I call bullsh*t on alcohol
Hello and welcome to Emma’s alcohol-free paradise; a place of sunshine, rainbows and eternal joy.
Alcohol-free or not, life is life. Immense highs, the lowest of lows and everything in between. And that’s a daunting prospect, especially without our trademark ‘safety net’.
Except our relationship with alcohol has never been, and never will be, ‘safe’. It’s a sneaky little devil, dressing up as a solver of problems while it lights fires all around us.
And still, it manages to convince us that we ‘need’ it. That life will be worse without it.
I call bullsh*t.
Alcohol takes more than it gives
The first step to that rainbow-filled AF world is to recognise (as above) that our perception of alcohol is TOTALLY skewed. It is not our friend, it is not a band-aid and it will be no loss.
Why is that important? Because perception and positive mental attitude are critical to our...
2019 was a shit storm of a year. I had walked away from my 20 year marketing career a victim of some pretty unpleasant, but all to common, workplace behaviour a valium popping, nervous wreck unable to cope with the simplest of tasks. I was so full of shame, like so many women on the receiving end of toxicity in the workplace. Why couldn't I cope? Why wasn't I up to it? Why did they choose me? I didn't know who I was without my career. I was completely broken. Years of living in fight or flight trying to manage a full time corporate career two little babies, and a marriage that was not in great shape, surviving on caffeine, adrenalin and booze, I was brittle and it only took a few really unpleasant encounters for me to break. Then followed the aftermath, lawyers and financial uncertainty, I was lucky to have a great support system to guide me through the process, I couldn't have done it alone. Over that year whilst I maintained my running and built a daily yoga and...
Did you get alcohol-free or sober curious over the pandemic? Is this your first Christmas without alcohol? The holiday period can be really activating for our nervous systems – family, socialising pressure, stress, and so on. It's a big fat lie that alcohol relieves stress, even if that belief takes a bit of shifting. Your body goes into hyperdrive as soon as it consumes alcohol, prioritising the removal of it from your system above ALL else. This leads to the release of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenalin - which are like pouring petrol on the flames of our anxiety and stress.
If you REALLY want to have a stress-free Christmas, the following ideas can help you to not only keep booze at bay but have blast while you do so!
If you are not feeling it. Don't go. You are under no obligation. Your early alcohol-free journey may not be ready...
Mindful drinking can be an important tool for people wanting to change their relationship with alcohol. Research shows that awareness without judgement is the key to lasting habit change. As my friend and mentor Annie Grace would say, "all change happens on the other side of awareness".
When we have been trying to cut down or stop drinking for a long time we can end up losing our trust in ourselves. Through mindful drinking we can rebuild that trust with loving compassion. When you keep trying to unsuccessfully stop or cut down your drinking it can get really demotivating. Mindful drinking gives you the opportunity to celebrate your awareness as a tool to move towards your goals with alcohol. You can stop trying to stop drinking and start trying to understand why you drink.
Important to this is the understanding that alcohol is an addictive drug and the way it works on the brain means that we are programmed to want to drink more...
Scott Pinyard and I recorded a podcast together where we discussed the following common questions around parenting and alcohol:
Here are the highlights:
The first question we received was:
"Hi, I have multiple kids who have been seeing me drank for as long as they can remember. It really wasn't a problem until about two years ago when their dad and I divorced, then things escalated for me. And I've had multiple difficult conversations with them. They've asked me why I do it as much as I do, and why won't I stop? I'm actively working to change this. I'm in the LIVE Alcohol Experiment, and I'm planning on continuing on in the path. Here's my question, I'm not there yet, but I'm working on it. How do I explain this to my kids in a way that...
It turned out our relationship was built on booze and conversations that we had to drink through in order to enjoy. Once we stopped having that in common, the conversations didn't feel the same. I kept coming away from them feeling bad, my energy drained, our values weren't aligned.
I had to learn where my boundaries were and surround myself with people who made me feel good. People who had my back, filled my cup and inspired me.
My real friends stayed.
We just started having breakfasts, walks and SUPs going to things like Wim Hoff Fundamental events and having different kinds of fun.
I remember those things so much more than the boozy afternoons drinking.
I started to change when I stopped drinking. I started to try new things outside my 'safety zone' of running and drinking. I started swimming in the sea with a bunch of middle aged ladies like me (see pic with my buddy Fi). We just set off, when we set off and you always have...