What I know is that so many people have an “issue” with booze because, simply, booze is addictive and when you have one you want another.
I did three big “cleanses” over the past few years and after those stints, I started back “in moderation”, because I’m a big girl and I can control whatever I put my mind to, right? Wrong … because that subconscious ravage desire in my body and brain takes over. I know this to be true
So, yea, moderation didn’t work cause one wine led to two another, led to a third … didn’t matter if it was on the weekend or during the week. With sneaky thoughts like “who needs to moderate anyways”, and “I can stop anytime I want” because I’ve done it before. If I would have had to blow into a shitalyzer I’m sure the readings would have been off the wall.
I threw moderation out the door. I’m an all or nothing kinda gal, and because of my “adult child” upbringing, there has never been much in the middle. I stay stuck or I run away. That’s my tendency.
I’m on Day 365 now, a whole fricken year … without a drop of booze! And I LOVE being on the other side. Hasn’t always been easy … but you see, I made this decision because I knew why I didn’t want to drink, but I also knew why I wanted to drink. Got it? Yup – drinking was my mask, my costume, my numb-the-pain-out-of-my-life medicine … and damn, working for a government office for 25+ years, I had a lot of pain! My decision to go alcohol free was based on 2 things:
👉 My deep desire to be a fantastic role model for my teenage daughters, and to show them that change is possible at any stage of your life; and,
👉 My wellbeing; including my physical, biological, spiritual, mental, emotional and even social health.
I made the decision to go alcohol free and committed to learn about the science and the impact on the human brain and body. Both of my parents were heavy drinkers and have been labelled as alcoholics. It runs in my family, it’s the “chaos-juice” that helped grow my family tree and was also primarily responsible for damaging and killing my parents
Moderation may work for some, but I’ve been in the AF (alcohol free) community for well over a year, and I know that it doesn’t work for many. Moderation is not my friend!
I’m not off the hook yet because my research has shown that males or females of any age or stature, will get sucked back into the vortex with as much as one sip … a place where time is reversed.
We must look at our patterns if we want to be able to change them. Here’s mine:
- I was given my first drink when I was 8, and I liked it … like the forbidden fruit hanging in front of me. I was given a bottle of “Lonesome Charlie” for Christmas, which I hid under my bed. It didn’t stay there for too long mind you … and I’ll never know whether it was my parents or one of my 4 siblings who took it. It upset me. I felt important to have a bottle of wine under my bed! And I actually didn’t think of it until this moment, that the reason why I got a bottle of wine was because … perhaps they had either forgotten or didn’t have enough time to get me an age-appropriate gift.
- I started drinking more regularly when I was 15. Parents split up, new school, new country, hard to find friends, feeling of loneliness, abandonment, and insecurity. Mum liked me having drinks with her anyway. She was sad and lonely, but she knew how to have a good time!
- I drank through my teens, 20s, 30s and 40s, and I very often said to myself, “Oh Janine, you could stop anytime, you don’t have a problem, you don’t have to listen to the Doctor who told you to stop because of your dad’s drinking problem”. I’m not a quitter … I don’t have a problem … I can stop anytime I want … It’s my life!
- I got pregnant in my 40s, twice! I did stop drinking through my pregnancy and breast feeding. Well, almost. I did have a few glasses in early pregnancy (sorry kiddo) with a friend who said it was perfectly fine to do that. This is where it gets weird. Some countries abhor drinking while pregnant, like Canada, and others say it’s acceptable, within a tight reign of moderation, like Australia.
- I started to “wake up” in my 50s. I realized that I wanted to actually make a difference in this crazy world, and I couldn’t do it by sitting behind a desk, writing policies about air quality, looking out at a gravel pit, looking forward to cocktail hour every night and consequently blurring my days and my brain away.
So, I quit my job. I became a certified integrative nutrition coach. I started my own business.
I set my first goal for a 7-day alcohol free cleanse – just to make it through the weekend. I got there, eventually. It was hard. Got sucked into it again.
Then I set a goal for 30 days. Did it after a few attempts. Yay. Started sippin’ again knowing that I was free from the Booze Demon. Got sucked into it again.
I set my next goal at 60 days. Same. Did it. Yay. Started up again.
Then 90 days. Same yay. Started up again. Really?
My pattern became quite clear.
My decision to stop again on September 8, 2020, was originally to attempt another 30-day cleanse again after a crazy covid summer … but this time it was different. I felt different deep inside. Enough is enough. You know what I mean? I had experience of quitting and attempts at moderation behind me, and I didn’t want to repeat fail. More importantly, I had a 14-year-old daughter who had a secret story she was hiding, of low self-esteem, self-harm, alcohol, and prescription medication. Her secret was revealed as I looked through her phone while she was recovering in ER from a near overdose ….
I quickly realized that this has to be more than a cleanse. I must show up for her. I must show up for me.
I found a supportive community where I felt at home sharing both my vulnerabilities and my victories … because simply, it’s hard to get support from your friends and family who, although they may not admit it, don’t want you to give up. Sometimes booze is the string that keeps relationships together. Y’all … if you want to change your relationship with alcohol, find Annie Grace and get to know her
Although I am still inherently an all or nothing kinda gal – I’m ok with that. I know my limits in terms of what I put into my mouth, and what comes out of my mouth. I know if I have one glass of wine, I’ll more than likely have another, and so on. And I just don’t want that anymore.
The embarrassment and shame associated with previous failures has turned into pride and courage with my current progress … pour me a fricken sparkling water, add some fruit bits … and that is now truly satisfying for me!
We’ve all got some amazing courage inside of us, we all do … so whatever you want to find moderation with, ask yourself if you really need it! Cause there is a difference between needing and wanting.
Moderation is possible, I’m sure … but not with this Soul Junkie. Life is just way too cool on this side … and I ain’t going back!
If you would like to connect with me or learn more about my work, come on in and join us in the Soul Empowerment Lounge, or grab my free amazing transformational musical poem “You Choose” … just climb onto my LinkTree here, or message me directly!
Would love to hear from you!