It’s been 6 months since I gave up drinking alcohol. Not a glass of wine beer or liqueur has passed my lips since May 1st, 2018 and I can tell you that it feels like magic.
It’s opened the doors for to a whole new kingdom, an entirely new place to be, live and feel. I feel incredibly gifted, grateful and lucky that I have had the chance to experience it before I leave the planet.
With any luck, I’ll have another 50 years to explore this magical aliveness, with my newfound creative expansion. And that’s a gift, a big gift that I am very grateful for.
If this sounds a bit crazy or nuts to you, that’s fine. The UK especially is so heavily invested in its drinking culture, that stepping away from it completely can seem like a very odd thing to do.
The opportunities, personal growth, and magic (there’s been plenty), that I’ve experienced in the last 6 months, have beyond any doubt convinced me that love, happiness, fun, connection, escapism, joy, celebration and almost every other positive emotion is not to be found in a bottle.
Admitting & accepting the past
I won’t tell you it’s been easy because it has not at all. It’s been tough, really tough, but only because I was working through what got me to mind numb and escape in the first place. Facing it straight on, without it being watered down with wine.
And no I did not slay my demons, because they are part of me. Working through this process and accepting my shadows has been a major part of the transformation and growth work.
Acceptance and releasing the shame around so many aspects of my life and resolving to make them better as I move forward makes the whole thing so much easier.
I can’t change the past and neither do I want to. All that experience has made me, me. It’s through this acceptance, that I feel have grown significantly, and I’m hoping to be able to draw on this to create something positive from for the future.
Our journeys are what make us, they and us get us to where we are now. Took me a very long time to believe this, but I really do believe it now.
The Mind Expansion
After 6 months of sobriety, increasing my time in nature, limiting my time on laptops and social media, Journaling, ramping up meditation and learning and practicing Reiki daily I honestly feel like I’ve been giving a huge brain upgrade. I would go as far as to say that I feel like I’ve doubled my intelligence. Probably not true in the scientific sense, but that’s how it really feels to me.
Having a really clear head and being able to look in calmness, not fear (thanks to the Reiki & meditation) at what was going within me, has been an incredible experience.
Peeling off the layers and layers and getting deeply into what was really going on with no alcohol escapism has given me an incredible sense of personal freedom, that I never want to give back.
I’ve been on a personal self-awareness journey for about 5 years now since I stepped into my first yoga class and it blew my mind, but giving up the booze has escalated my growth fast.
This has without doubt been the most important work that I have ever done and it will change the future direction of my life for sure.
Adapting to Loneliness
There is no escaping the loneliness that comes from making extreme lifestyle changes. Especially when there are so many rituals involving alcohol. I had tried to do it many times before and failed in my old environment.
This time I moved country, so that made it easier and harder. I had to deal with being alone a lot. I also vowed not to hang out with anyone that I did not think was making a positive contribution to my growth.
I actually became quite ruthless with where I spent my time and with who, defriending ( in real life) people that I felt were sucking my energy.
Bali is no different from anywhere even though it looks like paradise. There are the same characters, just in a more beautiful setting.
So instead of settling back to watch TV ( I don’t have one) and drinking wine, which is a quick and easy solution, I’ve had to really actively push myself to get out and try new stuff to meet more people.
Through being more mindful of my time, it’s given me the freedom to meet super interesting people, with eclectic lifestyles and opinions and has added wondrously to the journey I’m on.
It’s also allowed me to embrace being alone for the gift that it is. I now have so many hobbies, that I’m not bored at all.
Super Powered Creativity
One of my most favorite things to do in the world is idea generation. I’m very privileged in that it comes easily to me.
However, when you are full of ideas, and creativity and you have no place to put them it’s not only exasperating but I actually believe it was the major reason why I was depressed.
My original career choice was creative marketing, which I loved, and then I got tempted into consultancy and sales. Consultancy can be creative to a point, and I used it as much as I possibly could, but pitching at least for me got very monotonous.
Removing the booze, and upping the meditation and time in nature is like a super food for creativity. It’s reignited the magic.
Magic in the Everyday
When you outsource your excitement to entertainment outside yourself such as drinking, it’s so easy to lose your sense of wonder and appreciation for the world we live in.
Instant gratification and access to on-demand to anything somehow also managed to make everything become really boring.
Even London with so much going on, cutting edge, leading fashion, art, and design got boring. I craved nature, trees and the slow life.
Now my favorite thing to do is sit in my beautiful garden and write while watching the birds, butterflies, and squirrels. It’s certainly not hedonistic, and I don’t get rushes of adrenalin, but it’s quite literally a paradise for me and I feel very lucky that I found it.
Seeing things as they really are (The Knowing)
I was always playing detective and trying to get to the bottom of what was really going on. It’s fun for me and I used that skill a lot in work, but for the most part, failed to use it in my personal life.
Some may call it intuition, gut feel or knowing. I’ve always had it, and according to my astrological birth chart I have it in spades, but I dampened it down, as what I felt and was seeing from a lot of people in my personal life was so horrifying, that it could not be true and so I dismissed it and myself as wrong.
Over the last 3 years, this intuition or knowing has astoundingly been proved right in the most bizarre ways.
I never really wanted to believe that there are people that do not operate from a space of morality or virtue and that even close friends will manipulate very deviously when it comes to something they want from you but sadly it’s true.
And so getting rid of the intuition dampener alcohol has supercharged my intuition capabilities and got rid of a lot of anxiety as I am now allowing myself to trust what I see and feel.
What I always saw as a curse, or me being mad or paranoid, I’m honing through careful daily work to be a superpower and it’s literally astounding what I am beginning to see (at least to me).
Am I going to continue?
Of course, 6 months is just the start. With all the extra time I have, I’ll be able to dive into all the hundreds of things I want to learn and work on.
Being alcohol-free has released a lot of fear and anxiety for me and unleashed my creative and intuitive sides. These skills or ways of being are fundamental to cope with the onslaught of change that’s occurring in today’s society.
I really feel like it’s a gift that I’ve been able to achieve it. I’m really excited about the next 6 months and where this expanded mind of mine will go and the positive ways that I can use it in my personal life and the world of work.
I’d love to hear from you. Have you quit drinking and if so has you found or unleashed new skills or powers within you? Has it changed your life?