I have kept a journal for decades, this is an excerpt from the year before I quit drinking.
“Yikes…scared (which is weird)
I want this for my life:
I want to quit drinking to regain freedom in my life. It will give me room to breathe and explore my highest potential. It will allow me to access my highest power, truest friends and greatest experiences. It will allow me to be fully with my family. I cannot continue the way I am, nor can I allow it to get worse.
God, my highest & greatest being, can you please help me see the path to quit drinking. Can you please lead me to a support person who totally gets me, who I love and who will help me. Show me the way. I will follow because I am ready.”
At that time I was lost and had nowhere to turn, I didn’t know where to begin to gain traction to change. Later the writing gets ugly, it gets raw. There are a lot of questions and rants but mostly I was done, done, done, with alcohol. Writing it all down helped me a ton.
In my last blog, I suggested you start to pay attention to your daily life, to see how you would feel if you were not drinking. This starts to eliminate some of the fear you may have around not drinking in certain situations. Another suggestion is to start keeping a record of how you’re doing, how you’re feeling and why you want to stop drinking (or eating sugar or smoking pot or whatever is up for you.) I used journaling because I love writing and have done it my whole life but you need to find the thing that really works for you. If you don’t like to write but would rather talk make yourself a video or use the voice memo on your phone. You can do it while you’re driving alone. If you are a numbers person make some graphs about how much you drink and how you feel. Not sure how you chart your emotions but hey…each to his own. I am seriously NOT a numbers person!
Writing down what was going on for me in the months leading up to sobriety was a very powerful tool because it made everything REAL. For many years I would write about how I wanted to explore my relationship with alcohol. And that was as far as I got. When I knew I was going to quit I finally began my exploration for real. I wrote about it in ways I had never done before and it was big. It enabled me to get very clear on my reasons for quitting. Darling, this is so important! You need to get serious with yourself about the exact reason why you want to stop or change the way you drink. “I really need to cut back” absolutely will not cut it. It is utterly useless because the neuropathways in your brain, the drinking paths, are very big and strong and deep. The effect that alcohol (sugar) has on your brain is one of the most powerful there is which means you won’t even blink an eye the next time you feel like pouring one. It is almost impossible to combat this extraordinary force of nature without a plan – if you could you would’ve done it a long time ago, right? So, the step of journaling is the start of developing your very own, super clear reason to make a life change as huge as stopping drinking. It is going to rock your world in the best possible way, you are going to become the highest and best version of yourself. If you’re not sure you really want to stop drinking right now Sweetie, that’s OK. Keep paying attention to how you’d feel without it in your life, how your energy level is and all that good stuff. Where your attention goes your life will follow.
Since I know you are curious (because I would be) you might be wondering….what were HER reasons to stop drinking? The simple and most powerful of my reasons are that I want to be free. I no longer am willing to be a slave to wine. I felt like I was bound to it in order to ‘relax or have fun’ or ‘deal with adversity’. None of this is true but it’s a lousy way to feel. Secondly, I want to be happy. When I found out the actual science behind what alcohol does to your brain (that info will be coming in future blogs), that it destroys the part of you that allows you to feel joy…it was a deal breaker for me. I was drinking to feel ‘good’ and it was destroying my feeling good. WTF?! I want to be free and I want to be happy. It may sound cliché but those definitions hold very deep power for me which now defines my life. I got there by doing some serious excavating on myself and my superpower of choice was journaling.
Having a record of how you felt is important to look back on. Girlfriend, as hard as it may be to believe, someday you are going to feel amazing. In fact, you may feel so damn good that you might feel like having a drink. Just a wee glass of Prosecco on the sunny deck. What harm could come from that? A lot. But no worries Babe because you have a record of just how much harm it does to you and how it affects your well-being. Even better it’s in your own raw words, the pain is there in black and white in your journal or on your phone. Then you remember why you did it. Drinking is so not worth It.
I have started my own YouTube channel which is interesting (my code word for hilarious and quite lame but that’s what happens when you’re a beginner). I am getting tons of awesome feedback on my work (thank you VERY much, I really appreciate it). These videos are a way to connect with you and give you quick little reminders. I love making videos but it’s hard for me to just wing it and not having everything ‘just right’. So, that’s what I’m doing. The first one is after a workout and I’m holding my phone. So it’s not looking good and it’s jiggly! I’ll get better. You can check it out HERE.
If you’re ready to grab a FREE copy of my best tips to start to explore your relationship with alcohol click on the link at the top of this page! These simple ideas started me on the road to happily living alcohol-free, even when I never would’ve believed it could happen. xox Donna
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