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So where do I start?
My childhood was perfect. I lived in a house full of love and I felt safe. I have 2 incredible parents and an amazing brother. I was ‘normal’, I was happy.
As happens to most teenagers at the age of 14/15, I started to experiment with alcohol. I did not enjoy it. However, I continued to do it as that’s what everyone else was doing, and I just wanted to be ‘normal’.
Secondary school is a blur to me. Mainly because there weren’t any major events during those years. I would describe myself as ‘in the middle’. I wasn’t one of the cool kids, and I wasn’t a nerd, or square as we called it in my day! I didn’t have loads of friends, but I wasn’t left out or bullied – just ‘normal’!
I spent my late teens and 20’s doing what most ‘normal’ people do, I had fun. Lots and lots and lots of fun. I partied in between work as often and as long as I possibly could. I travelled the world on my own visiting some of the most amazing places. And I drank. Like any ‘normal’ person when they are young, free, and single.
I had various corporate jobs over the years and when I got home from a hard day at the office, I drank. I remember thinking “I can’t wait to have a glass of wine when I get home and make dinner”. I would also have a glass of wine with dinner. Then I would think, “well I might as well finish the bottle”. I remember not sleeping well and feeling foggy in the morning. I’d make it through the day feeling tired and sluggish. The cycle would repeat.
This lifestyle continued until I was in my early 30’s.
At the age of 32 I had the most adorable set of twins, a boy and girl. Pregnancy was a challenge, and not just because I was having twins. It meant that I couldn’t drink, and I battled with that every single day. I felt like I was missing out. I was experiencing one of the most magical times in life and I felt deprived. I felt guilty.
All new mums know, this next phase of life turns your world upside down. In the most amazing, positive, fulfilling way, but everything we know as normal, no longer is.
I loved being a new mum. Like a lot of mums, when I stopped breast feeding, I drank. I didn’t even question this decision; I was getting back to “normal”.
Fast forward a decade and my normal is depriving myself of a drink all week then a minimum of 4 bottles of wine and numerous G&T’s (or vodka) thrown in for good measure over the weekend. That’s not counting any cocktails, shots or celebratory Prosecco’s that have slipped their way in.
I was not a happy drunk. I remember going from feeling perfectly fine to passing out in bed, this was known as my party trick. I experienced memory loss on a regular basis and woke up in the early hours of the morning full of fear, had I said anything to offend or upset anyone? Did the children get to bed ok? Luckily for me I had a husband who took care of us all. I remember feeling full of regret, vowing never to do it again.
In 2016 I went on a yoga retreat to support a friend, a detox/cleansing weekend. This was way out of my comfort zone. My idea of a weekend away was to get hammered morning, noon, and night.
It was recommended that you didn’t drink alcohol for ideally 2 weeks before the retreat. I naively assumed this would be easy. I counted the days, all 17 of them. It felt like I was depriving myself, I was miserable. I did it though, and I remember feeling amazing. Looking back this was my turning point. I really enjoyed the weekend, but as soon as I got home, I had a bottle of wine, normality resumed!
I continued my relationship with alcohol for a long time. Periods of abstinence, constantly feeling deprived, like I was missing out. Everyone else is having fun, why can’t I? Counting the days until I could get back to “normal”. The irony is, that first sip of wine never tasted as good as I thought it would.
Then came the lightbulb moment. The realization that I preferred myself and my life without alcohol. The relationship continued. Short term periods of deprivation which would lead to a screw it all binge leaving me feeling frustrated!
My normal was not my happy place anymore. I needed a drink to be normal and fit in. I needed a drink to relax. I needed a drink to have fun. I was in denial. So where did that leave me?
I felt embarrassed and ashamed. I was completely lost. I knew I wanted to take back control, but I was scared. I did not know what to do or where to go. I was not an alcoholic, but I needed help.
I did some research and found myself a coach. I realized that I could take back control. I learnt that by becoming aware of the triggers that lead me to a drink, I could re-programme my brain to replace the reward. I learnt to recognize why I drank and to understand my habits, and most importantly how to change those habits.
My transformation was life changing. I am full of energy and have a new zest for life. I have an abundance of time to do fun and exciting things. I have more money to spend on doing those things. My skin is clear and glowing and my weight is stable. I make sensible, informed decisions. I remember every minute of every day.
Now, I am free. I choose not to drink. I have taken back control and I do not feel deprived.
I am happy.
I know a lot of people struggle with these issues. I’ve experienced it and I’ve met other people who have experienced it.
I am so passionate about how I have changed my life that I’ve made it my mission to help as many people as possible.
If you want to be a part of this – reach out x
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