truth.
Can you see now why starting with the stopping is so hard – is actually almost guaranteed to let you down, when you start with trying to stop at the end result of the process?
‘Stopping’ means you are left with your unhappier thinking, which creates the feelings, which you have to comfort. You just have to. Again, do you recognize yourself here?
Now all of the above, is actually absolutely fantastic news, as one of the only things you have any control over is your thinking – the first step of the process.
Release your thinking, and there are no feelings, no cravings, there is no need to re-act. No need for comfort. It is as Halle-flippin’-lujah, simple as that!
When I suddenly shifted from mad drunk/binge eater, it happened in a ‘thinking’ instant. I didn’t know the what or the why and I didn’t care, it was more than enough to be free. Easily. I mean WTF!
I know now, understand and have the language and simple strategies to deliver that WTF moment to you, through the unique Rapid Alcohol Recovery Method.
Some of my clients have been to rehab more than once.
However, all who accept the above as being the truth of what the hell is going on in their inner world, have peaceful release – not control, control takes an energy you don’t always have, and most even drink / enjoy sweet treats occasionally without going back into freefall.
If 2020 is your year. If it is your time to step and make the commitment to you that will change your life, contact me today.
Nothing will change whilst you continue attempting to ‘start with the stopping’. It is just too damn hard.
My Recovery Coaching comes from a place of complete understanding of your struggle, as well as the compassion and skills I have gained on my own journey, and I now offer the joyful awareness and strategies that take you to release and back to the peace and balance you and your loves deserve in just 6 weeks.
After your first session you will have the relief of understanding of your pain, plus two simple, within you all the time strategies, to show you that everything I write is the reality of where you are now and why you are stuck – how empowering is that?
I deserved the gift of peaceful freedom. You do too.
Contact me here and we can arrange a complimentary, no obligation, chat to see the best way to peaceful release for you.
Love & respect
2019 will be my 5th suddenly sober year! And I mean ‘suddenly sober’.
If anyone had told me, even 5 minutes before I stopped drinking that my 28 year booze battle would be peacefully over, I would have felt suicidal at sheer size of the task ahead, as well as the impossibility of success. Didn’t they know me?
And yet, I, Just. Stopped. Drinking. And I remain in a peace and ease around alcohol I didn’t even know existed.
Now to, 2018. It has been a strange, sad, wonderful, thankful year for me, of much loss and even greater love. To a large extent, the view of my world has been smashed into tiny pieces which are currently, and haphazardly, airborne.
I don’t know yet how the pieces will land, or what the new shape of my life will be, but I do know that because I am sober, it will be a beautiful new shape from which I will grow in understanding, joy, gratitude, compassion and thankfulness. Aren’t they wonderful, empowering words to apply to yourself?
Four years ago those words would have been a painful reminder of all that I was not. I was a drunk, for a very long time, and I didn’t know why. I was desperate to be where I am now, but knew, I just knew, that I didn’t have the energy or strength, to even face the battle, let alone win it. And then I didn’t need strength, and I understood why.
I drank out of confusion and fear. Fear of stopping, fear of being, and there is nothing to fear.
We all fear the dark and unknown. But I know now that even the darkest days have beauty and learnings in them. That there are always small chinks of light that I could never see before, a kind word, a smile, a new understanding. I hold those tight when I see them and those are what I naturally gravitate towards, never the wine bottle.
My life isn’t perfect. It couldn’t be and I wouldn’t want it to be.
But now, without the chaos and pain that layering alcohol into my life bought, and with my sobriety safely in place, I navigate the (much less savage) storms and bask in the (much longer) peace. This is what being sober has gifted me.
I want to offer the same gift to you. I have started a closed Facebook group, (click on the link to request admission), Dry January & Beyond! . Its sole purpose is to offer support, comfort, encouragement, love and a safe place to any who would like to start your own sober journey.
My aim is to create a community of women who would like to understand or change their relationship with alcohol. It doesn’t matter where you are now, it is just a snapshot of time, and all the power you need for a different way of living is within you. You have just lost sight of that.
I am The Recovery Coach, a Master Coach, Master Practitioner of NLP, author of This Isn’t Me, my journey into and out of 28 years of alcoholism (and with a hugely destructive relationship with food). I have been there, done that and manufactured the tee-shirt so there is absolutely nothing you can express, that I either haven’t done, seen or heard.
I will be giving regular live coaching sessions, as well as be available to answer any questions you might have. And ultimately, I want you to support each other on your journey. Listen, learn and support one another. Never be critical, or judgmental. We only every walk in our own shoes.
