This morning I waved my eldest daughter off on her first ever residential school trip. Her whole class is off the Lake District for five days of canoeing, caving, high ropes, barrel rafting and jetty jumping. It sounds amazing!! Did I feel emotional when I kissed her goodbye at the coach this morning? yes, but I surprisingly didn’t even cry. Her excitement for the week ahead was just so contagious I felt more excited than emotional! The whole class was just a bundle of bubbling excitement as they lined up to get on the coach, and I am so excited for her, yes of course I will miss her but she will be having the time of her life!
I have mentioned in previous posts that since I have stopped drinking I feel as though I am on the same level as my children when it comes to being excited about events and occasions, it’s almost as though I have gone back to being a child again! (hence the picture!)
Jason Vale has a fab section about this in his book ‘Kick The Drink’ , he states:-
“When you stop drinking, you actually return to normal. We never needed alcohol before we started drinking: the need arose afterwards. I remember going to parties as a child and I didn’t need alcohol to enjoy myself. I never feared Christmas or birthdays would be a disaster without alcohol…………. I never thought I would become so lethargic and tired that my main source of pleasure would come from a bottle……. When I was a child I never thought I would end up like the adults I saw.”
When I read his book, this really struck a chord with me, when did we start needing alcohol to have fun?
In the picture above the 7-year-old me is ready for a party, we only took pictures on special occasions like parties or holidays! Can you remember just being totally excited for what lies ahead, seeing your friends, the games, the food, the party bag, you didn’t need to have a drink to enjoy a party! Fast forward to my twenties and I wouldn’t have gone to a party if I wasnt drinking, gosh it would have been my idea of total hell, what socialize sober???
Jason Vale believes that alcohol creates the fears that that makes us drink in the first place. So if you have low confidence, you drink to make you more chatty and relaxed, but it’s not you it’s the alcohol and if anything the next day you feel more withdrawn and anxious than ever. But once you get into the habit of drinking, you feel as though you need it to have fun and enjoy yourself! I know for a fact that I drank more when I was unhappy with my body and poor fitness level. Drinking made me forget that I wasn’t feeling confident in how I looked, which is crazy because the calories from the drink and food binges that followed the day after, were doing nothing to help my body confidence and in fact making it worse. It has taken me a long time to break away from this vicious cycle.
When you remove the alcohol you find yourself doing things that you really want to do, just like children do. What do you really enjoy doing? what makes you smile? As a child I was never still, I was always out on my bike, in the garden or on a friends farm and when I stopped drinking I wanted to go on this health kick and try to get in my best possible shape, have more energy so I could be an active mum and have an active life, like I used to have. I feel like I have found my lust for life again. My next move is a career change and I am hopefully looking at moving into the fitness industry, its very early stages yet but watch this space!
If you’re looking at stopping drinking or cutting down, firstly think what is making you pick up the glass in the first place? If it’s to make you feel more confident, then work out why you lack confidence and work on that without the booze because it makes things worse in the long run. Do you drink to de-stress? What’s making you stressed? Try treating yourself to a massage, reading a book, having a long soak in the bath with your favourite music. Do you drink to just have fun? then seriously question what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with!! And when it comes to special occasions or holidays, these are fab, happy times anyway, do you really need to drink to enjoy them? If you haven’t tried these events sober, you will never know. Dig deep and ask yourself, “Why do I need to drink?” “What made me start drinking?”
If you haven’t already read Jason Vales’s book I highly recommend it, it was definitely a game changer for me*, and it makes you see why you actually drink, in a totally different light! (*Along with Clare Pooleys Sober Diaries)
Now the house is very quiet, whilst my eldest is off spreading her wings and loving and living life, truly enjoying the moment! I’m already counting down the days until she returns and to hear about all of the things she got up to!! ( previously I would have used her being away as an excuse to have a drink every night this week, to take my mind off it! But not now, I am going to get through a list of jobs I have been putting off for months then lose myself in Love Island every night this week!)
Credit to Jason Vale & Kiona LLanos for the quote.