12 months

Well, I did it!!

The challenge was to go 12 months with NO alcohol.
$500 payable to charity if I had any! None of the February challenges or the dry July events…. 12 whole months.

Done and dusted!

So how did it feel?

It was really difficult at first, with each day taken one at a time. I had the mindset was that it was an unhelpful habit and habits can be relearned/unlearned. I also had a lot of support from a couple of people.

The old habit was a glass (or two, sometimes more) on returning home from work to tune out from the emotional stress of being at school. When the work environment went “pear – shaped”, my Dad had a heart attack, my back went and I couldn’t get up off the floor – all in all the stress levels went through the roof to put it bluntly –  a crisis was reached and enough was enough.This was breaking point.

Time to walk away from both (school and alcohol) for a while and redefine my life.

I had a realization that I was standing on the edge of a precipice and it was my choice to go down or change direction.
Mending the mind from the school experience took a little while. I talked to a number of health professionals and rather than being supportive they were less than helpful.
I may be wrong, but they were probably also standing at the edge of their own precipice too.
2 people really helped.

My Hypnotherapy lecturer and my primary health carer – my Naturopath. Without the support of my talented and caring Naturopath in particular, I reckon I couldn’t have done it.

So how did it go?

Litres of soda water. Sometimes with a splash of Bitters, sometimes with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. At least I was hydrated!
I started counting and days were ticked off in the diary.
Homeopathic remedies taken when the palate started craving and some Thought Field Therapy around the original cause and I reckon some quality TLC from a couple of special people. You know who you are!
Friends seemed mildly curious and I became very aware that everyone seems to drink a lot. It is the Australian way of life!!! Social and family occasions are marked by copious quantities of booze.
Family seemed bemused, then curious as to what day I was up to. This went on for several months and around the 6 month mark, I realized I was no longer recording days.
I continued with my studies and found that I had more time to read, funny about that! Books about Choice Theory, NLP, and even some fiction.
My priorities changed, I became more focussed and made some achievable goals and did some serious planning for the future.
Travelling was interesting – particularly observing others’ routines. Set up, chairs out, pour a drink. So in many areas, while there are indigenous communities choosing to change their lifestyle and become dry, the grey nomads and other travellers are looking at the scenery from the bottom of their beer or chardonnay glasses.
Easy to become self righteous about being teetotal, but I found that I had little to say to so many people now that alcohol wasn’t the social lubricant. Soda water was the main alternative, having found lemonade disgustingly sweet & don’t get me started on artificial sweeteners……..!
A couple of times I bought some de-alcohlised wine, but it was so revolting that it wasn’t worth drinking. The only disappointment for the whole process is that I didn’t lose the weight I expected. Another alternative beverage became a variety of Chai teas, drunk black and without sugar. The T2 blends are nicest.
A couple of times there were situations, that in the past a “stiff drink” would have been a help, such as when I got really sick after a “retreat” earlier this year (how I craved a ‘medicinal brandy then!) and getting to Innaminka after being stuck in the mud.
Creating a sustainable future with better choices is my new mantra.
Being a typical type A personality, I am driven to to this well.
Of course I could do the alternative well too……..!
Part of the personality trait is that I am attracted to “bright shiny things” and there’s something big glittering in my future!
So there we go!
My 12 months with no alcohol. Will I go back to it? Probably not.
I have plans for something big………stay posted!