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Understanding Your Drinking (part 2)

Last week’s blog on our road trip to Sobriety, was about the powerful and pervasive social conditioning around alcohol.  About the ‘why’ so many of us rush towards the ‘joy’s’ of drinking at each and every opportunity.

Of what we are conditioned to feel that alcohol brings to our otherwise overstressed, time poor, slightly dull little lives.  Of how it will lift us up (when in reality it has smashed us down), and how much more bright and shiny our world will be when it is running through our veins.  I am going to make a wild guess here though and assume that as you are reading this blog, it has been a while since you have basked in any sort of golden alcohol glow.

Knowing you want to stop or cut down on your drinking, and seeing as you are taking the time to read my words, what is stopping you from putting down the bottle, and what are you looking for in this blog?

I know the answer to the first, and I hope in you accepting my response, I will start to answer the second. Remember, to get the best from what I offer to you, you must read these blogs with an open mind.

Ok, on top of the insanely dangerous social conditioning that sets our booze waggon rolling, it’s the emotions, the feelings (and the power that we give them), that we attribute to alcohol and it’s place in our lives, that takes the damn brakes off and sends us careening into the paralysis of our drinking (paralysed is the perfect word here, otherwise we would make the changes easily).

But let’s keep it real, alcohol wasn’t always a curse in our lives. At some point in our drinking history, booze was fun. It had to be otherwise we wouldn’t have stuck with it!

It did give us a confidence boost, it has made a dull evening brighter, a boring companion tolerable, a tough time easier- it has lived up to all its promises.  Temporarily.  And then it hasn’t.  And we know it hasn’t, we can see its failure staring back at us in the mirror. So why do we seem to focus on the more distant past ‘good times’ as opposed to the more recent (excuse me) shit storms?

Why are we not put off drinking wine at the end of the day by the fact we know it worries and depresses us, disrupts our sleep, causes the hated ‘wine waist’, makes us irritable, upsets our precious children, husbands/pets…..even my dog didn’t like me drinking?

The answer lies in our Unconscious Mind. In our thinking.  I am not going to get all spiritual on you (or me), it’s not my thing, but I do now understand the supreme power of our thoughts.

Our Unconscious Mind cannot see or hear and does not understand logic. It is responsible for keeping us alive and safe.  It regulates our breathing and body temperature. It tells us when to sleep and eat, when to run from danger. And it is our profound memory keeper.  It stores all our memories, those that we consciously remember and those that we don’t.  All our happy times and all our unhappy ones.

It randomly stockpiles all our memories and then throws up to us, in times of perceived stress and unhappiness, what it ‘remembers’ has alleviated our pain in the past, and for those of us who struggle with drinking, it is alcohol that it remembers and it is alcohol that is thrown up to ‘save’ us.

In fact, that is exactly where the struggle comes from.   If our Unconscious Mind didn’t hold on to the memory that alcohol has offered us some solace in the past, that we had felt better/safer/happier when we had a drink in our hand and down our throat, it wouldn’t even come into our thinking!  Read that again, it is both powerful and true.

In the present, even though alcohol no longer offers us any support and is the cause of our pain, our Unconscious Mind doesn’t recognise that fact because not only does it not see or hear, it cannot process negatives!  It cannot acknowledge our desperate conscious thoughts of “I don’t want to drink”, it deletes the “I don’t want to” bit, feels the desperation and is left with one word, DRINK!

So, when our Unconscious Mind senses our anticipation of pain, of our expected inability to cope, our despair, and, in its best attempt to comfort us in the moment, it sends us booze. Then, when we try to deny our Unconcious Mind’s attempt to comfort us, our anxiety and upset increases and brain starts to bloody scream “DRINK FOR GOD SAKE!” at us!

Our thinking becomes overwhelmed with the strongest urges for alcohol.  The one thing we want to avoid.  And, with feelings of powerlessness and lack of control, we grab the wine glass, get the hit of alcohol, feel a temporary relief (it is a powerful drug), and alcohol is further reinforced in our Unconscious Mind as the panacea to all our problems.  WTF!

Do you recognize your thinking, your drinking behaviour here? And does this all sound too simplistic to you?

