Double Celebration – Decisions and Freedom

Today, 30th August, is a magical day. It marks my 49th birthday. Happy Birthday me!!

I’m being taken out for lunch today, but I also have another milestone I’m celebrating which I wanted to share with you. And that is, I’ve been alcohol free for 500 days.

Back in April 2021 I stopped drinking alcohol. I had no expectation of how long I’d stop for, it was great to just get on with not drinking for a while. I also had no awareness the 500th day of not drinking alcohol would coincide with my birthday!

Slowly the days turned into weeks, then months. Approaching Christmas/New Year I wondered how I’d get on, but it was totally fine. My friends just don’t even make a thing out of me not drinking, and even get in alcohol free drink options specially for me.

There’s a wider range of alcohol free drinks these days – it hardly seems any point to drinking alcohol when it just dulls your brain and body for hours after it’s consumed. Don’t even get me started on ‘needing a glass to relax with’…it’s just not the right way for me to relax at all.

The reason I stopped was for my health. Heading into the full swing of menopause last year I’d started to have various symptoms, including hangover like symptoms even when not drinking. I found I was tolerating alcohol far less than even 12 months before. Even a pint of my then favorite pilsner would result in a hangover like I’d had four. So I stopped, and haven’t had any booze since.

I’ve stopped for short breaks in recent years but always returned to drinking booze. The last time I restarted I think deep down I wanted to stop but didn’t have the courage. This time I knew I didn’t want alcohol in my system anymore.

At my one year anniversary it finally dawned on me that I actually don’t ever need booze again. I do drink alcohol free beers and fizz and honestly I can’t tell the difference in taste. The real difference is how my body and mind feel not only when I’m drinking but in the hours/day afterwards.

I can’t even imagine the hours I’ve lost to feeling just a little dulled the next day. It was rare for me to have big drinking sessions, but even the slight dullness had massive implications.

I know some decisions in life feel so big it’s easier to just keep on plodding on, doing the same things you’ve always done….and then getting the same results. It’s safe. I get it. It’s the easy way to travel through your life.

I’m done with easy. I’m leaning into courage & I’m giving my body the respect it deserves. I chose to remove alcohol from my life & I chose to not have the crappy after effects ever again. That is so liberating. My choice now is to be the best version of myself I possibly can be.

I think it’s like a lot of things in life, we get to choose. Even a non-decision is a choice. It’s interesting to note that my journey to becoming a qualified coach has coincided with me stopping drinking. I wonder what other magical things will happen when I choose another better option & path to take.

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