Three Years of Evolution

Oct 12, 2022

Most people, including me, can not imagine that they will ever quit alcohol for good.  When I went into a rehab clinic 3 years ago today (12th Oct ) I was prepared not to drink...for 2 weeks. At the time even that was going to be quite an achievement because in the months leading up to that day I had become a daily drinker. 

Oct 12th, 2019 was the first day I didn't drink in about 4 months. On waking the next day I felt something I hadn't felt in quite some time, a glimmer of hope, and a minute amount of self-respect.  During the course of those two weeks, I decided that these feelings were the things worth getting addicted to.

The last three years haven't been easy, there have been many wonderful moments, the ones you see on social media, the freedom, the clarity, etc. which are all very real.  But of course, changing a habit like this is work. Very hard work.

Year one was frantic. I desperately filled my extra time with work, projects, trips, anything, and everything to distract me from feeling and dealing with the reasons why I was drinking. In year two I ramped things up, studying at all hours of the day and night, addicted to perfectionism, and beating myself up if I 'failed'. And in year three I crashed. A combination of unachievable goals, misdirected energy, people-pleasing, and comparison.  Last year my real journey began.

In February of this year, I stopped everything I was doing. It was one of the hardest decisions I've made. Fear of letting go of all my hard work, missing out, unsure of the future. I quit social media & I stopped drinking non-alc alternatives, Instagram and @sober-sommelier had to go.  I saw mental health professionals and channeled all my energy into healing myself. 20+ years of drinking leaves many stones unturned.

What I feared the most didn't happen. What I hoped for did. My mental health, family and honoring myself beyond societal norms and pressures became my focus. Real freedom became my goal.

I was in a rush, I wanted the shiny new life, immediately. What I learned, the hard way ( is there any other way?) is that a change like this takes time and, most importantly a willingness to pay attention to the signs our body and our hearts give us along the way. We can only mask things for so long. We can replace our drinking with other addictions, work, relationships, exercise, drama, external praise, and perfectionism but underneath all of this is something else. Something so unique to you that once you find it you won't need to seek elsewhere.

I am not saying I have all the answers, not by a long stretch. I struggle with life like any human being. But this last year has taught me to stop and listen deeply to what I know to be true for me.  It has lifted the burden of trying.  As Yoda famously said 'Do or do not. There is no try'.  And the choice to not do can be as powerful as doing.

The graphs I've added to this post show how my drinking-related time & headspace over 3 years has evolved. It was a cool exercise to do. If I'd done up the charts in years 1 and 2 they would show huge segments of anxiety, workaholism, and beating myself up.  The final chart for this year is where I am finally happy, for now.

One thing is for sure, I can never return to the pain I experienced before I quit. I have learned firsthand that this isn't a linear path, but even if you slip you learn. And with time, you can't help but keep doing the hard work, because once you have a glimpse of the possibilities of a real, true and fulfilling life without alcohol there is no turning back.

Here's to three amazing, hard, heartbreaking, and healing years.  And to whatever comes next!




About Me

I integrate my lived experience and extensive training and study into a unique methodology combining modern psychology, the wisdom of ancient philosophy, and high sensory intelligence. I am an alcohol-free and beyond-alcohol life coach. I work in private practice and as a coach for both Thrivalist and The Alcohol-Free lifestyle programs.

 Certified Coach in the following methodologies:

Master Grey Area Drinking Coach – Jolene Park Healthy Discoveries, High Sensory Coach – Illuminance, Strategic Intervention Coach – The Coaching Institute, Results Coach – NeuroLeadership Institute.

Other Study

Grad Diploma Counselling – Australian College of Applied Psychology, The Science of Wellbeing – Yale University, Self-Compassion Training – Dr Kristen Neff, Mindfulness Training - Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach, Mindfulness Educator – Mindful Schools,  Philosophy Fundamentals,  RMT Coach Program– Robbins-Madanes Yoga 200hr Teacher training ( HYA) and advanced embodied practice (BIYOME yoga)

And I am currently in the Optimize Coach program.

Join my Facebook group  

You can book a free call with me HERE.


Feeling stuck?

 Let me send you my free PDF. It will help you to get ready to begin an alcohol-free journey.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.