It is simple, but we are conditioned (again that word) to believe there is so much more to making personal change, to addiction and recovery, and that is why the understanding of your drinking (or any unhappy habit) is so important.

If you understand where the urges come from and why, you can at least breathe a small sigh of relief in knowing the emotional acrobatics you are experiencing.

I have said in previous blogs that you cannot change anything you don’t understand. However, once you understand how we all function as humans (we all react in the same way, it’s just drinking has become ‘our way’),  we can start to un-weave our innocently faulty thinking and conditioning around alcohol, and in doing so begin re-directing our Unconcious Minds to the place of peace and balance it is always striving to maintain for us.  That, coupled with the choices you will be able to make and own, will ultimately bring you to freedom.

Exercise.  Before you reach for your next drink, knowing you want to quit, ask yourself,

  • “What emotion am I feeling/fearing?
  • How do I think this drink will make me feel?
  • What am I saying to myself to justify my drinking?

In one column write the answers you feel to be true (Unconcious Mind)  In the second, write down the answers you know to be true (Concious Mind).  Look at the differences.

Next week in Understanding Your Drinking (part 3), I will tell you how to start re-wiring your Unconscious Mind, your innocently faulty thinking,  and the importance of being kind to yourself in the process.

Check out my Working With Me & Practical Techniques for Recovery pages to see how I help others who are struggling x

Let me know if you need any help.

If you would like to keep up to date with my blogs, news & offers, click on the link for my Breakthrough Mentor Newsletter

Love & respect

PS, Be brave, be strong and know that you are not alone and you are definitely NOT your habit. x

 

 

TimeLine Therapy – Peaceful Compassionate, Self-acceptance of Who You Really Are

Too many of feel that we are not good enough, not worthy, not deserving.  feelings that deprive us of the life of peace and joy we all deserve, and using food and alcohol in an attempt to comfort those losses.

We eat and drink in ways we are ashamed of, that make us feel we have to lie and hide what we do.   That cause us sleepless nights of worry.  And yet we still continue to repeat the same cycles in our attempts to self-comfort those painful feelings of ‘not enough’ away.

And because it is only ever comfort we are looking for, when we try to change the way we eat and drink, it can be very hard.  Especially when we don’t believe we can be, or deserve to be different, thoughts that further deprive us of the comfort we long for.

We are all, always doing our very best to be our best.

We are never trying to harm ourselves or our families, our children, husbands, partners, and yet stopping doing the things we know harms us all most, feels as though it is beyond our power.

It is not.

Imagine a different way of living for you, one you truly do deserve.

  • Imagine no longer feeling not good enough, but more than enough?
  • Imagine knowing and accepting who you are.
  • Imagine letting go of all your old Anger, Hurt, Sadness, Pain, Guilt & Fear in one relaxed, empowering session.
  • Imagine how much easier it would be to make better choices and decisions in the moment and future, relieved of old distresses

TimeLine Therapy is a wonderfully, unobtrusive process that gifts you the ability to easily let go of all your past pain, allowing you to move forward with confidence in yourself and your ability to be who you truly deserve to be.


I am a Master Practitioner of TimeLine Therapy,  and every client,  without exception,  has said they feel ’emotionally lighter’, ‘calmer, stronger and more empowered’ before they even leave the room.

We all need to emotionally let go of a past that no longer serves us to be our best, and it something that is entirely within us all.


TESTIMONIALS

“I feel so positive with a sense of lightness, I am walking with a spring in my step.  There has been a definite shift in my thinking.  I have noticed how much kinder I am being to myself – my internal voice is not giving me a hard time. I am feeling so much more at peace with myself. This is quite an amazing feeling. Thank you for helping me to feel like this! J Dickie

I had a TimeLine Therapy session with Sonia which I found to be incredibly profound form of treatment and very successful in treating me with my issue. The experience was enhanced as Sonia has a very warm and lovely manner, which enabled me to get the most out of the sessions in a safe environment. I would highly recommend an Emotional Cleanse session with Sonia to anyone. M Greene