Join now and let’s get this started. Introduce yourselves and my first live will be on 1 January 2019. Together, we got this!
Love & respect
Sonia Grimes xx
To make lifelong change to any Unhappy Habit (to change the way we drink/eat/shop and all the rest), we need to know and understand where we are, how we got there and what we are dealing with.
So let’s start with taking a little look at at the structure of our Unhappy Habits, of what they would look like if we could actually seem them. And the analogy of an iceberg is perfect, as it represents both our physical acts and the emotional intentions that drive them.
Above the water is the smallest part of our iceberg, and make no mistake, that smallest part can be pretty damn big. Its icy tip symbolizes our behaviour and its visible consequences.
It’s what we see reflected back at us in the mirror. It’s the weight we hate, the signs of our alcohol consumption, the dehydration and anxiety in our dull eyed stare. It’s in the stress we see so clearly etched on our faces when we have spent money we don’t have and all the lies, desperation and hopelessness that all of these, and many more, our inexplicable behaviours bring.
That cold white ice is the what we ‘do’ of our habit – what we put into our mouths, what we spend, and seemingly, very sensibly, when we try to make changes, that’s where we start. I mean, if something we are doing isn’t working, just do something else, right……….
So, we circle our visible iceberg warily, thinking through our options, taking into account what has and hasn’t worked before, maybe there is a new diet plan, a new quit drinking, inspirational, motivational, prayer book even, that might just work this time. Then we attack our icy peak with our unprotected hands in an attempt to mold it in to the new, improved ice sculpture version of ourselves, the one we know we can never really be. The slim one, the sober one, the one that just isn’t who we are right now.
And how do we know we can never be this new version of us? That’s easy. We have been practising our ice sculpting skills for years and they always fail us.
At best we can create a temporary ‘new’ us, but then the ice starts to shift and re-arrange itself as we try desperately to shape t it back into place, until with bloodied, defeated hands we give up and accept our drunk/fat/broke destiny. Ok, so starting on our icy peak doesn’t work. All agreed?
The only other part of our iceberg we can look to then is the huge, submerged and brutally ragged mass that lies beneath the water, supporting our visible peak.
Dark and seemingly unknowable, this is the foundation of our iceberg, and it is formed by what we believe about both ourselves and our habit. What it brings to us, how we feel we will be without it, what we will lose, how we will cope, and added to that is our experience around our habit in the good times. All of these have been frozen into what we accept as our reality.
Freezing cold and menacing, we know it will rip at us apart both physically and emotionally and so we flinch from even approaching it, dwarfed and cowed as we are by its sheer size and power
Many brave souls who have understood this truth still take up the battle, donning protective clothing and attacking the submerged iceberg with all the weapons in their personal arsenal. They launch missiles of self-hate, recrimination and abuse at its silent mass, they meditate, join support groups, read endlessly on their poison of choice, and hope that one of these explosives will detonate on impact, smashing a tunnel to freedom. And still, no, that doesn’t work either.
So, what does?
To take down our iceberg we simply have to raise the temperature, the temperature of US. To bring out our sun and let it shine down brightly, warming the air and giving light to the self-awareness that is key to any transformation.
Awareness brings questioning to the boundaries of what we believe and our experience. It allows for the possibility of a different view of the reality we had previously created, and a different view allows for a different behaviour.
So, as awareness grows, our icebergs naturally melt away as we expand our understanding of both ourselves and our Unhappy Habit.
Thoughts and beliefs, frozen for so long, take on a softer, gentler shape, allowing us the flexibility to gently challenge what we do, what it gives us, what it takes from us, which gives us the opportunity the opportunity to act and be who we are meant to be, habit free and whole. Who we deserve to be. Who we were born to be. Then, as our iceberg completely dissolves, we are left with an untroubled expanse of water, peaceful and calm, with no need for us to do anything, just to ‘be’.
If you need help in understanding & changing any Unhappy Habit, please contact me today. My Recovery Coaching comes from a place of deep understanding and compassion of a former addict, who knows the way to freedom and peace. x
Location is never a problem, I offer 1-2-1 Consultations, via Telephone & Zoom.
If you would like to know a little bit more about me, take a look at my About Sonia page.
I am also the author of “This Isn’t Me“, the story of my personal journey through both drug and alcohol addiction, and then finally and thankfully, into recovery.
Take a look at my How I Work for You page, my Empowering Incredible Personal Change page, Contact me today and let’s get this journey started. x