I remember the days when brushing my teeth in the morning was a massive chore I had to overcome. When preparing and eating a breakfast was a chore I had to overcome. When making a phone-call was a chore I had to overcome.
I remember when I used to wake up feeling so rough in the mornings that each everyday ritual and activity that other people wouldn’t think twice about became an enormous obstacle I had to get over.
I remember having to grit my teeth, paste a false smile on and button up my anxiety to get through a drive to my parents’ house. The only thing keeping me going the thought of being able to crack open a bottle when I got there.
I remember having to steel myself for a weekly shop in the supermarket: the noises, smells and movement around me too much for me to handle.
And I remember feeling like a complete fraud at work – pretending to be confident and alert and happy whilst all the time wanting to run and hide, crawl back into bed and sleep things off.
And all this because of booze.
When I look back now, it seems crazy that I carried on drinking for so long. What is really clear to me now is that it was the booze that was causing me the problems, even though I was seeing it as a solution at the time. It’s amazing the tricks our minds can play on us to convince us to continue with drinking behaviour that are habitual and comfortable when it’s this same behaviour that is playing havoc with our health, both mental and physical.
How much better it is to scrub your teeth, prepare and eat breakfast and deal with phone-calls or face-to-face conversations and meetings like it’s all just a breeze. Like it’s not the main focus of your day but something that you do easily, without thinking, while whistling, singing or thinking about other important things that you really want to give some energy to.
The main event of my day today was shifting a load of furniture, heavy plastic containers and boxes from a steel storage container to a lovely new log cabin that my boyfriend has just built. How much better it has been to put all my energy (physical and mental) into finishing this job and enjoying the much-needed shower, food and rest afterwards than it would have been to have agonised over every little ritual and activity that had to be overcome before I even got to the main event.
Stopping drinking really frees up your mind and body to allow you to concentrate on the things that matter.
What are you noticing that has become more of a breeze for you since you stopped drinking? Or, if you haven’t stopped yet, what do you imagine will become a breeze for you?
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