Sonia made me feel relaxed, calm and very safe to explore my emotions. She took me through the process, carefully explaining each step of the way and was so lovely and kind that I felt able to say just what I needed to without feeling self-conscious – quite an achievement believe me. I can highly recommend this treatment as an emotional spring clean to help you to look to the future with a renewed enthusiasm.” J Ellis

“Incredible experience! I feel less anxious and stressed and feel back in control of my life.  Sonia you are amazing” N Thompson

I DEFINITELY feel so much better, my old heavy emotional baggage has gone.  I feel so much lighter and more capable.  I am making better choices in life and that is wonderful. K Morris


TimeLine Therapy is a wonderful addition to my Recovery Coaching process or as a powerful, one off intervention, and can be conducted either face to face, or in the comfort of your own home via Zoom

  • A life enhancing 2 hour TimeLine Therapy Session is £600

Click here, if you would like to book a free Recovery Coaching Assessment Call to see how I can best support your journey.

Or to learn more about, my ground breaking Recovery Coaching,

Or myself Sonia Grimes, and my journey, through my book, This Isn’t Me.

Love & respect

A Journey Into Drinking – Life in What-The-Fork

Before we set off on our journey to Sobriety, we must program the sat nav of us. We need to enter not only our desired destination, but our start point as well.  So, where is our current location? In my experience, for those of us who have decided to undertake the (seemingly) arduous road to Sobriety, we have somehow and inexplicably found ourselves stranded in a place called What-The-Fork (you get my meaning), which, to save time, I will abbreviate to WTF.

I wafted in to WTF in a mist of wine and vodka, young and happy(ish), at least on the outside. Glass in hand, WTF felt fun, relaxing, benign and welcoming.  Relieving me of stress and uncomfortable emotions, it just kept those good times rolling.  And they did roll, for a long time, until they didn’t. And for so much longer.

The change in life in WTF was insidiously slow and, to start with, almost imperceptible.  I do remember feeling less of me, less shiny, less happy, less peaceful, but life is like that isn’t it?  And at least in WTF I had a way of making myself feel more of the things I had started to feel less of.

It was easy.  My pick-me-up of choice, booze, was everywhere, not just in bars and pubs, but in all WTF’s pretty cottages, where doors were propped wide open, invisible arms waving me in.  I simply drifted into wherever was closest, downed another (and increasingly larger) glass of whatever booze was on offer, and the sun came out again.  For a bit………..

But then the bars, pubs & even the cottages, started to change.  These light, always sunny and welcoming establishments started, ever so slightly, to dim.  Faint dust motes of despair began their gentle downward spiral, landing, not only on shiny surfaces, but also on me.  To start with I would attempt to wipe the dust away with my fingers, smearing as I did the view I had of the preson I was, my ability to cope with life, my self-esteem. And over time, that dust of despair fell thicker and faster, dulling happiness and joy, choking out conversation and reasoning. For so many years I remained covered in volcanic proportions of that damn suffocating stuff, blinded by its unrelenting grey storm.

As the changes in WTF became more obvious, I started to wonder what on earth was going on.  I made a decision, “Ok, enough of this shit, I’m off”.  Then, in the very moment I decided to pack up and leave, the façade of WTF crumbled completely, its grim reality finally exposed.

It’s warm, sometimes fuzzy, welcoming and inviting embrace, became in an instant, a vice like iron grip. Cold, unforgiving and painful to the touch, it’s true hold became so tight that I struggled even to breathe. I knew immediately that I was trapped in  WTF.  I had become its prisoner, and one with no hope of parole.


Now, obviously WTF isn’t real in terms of bricks and mortar.  You can’t take a train there and it’s not on any bus route, so how was it constructed, why was its hold over me so cripplingly powerful and where did it exist?   The answers are frightening.

WTF was constructed by me, made powerful by me and existed only in my mind, in my thinking.

No transport, public or private, was necessary. I was already there.

In my next blogs, I am going to tell you how I built my WTF, the conditioning that was its foundation, the thoughts that grew its impenetrable walls.  It’s the same way we all build  our own WTF’s.

We cannot change anything we don’t understand.  We don’t know even where to start.

If we don’t recognise how are own internal WTF was constructed, short of bombing it and ourselves into oblivion, we can’t know how to take it down.

