Something that surprises a lot of women in our Thrivalist community, is how quitting drinking is just the beginning of a completely new life journey, full of ups and downs, but also opportunities to become a much happier, healthier and more self-actualised version of yourself. Sobriety is so much more than just not drinking.
This is unbelievably true for me. In fact, sobriety has felt like a chance to really get to know myself properly for the first time. A rediscovery of the person I was always meant to be, but had accidentally taken a wrong turn away from many years ago.
A famous quote by Rumi is “As you live deeper in the heart, the mirror gets cleaner and cleaner.” As we become more aligned with our values and live a life we are proud of, the way we feel and think about ourselves drastically improves.
In this blog I will share with you the top 4 ways quitting alcohol has given me an opportunity to become a supercharged version of myself working on the areas that needed it and how you can apply these principles to your own journey, if it feels right for you.
1. My self-confidence came back
For years I suffered with crippling imposter syndrome and low self-confidence at work. When it came to public speaking, (or even just speaking in a meeting), I would verge on a panic attack almost every time. And I had to do a lot of presenting and speaking in meetings! I was a competent Marketing Manager who knew her stuff, I was never presenting anything I didn’t understand, I just had zero confidence or belief in my ability to do a good job. When I look back at my marketing career, before I started drinking regularly, this wasn’t really a problem for me. When the drinking increased, it became a big problem.
Now, with over 2.5 years of sobriety under my belt, you can’t shut me up! I have a new-found confidence in regards to work, I thrive in meetings and enjoy public speaking. Yes, I have gone through a career change, however there is no way I could have done any of this without quitting drinking to begin with.
Drinking too much makes you feel cloudy-headed, and exacerbates anxiety, which then leads to low self-worth and low confidence. Are there any areas of your life where you struggle with your confidence and do you think they are related to the amount of alcohol you drink?
2. My ability to trust my intuition
I remember as a teenager, wishing so deeply that there was a special guardian angel who I could ask about anything and who would give me the right answer for me. This thought often came back to me in my 20’s and my 30’s. I never trusted that I knew what the right answer was for myself, and searched outside of myself, asking everyone around me to tell me what to do.
A few weeks into my sobriety, I realised that meditation was a practice that gave me the ability to feel closer to myself and deeply connected with my intuition. Over time, I have discovered that in order to come to a resolution or find an answer about something, by simply quieting my mind, and taking a moment to connect in with my body, I normally hear the right answer within seconds and trust that it is the right answer for me because it feels right. Also, seeing myself in a more positive way after quitting alcohol and trusting and liking who I am as a person, means that I trust the answers that I find within myself.
Having a strong intuition is such a powerful tool when it comes to creating our dream lives, building successful businesses, meeting life partners and so much more. Do you feel cut off from this intuition and if so, is low self-worth caused by drinking too much getting in your way?
3. I gave myself the space to work on my real issues
As a drinker, I felt pretty average most of the time. Even if I took a couple of weeks off drinking to ‘reset’ I was still physically detoxing and thinking about drinking.
My struggles were mainly to do with mental health. The constant flighty and uneasy feeling of anxiety, the guilt that comes with over-drinking and decisions made when under the influence and the exhaustion that followed me everywhere, meant that I was just so used to feeling low vibe, and I didn’t have the space to work on any real problems or root causes.
When I stopped drinking, these quickly bubbled to the surface. I was able to clearly identify what had triggered me to drink and work on the root causes, rather than drown them out with wine. I was able to see my relationships clearly and know which ones were actually negatively impacting my life and I came to understand that I was working in an unfulfilling career that was impacting my self-worth. Without quitting drinking, I would most likely never have had the space to see the truth of what was going on let alone the courage to make the necessary changes.
If you are self-medicating or self soothing issues in your life with alcohol, the underlying issues will never go away. In fact, most of the time they will continue to get worse. Taking a break from drinking and really bringing your root causes to the light can be a really challenging, yet liberating experience.
4. I got to understand my body & cycle better, and honour my needs at the right time
“And I said to my body softly, ‘I want to be your friend.’ It took a long breath and replied, ‘I have been waiting my whole life for this.’” Nayyirah Waheed.
My body had really been waiting for this too. I’d never really understood my menstrual cycle as a drinker, nor cared to. I certainly had not honoured my needs based on where I was in my cycle. This has been something I have become so interested in since becoming sober and love that I can now experience and feel my emotions without questioning whether or not they are arising from a hangover. I know they are real and rather than push them aside with alcohol, I work through them and always come out the other side with a resolution.
Learning about the four phases of the menstrual cycle, and understanding what my needs are during each of these phases, means I am kinder to myself and rest when I need and then embrace my creative flow and high energy when it comes. I feel less guilty about taking more from loved ones when I need to and know when it’s a good time to be more giving of my energy, time and love to others. It wasn’t possible, nor important to me, to be this in tune with my cycle and emotions when I was still drinking.
Have you harnessed the super power of understanding your cycle yet or is drinking too much also holding you back from recognising your true feelings?
Over-drinking holds us back from experiencing so much goodness that this life has to offer us. It’s not until we take a decent break from it that we start to realise this and reap the incredible benefits and super powers of sobriety.
This was the main catalyst behind Jen and I creating our Thrivalist Signature Sobriety Course. We compiled all of our most powerful tools and lessons into this incredibly detailed course so that we could share what we have learnt and the wondrousness of sobriety with women all over the world.