Freedom through the Eyes of Sobriety
It’s 2am and I am wide awake, tossing and turning. I can’t get back to sleep. My heart is pounding, and my mind is racing. Why did I drink again? Why am I drinking so much? Why am I drinking so often? I don’t want to. Why can’t I stop? I googled again “am I an alcoholic?”. I can’t be. I don’t relate to that word at all. I am a wonderful mum, a caring wife, I run a beautiful family home. But why don’t I feel proud of any of these things? Why can’t I look at myself in the mirror? Why can’t I make decisions? Why do I feel an anxious fog hanging over my head? I feel lost and I feel alone. I am so confused. Why isn’t anyone coming to save me from this? What is the matter with me?! I’m not sure how to stop. How do you NOT drink alcohol when society is so driven by it. I want to give up forever, but drinking is part of my identity. It is who I am. Ok, decision made. Tonight, I won’t drink. Maybe I can moderate? OK I will just have one. Maybe just one more. One more won’t hurt. I may as well finish the bottle. It’ll be fine. I will be fine. I am fine Until I’m not. It’s 2am, I am wide awake, the battle starts. AGAIN!
I am a wife, mum, daughter, sister, and friend. I have been on this roller-coaster of a thing called life for over 40 years now. I had the most beautiful, safe, upbringing in a small country town. Although my dad passed away suddenly when I was 4, my mum gave us everything she could in the way of love and care. I always felt lucky for the life I had. I am a lover of fitness, health, wellbeing, fashion, chocolate, and hot chips…… a LOT of hot chips! My name is Georgina, and this is my story. My raw, honest, and unfortunately very common story.
I had been drinking almost my whole life, from the age of 14. Throughout my teenage years and right up until the day I stopped, I drank in pretty much ALL social situations. I had that belief that drinking made me fun. I felt alcohol gave me confidence and permission to be myself. As I transitioned into adulthood, I occasionally started to drink at home. It began with weekend-only drinking. Then over the years it included Thursday night drinking. I then started drinking on Sunday nights also. This became my favourite drinking night because it took the edge off the overwhelm of my “to-do list” for the week ahead. I then found a way to incorporate drinking into my Monday night. Without choosing it or realizing it, wine became a big part of every evening. I was always wondering when my next drink was and how I was going to fit it in whilst running around after my children. It started to consume me. It became a mental battle between my intuition and my addictive voice of “when is my next drink going to be”. Although Covid lockdown helped with easing up all the mum duties, this also gave me permission to increase my alcohol intake. I had always been a good drinker (if that’s such a thing).
For me I always felt in control at the time, rarely did I do anything too regretful, but the blackouts had become more frequent. To the point where the kids would chat to me the next morning about something we had discussed the night before and I would have no FREAKIN idea what they were talking about!!
From the outside looking in I had it all together. I tried to convince myself I had it all together! Why would alcohol become a problem in a world where it was put up on a pedestal. I was a beautiful mum, a caring wife, I ran a beautiful home, I exercised every day, I worked, and I was running my own Personal Styling business. But something was just not right. I felt my life was beginning to unravel, and I was struggling. I was second-guessing myself. I was carrying other people’s judgements so heavily in my heart. I was unmotivated for life, and I could feel myself slowly drowning. I just knew deep down it was the alcohol. I knew it was taking away from me way more than it was giving. But I did not know a life without it. It didn’t even cross my mind that giving up was an option. I was the last person on the planet that could do that. Why WOULD I do that! I would be boring without it! I knew drinking was no longer serving me, physically or mentally, but I was also very lost as to why, let alone what to do OR how to stop.
At the beginning of 2020 I “accidently” came across This Naked Mind Podcast. I can see this now as the universe guiding me. It opened my eyes up to the culture of alcohol. I felt I was no longer the only one feeling the way I was. I was no longer alone in this battle. I started to uncover all the lies that alcohol and society had been telling me. This podcast led me to committing to living 30 days alcohol free. I committed to this challenge so I could take back my control over the alcohol. To bring my drinking back into the “magical land of moderation”. I found this challenge to be difficult and I did find myself counting down the days to when I could drink again. I managed 31 days of alcohol-free living and I felt great. I was confident I had taken my control back……. Until I didn’t. Over the next week or two It slowly crept back into my nightly routine and had taken a hold over me once again. I had ended up right back where I started! Miserable, unmotivated, and unhappy and I could see my self-belief slowly dying. Over the following 18 months, my evenings looked a tad like this. Drink a bottle of wine or more. Fall asleep quickly. Wake up at 2am with that anxiety of why I keep doing this to myself. I was back in that constant battle with myself. I discovered during this period of heavy drinking I was no longer living life; I was simply surviving. I was running away from myself. I felt defeated.
Something HAD to change. I needed to stop lying to myself and accept that the “magical land of moderation” was not a place where I could stay. For so long I had been waiting for someone to come and save me. I was aware that I had the most beautiful life, but my drinking was standing in the way of enjoying that.
It took me until January 2022 to come to the realization that only I could change this. No matter how many podcasts I listened to or how many books I was reading, I was the only one that could do this. I had to SAVE MYSELF! I wanted to make myself proud. My family proud. I wanted to be able to look at myself in the mirror and see the person I knew I could be. Not, the one I was. I owed it to myself. To my family. I felt ready. This time I had the power within. It was my time.
On the 22nd of January 2022 I had my last glass of wine. The next day Incorporating all the things I had learnt, all the stories that gave me hope and all the tools I gained through a beautiful community called Thrivalist Sobriety I decided to go on a journey of self-discovery to a life of sobriety. I drew the line in the sand that morning, trusted my intuition and I committed to living an alcohol-free life. I looked deep inside, found the strength, and just stopped drinking. It’s been almost 2 years since I stepped up for myself, took that leap and made that life changing decision. It is the bravest thing I have ever done. I had to believe in myself when I had very little of that left. It wasn’t always easy at the beginning, but finally I believed I was worth it!
Things have changed dramatically since that day. Originally joining Thrivalist as a member struggling with my own relationship with alcohol, Little did I know at that time that the universe was guiding me to right where I was meant to be. The proudest of owners! I now take great pride in being an example of hope for others and supporting them to craft a beautiful life alcohol free. It’s my passion and my calling. I truly feel I am finally LIVING again. Not just a mediocre sort of living, but living a life of my wildest dreams. I am grateful each day I wake, I can look at myself in the mirror and I can be proud. I now get so much joy from the smallest of things. Hand on heart I am giddily happy, and I am going to protect my life of sobriety I have worked so hard to create with EVERY INCH of my soul, because for the first time in a very long time, I feel truly free.
It’s 2am. I am sound asleep. A heart content.
With love, hope, freedom, and sobriety,
Georgie I x