What happened when I gave up alcohol

Oh alcohol, you and me, we’ve had a turbulent relationship haven’t we.

We have had, at times, a deeply loving relationship. On so many occasions you    inspired me to forget my insecurities. You’ve been the catalyst for lively conversations and connections with important people in my life. I’ve memories of you and me sat by the sea watching beautiful orange sunsets over tropical horizons. In those moments I felt calm and peaceful, and like life was a big beautiful adventure.

But many times, we’ve had arguments. By having you in my life I’ve lost hours from my weekends, head over a bucket wracked with post night out paranoia. Pounds and pounds have left my bank account to pay for you. In some cases I lost my bag, my wallet, my keys because of our relationship. And I’ve lost hours fearing the impact you have on my body on the inside.

Alcohol, we’ve had some good times, but I think we need to split up.

And split up we did. On 1st June 2014 I decided to see what life is like without the relationship I’ve been in for the past 12 years.

I was scared; there was a huge amount of not knowing who I was and what life would look like without alcohol.

But after the initial fear, I started to slip into this new way of life. I found myself watching the world cup in the pub with a ginger beer, going to visit friends and family and resisting the desire to join in on the Cava, meditating when feeling stressed out rather than buying a bottle of red. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been hard at times, especially after a busy week when the sun is shining and my favourite beach side pub is calling me. But, what I’ve realised is the fear was greater than the act itself. It really hasn’t been as hard as I’d led myself to believe.

Sometimes my mind can make things seem so much bigger and more out of control than they actually are. I labelled alcohol as my nemesis, my vice. I would tell people I could give up chocolate, cheese, caffeine but no, not alcohol, no way. But, well, it turns out I can. And it’s a really liberating place to be.

I don’t know if this is a permanent break up. But I do know that I can drink or not as I wish. It is a choice. And for that, I feel another step closer to really taking charge of my life. And, I also feel just that little bit more free.

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