But when we do understand, when we know how our thoughts give rise to the edifices they build, when we know how to question our thinking,  when we step back from what we believe and allow other thoughts to take their place, the foundations of our WTF can turn from concrete to sand and dissolve before our very eyes.

With understanding comes clearer thinking and the possibility of new options. With options come freedom, if we choose to take that route.

So, fellow travellers, Understanding will be the first stop on our journey to recovery.

Until next week.

If you would like to keep up to date with my blogs, news & offers, click on the link for my Breakthrough Mentor Newsletter

Love and respect x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coming Home To Me

Finding my way back to me……………

For a very long time I was lost, completely lost and then I wasn’t.  This is how I found my way home.  This is my journey back to me.

There is someone waiting for all who are still suffering in their painful habit. Someone waiting at home with open arms and heart.  I promise you x

Four years ago, sometime in May, I stood in my kitchen, staring at the last few inches in the half bottle of vodka that I must have missed the night before when I was drunk.  I had walked, in a daze from my bedroom, half of me dreading my reaction to the booze in front of me, the other half experiencing an emotion I couldn’t identify then and still can’t now.

Would I do my usual, pick it up and swig the remains straight from the bottle? I could justify it, I had passed my self-imposed, but flexible, “I never drink in the morning” rule and even better, I didn’t have to do anything that evening, other than a quick visit to the shops to top up my not-so-secret vodka stash, that would necessity hiding my drinking those dregs.

This time though, as I picked the bottle up and examined its contents, the first of many incredible kaleidoscopic shifts occurred within me and the landscape of my life, my future changed forever.  Just minutes before I had been in total despair as I wrote a letter of love to my son.  A letter attempting to explain the un-explainable – that I was going to leave him, to die because I couldn’t stop pouring  booze down my throat, and that although he was and always would be the love of my life, I had no choice but to put alcohol before him because I was an addict, and that quitting was, as he had already seen far too many times, completely beyond me.

As I wrote sobbing in defeat, knowing absolutely the mountain of unnecessary suffering my leaving would cause him, a door in my cognition had opened almost imperceptibly, and it was this opening that had got me up from my desk and down into the kitchen to the vodka bottle. There that door had burst wide open, straight off of its hinges, and I had understood, finally after more than 27 years of feeling hopeless, powerless and out of control around alcohol, that I had chosen drink, it hadn’t chosen me.  I was responsible for all the chaos and destruction my choice to drink had caused, and that I alone, not alcohol, was to blame.  Then, incredibly, with that one simple insight, and acceptance of responsibility over my choices past, present and future, I was free.

I let the drunk, broken self I had become, stumble through that door and into a place I had dreamed of for so many years of my life, a place that I never thought I could reach, that had no space for someone like me.  A place that I had on rare occasions been allowed to catch a glimpse of, but always and forever denied entry too.  And as I faltered forward uncertainly into this new place, I was met by a kind, compassionate woman, warm and loving who opened her arms to welcome me, without judgement or condemnation.

A woman who had waited patiently for me all those years, knowing that I was lost, so very far from home, desperately sad and feeling utterly alone. Her beautiful smile told me that she had always known that I would come back, that I would make it through the darkness and storms of my addiction, believing in me and loving me as she had through everything I had done.

I fell into this good, kind woman’s arms and she held me close and forgave me.  Then as I clung to her and she comforted me, I dissolved first into the essence of the lonely little girl who had grieved for her mother for so many years before she had died, before maturing into the desolate 27 year old who no longer had the chance to make peace with her mother, to tell her she loved her. And from there shifting in form into the mother I myself became, isolated, frightened and suffering from severe post-natal depression, before finally settling into the woman who had longed so much to be the mother her child deserved, the mother I sensed I could be, but could never quite become.

This lovely woman, generous of heart and spirit, held me tight as she kissed away that little girl’s loss, and together we let her go.  Then, following her departure, the spirit of every other painful person, every incarnation of the drunk I had become followed, acknowledged, forgiven and in peace.

I gave in that day in my kitchen and allowed myself to be claimed by someone who loved and cared for me above anyone or anything else.  I did this because I had recognized as soon as I saw her. I knew she would never let me down if I just trusted and put my faith in my survival in her.

