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 meditation practice, my drinking began to take on a different shape. I had always been a big drinker, but I didn't see it as a problem. In 2019 it started to become one for me, I had done Feb Fast, Dry July etc and I kept trying to take it longer but I didn't seem to be able to, every time I tried, I couldn't get past a month and I spent the whole month miserable and having a terrible time. When I was drinking I had had to catch multiple Ubers when my child was sick because I was too drunk to drive to the hospital and chemist. I had fallen into a rose bush while leaving my friends house after a few wines and got a gnarly bit of bark deeply embedded next to the jugular vein in my neck, I had wet myself staying over at a friends house and finally in December 2019 after a pretty spectacular party at our house, my eldest asked me not to bring wine into the bedroom while I was putting her to bed, as it made her anxious. Boom - that was the final straw. I started reading Annie Grace's This Naked Mind and listening to her podcasts and I made the decision to stop drinking for a year in January 2020, I joined the Live Alcohol Experiment and within two weeks I was finding out how I could train to be a coach under Annie Grace's mentorship. I was so completely done with alcohol and so enamoured by the research led and compassion driven methodology Annie had pulled together I couldn't imagine another more fitting modality to add to the counselling post grad degree I had embarked on the September before.
So why did this method of practice resonate so well with me?
1) it didn't make me bad, it made me human
2) It is so firmly based in the latest research and mirrored all I was learning in the Alcohol and other Drugs part of my counselling degree
3) It linked in with other work I was doing personally around the stories that we live our lives by, but that are totally not true - like "alcohol relaxes me", "alcohol is fun", "life without alcohol will be boring".
4) It was empowering and it spoke to the rebel in me - the big alcohol companies and society had so much to gain by us buying into the idea that there is something wrong with us, and that we are alone. Total Bullshit. I love the idea of being part of an empowering counter cultural movement.
5) It works. Two years ago I stopped drinking and I have never once wanted to pick up an alcoholic drink since. It holds no allure for me, I have no desire to be that spitty, smelly, messy, disempowered, uninhabited, unsafe person again, and I really want to help other women like me feel the same.
It's not fun me any more.
Since 2020, I aged from 46-48, I completed my counselling degree, my This Naked Mind coach training and became one of the first This Naked Mind coaches in Austrailia, I trained in Jolene Park's Gray Area drinking coaching and I built a successful alcohol coaching business supporting women in midlife find their groove without booze. I started swimming in the ocean, made a whole new bunch of friends who don't just meet to drink. I joined a Brene Brown book club, which I adore, and I have learnt so much about myself. I have learnt to sit with empathy when my children are activated and stay with myself. I am learning to have my own back and be clear about what that means. I am building a much better relationship with my husband. I have learnt that I really am an introvert and need to be selective who I spend my time with in order to conserve my energy. I am learning more and more about how to build a business that works with the life I want to have and to change some of my less healthy relationships with work, but also to kindly understand where they are coming from and what I can do to ensure their needs are met. I am building a new relationship with my body and food and I have been accepted into the March intake of Evelyn Tribole's Intuitive Eating counsellor training as I know this will help me and the women I work with. I still have plenty of work to do, but I have gotten out of my own way so that I can do this work myself and pass it on to the women who work with me. In a genuine way, as a fellow traveller on this path of midlife. This year I have coached many women through my three month 1:1 program, I have run three 30 day Aussie Alcohol Experiments and launched my first signature follow on program Be The Lighthouse which I am so proud of. It incorporates both the somatic physical work and the psychological thought work. I cannot believe how small and scared I was playing as a drinker and what has opened up for me since making this lifestyle choice. I have been working with an somatic experiencing coach since going through Jolene's training and connecting the importance of the body in this journey, and I have made a somatic experiencing version of a new years resolution it is called an embodied commitment and I share the elements of that for you in the video attached to this blog.
I have been working with my team to create something special for you to try this January. A mini course for you to try before I launch my new and improved Aussie Alcohol Experiment on the first of March. Watch this space as you will hear about it first as my friends and loyal subscribers.
Wishing you all a wonderfull 2022