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 success. Doubting me? Then trust the science…
According to the University of Kansas and John Hopkins respectively -
But what does all that have to do with alcohol-free living? Quite a lot actually… Because how we think about life, the universe and everything in between has a TANGIBLE effect on our wellbeing and life outcomes. And that includes how we tackle our relationship with alcohol.
Positive mental attitude is EVERYTHING
So much of how we feel depends on how we frame up our experiences and our expectations of ourselves. It’s the difference between loving your healthy body and beating it up for being a pound overweight, or revelling in a weekend away versus lamenting that the hotel mattress wasn’t *quite* perfect.
If we go into this alcohol-free life thinking of it as a battle, then that’s what we’ll probably end up living; a daily stand-off between what we instinctively want, and what we know we actually need.
And what I’ve been hearing a lot about recently is women ready to make a change, but having to work themselves up to the fight. They’re busy girding their loins against an internal enemy, in hopes of freeing themselves from alcohol’s grip.
But that association – with ‘battling’ and ‘loss’ – actually makes the process so much harder. Because who can throw positive energy behind the prospect of a white-knuckle-ride through life?!
So, how about we switch-up that narrative? Stop focusing on the ‘end’ of alcohol and start glorifying the beginning of life without pain, shame and God-awful hangovers. Because that’s actually what you’re signing up to!
Not loss, but FREEDOM.
And that commitment to positivity includes freeing yourself from the punishment loop. We made the choices we made and we can’t change them. Stop holding on to negative feelings about yourself, because they’re just more things to trip over and hide behind. More reasons to stay stuck when you’re ready to move forward.
Ditch the ‘wine witch’
Part of the process is then coming to terms with the fact that your ‘wine witch’ isn’t actually the enemy – she’s a voice that needs to be heard.
Your witch’s voice is the emotionally exhausted SOS we drown out with a tinkle of ice-cubes and a hefty pour. But none of that has ever solved her problems. And when we do decide to stop drowning her out, she’s suddenly an antagonist and a threat to our plans. A force to be conquered.
Unfortunately, when you set out to fight your pain – because that’s effectively what you’re doing – you’re setting out on a lifelong battle. A never-ending tug-of-war between willpower and your ‘witch’.
So, what’s the alternative? Yep, you guessed it - embrace those dark and messy bits of yourself and deal with the sh*t you’ve been drowning out.
Because the reality is, alcohol is just an anaesthetic, a way to prop ourselves up and float over the top of our problems. We’ve trained ourselves to believe that we need it – to socialise, survive parenthood, recover from stress, unwind after work and, dare I say it, co-exist with our partners. It’s only ever a temporary fix, and it comes at a very high price.
But no amount of photoshopping is going to make the ugly bits disappear – those life lumps and bumps still exist. They’ll be there after this drink, that bottle, the next bottle, and the one after.
Breaking alcohol habits
So, how to break those habits? To throw away that crutch?
Neuroplasticity. It led us into these unhappy habits, and it can be harnessed to do the opposite - to support us in a new, alcohol-free life. A life where we happily choose an easier, better, healthier way – a life where AF is not deprivation, but liberation!
Because it is 100% possible to consciously and contentedly choose better each and every day – to feel like you’re winning, and that nothing has been ‘lost’.
And it all starts by seeing the truth of what alcohol is, and is not, and then treating yourself with compassion. By listening to that little voice inside us – the voice saying ‘I'm not happy right now’, ‘something's wrong’, ‘soothe me, calm me down’, and changing what we do next. Not numbing, not blocking, not turning down the volume, but listening and being prepared to look reality square in the eye.
When you’re finally committed to solving those long-buried problems, you’ll find that alcohol no longer has a place in your life. It’s completely redundant.
Wouldn’t that be nice?
Well, there’s only one way to find out …. join my FREE 5 Day Alcohol Reset program.