After all my pain was gone, after the drunk me had been absolved and understood, what was left was just the two of us, a mirror image of each other, no longer separated by the hurt, damage and chaos my drinking had caused.

I had come home, I had found a way back to the person I was before I was a drunk, and I knew instinctively, as we clung together, both in relief and release, that this good, kind and loving woman was me.

Love & respect to all those who are lost right now x

Sonia x

Insights from a (formerly) Drunk Mother

Welcome to the launch of my blog, Insights from a (Formerly) Drunk Mother.  This is an unexpectedly proud day for me, not only am I living my dream of being the sober happy mother and woman I never thought I could be,  but I am also in the privileged position of being able to offer help and support to my fellow travelers seeking the inner peace that comes with freedom from our unhappy emotional habits. And trust me on this,  whether your poison is food or booze, all soul destroying unhappy habits are firmly rooted in the same place,  the personal emotions & conditioning that are so safely and securely stored in our immensely powerful unconscious mind.

In my weekly blog posts I am going to share with you all the wisdom I have gained on my continuing sober journey.  I write wisdom not knowledge as knowledge is not enough, it is what we take from that knowledge, how we interpret it, and how that interpretation resonates within us that enables profound change.

If you have read my book, This Isn’t Me , you will know that for me, realizing that I had a choice to drink or not to drink rocked my world completely.  It smashed all my pre-conceived, and, almost literally, fatally flawed thinking around my alcoholism, addiction across the board and chances of recovery.

In an instant my world changed,  I suddenly had the insight I didn’t even know I needed. I ‘got it’, I ‘got me’ and by ‘getting me’, I had a clear way forward that nothing and no-one else’s view of alcoholism and my freedom from it could deflect me from.  I know me better than any book, group, lecture or tried and tested formula for recovery, and thank’s very much for the input, I’ll go with me.

However, what worked for me won’t necessarily work for someone else.  Others have read and understood my insight, but in their view of the world, with their conditioning around alcohol,  their personal history, thier booze history and thier experience of  attempts to quit, my recovery can sound amazing.  People tell me that I am amazing but that what I have achieved is completely beyond them.

My moment of insight was amazing, but I am not.  I simply understood something that hit one of my deepest held core values, (the responsibility of choice), and in doing so, I put myself, without even trying,  firmly back in control and on an unwavering path to sobriety.  God, I love that word! x

So, the blog posts that are to follow are my best attempt to unweave the unhelpful, faulty information we are drip fed from a far too young age as to alcohol, its place in society, what it gives to us, how ‘harmless’ it is  – which it can seem to be until you want to stop, and usually, in that very moment, you realize you can’t………….. As well as to challenge the accepted wide spread views on recovery (of which we have no chance because we are addicts), well hell no, I am living proof that is bull**** .

My aim is to give you the best opportunity to at least shift the unseen alcohol blinkers you may be wearing, that will help you find your insight too.

I am going to be honest and straightforward, and all I ask of you is that you turn up, tune in and read with an open mind.  If I sound crazy, laugh at me, but then please read again.  I want nothing from you, yet have everything to give.

If you don’t like or understand anything, email me.  I will always answer.

The road to recovery has been sold to you as an uphill, rocky terrain.  A journey on which you must always have a white nuckle grip on the steering wheel of you, sweating with anticipation of  the alcohol quivalent of a speed bump or pot hole, always driving at the edge of a precipice, with no rest stops and nowhere to park.  It doesn’t have to be.

Instead, I invite you to buckle up, roll down your windows and enjoy the journey.  Feel the breeze blow through your open mind as it loosens your thinking, learning to smell the freshness that comes with an alcohol free body.  Steering your life your way, in the direction you want to go to, responsible, accountable and in control.

There is a beautiful life out there waiting for all my fellow travellers, we have just lost our way for a while.

Bring your sandwiches, a bottle of water (out pops the nutritionist in me), and enjoy the way your life naturally changes as we trundle down the not-so-confusing-after-all road to sobriety.

PS.  I have even lovingly lit the way with candles.

Until next week.  Love & respect. x

If you would like to keep up to date with my blogs, news & offers, click on the link for my Breakthrough Mentor Newsletter

 

 

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