Six months has come and gone.
Half a year.
Another goal I set that I’ve found myself at the other side of. It feels amazing in every way to look back and see myself standing where I am now.
It’s been a huge journey.
It’s been fuelled with chocolate, coffee, yoga, workouts, BIG emotions and new connections and experiences that I never thought possible.
When you really break it down, in the grand scheme of things six months doesn’t seem like a long time.
But to give something up that you once felt a huge draw toward, that can be challenging. That can feel limiting. It can feel like a long time.
But it can also feel freeing.
So what was my goal?
As many of you are aware I set out on a journey, a goal to remove alcohol and any other substance ( other than coffee ) which would impact my state of consciousness. My state of being.
I started this because I wanted to FEEL EVERYTHING.
And boy, is that what I got.
Alcohol was the thing I felt the most compelled toward changing.
It had slowly been making its way out of my life for awhile.
Of course, it wasn’t always that way.
In my early 20’s I did the whole thing.
I went to college, stayed in Residence. Partied A LOT.
I moved to Whistler in search of something more.
What an amazing place to do just that. I partied A LOT.
My move to Australia- I continued this pattern for the first few months while I made new friends. It was so much fun.
But then something started to change.
Slowly, I started becoming aware of the fact that alcohol was not in alignment with where I wanted my life to go.
I had a massive spiritual awakening and alcohol just didn’t really appeal to me during that time.
When I moved back to Canada and returned to Whistler, it wasn’t long before I slipped back into old habits. Lots of parties, lots of wine, shots you name it.
The anxiety began to creep up again – but this time much much faster.
It was scary.
It got to a point where I felt so uncomfortable, my heart would start to beat out of my chest anytime an alcoholic beverage was in front of me.
I felt like I had no control over this or what it meant. What was going on?
By no means have I or ever want to imply that I was an alcoholic. That title doesn’t resonate with me and in no way do I know what it’s like to have that experience. For me. It was about consciously choosing to let go of this to be able to see and feel what my life would be like without it.
To rebel agaisnt society.
Fast forward to now.
It’s October 20th 2019.
Six months ago I drank more than enough alcohol to last quite a while. I stated that day would be my last, before the drinks were poured. It was like “going out with a bang” type situation.
The last six months have been an incredible crazy roller coaster.
By no means has it been easy to navigate.
The emotions, lessons and tests that came along for the ride have pushed me into this new state of being. This new version of myself. Into a place where I feel strength like never before. More confident in who I am. And have developed a sense of self worth I only wish the younger version of me would have had.
This six months has been nothing short of amazing and life altering.
I got lots of questions along the way.
“Have you lost weight?”
“Why would you ever want to do this?”
“Are you lonely?”
“What about your friends?”
“So, what do you do for fun?”
“Is it hard to say no?”
It’s funny because- for me there were only two times that I really CRAVED a drink. Both for completely different reasons.
One was social, the other was stress.
In six months time and the beautiful summer air, I only craved it twice.
So for me, it wasn’t hard to say no.
It wasn’t difficult to stick to my goal.
It wasn’t the difficulty in the alcohol that was hard.
It was the emotional experiences I endured through the process that I couldn’t use alcohol to numb. That was the hardest part.
You see, we as a society have been brought up with alcohol being pushed in our face. It’s FUN. It’s SOCIAL. It’s a way of DISCONNECTING in order to feel good.
Alcohol is a beautiful royalty to enhance situations and enjoy the finer aspects and experiences in life. Don’t get me wrong I love a good house wine and have had my fair share of boxed rose.
BUT! Hear me out….
What I’ve come to realize is that alcohol, drugs and other substances that alter our states are actually suppressing a lot of what’s going on inside.
For me, this was my truth.
I used alcohol as a way to find myself. As a way to connect with others on a deep and vulnerable level- because I didn’t know how to without it.
I used alcohol to have fun, to escape and run away.
The day I committed to this goal was April 20th 2019. Yes ironically 4/20. 😬
I then decided to do ‘Workout to Conquer Cancer’ and do 30 days of exercise while raising money for this cause.
Halfway in I got shingles up my leg.
(graphics below – skip if you don’t like gross things).
Ps. Shingles are normally diagnosed in people over 50 and is brought on by stress.
I was working three jobs. All with children.
I was doing 30 days working out (which needed to be put on hold), working on my blog and writing. I was holding it together and excited for all these opportunities and was feeling motivated with the extra time I had – since I wasn’t socially “going out” anymore. Potentially filling my schedule to not feel?
I hit my wall. Shingles came.
My body felt weird. I was exhausted.
I had a panic attack at work, had to miss days at all jobs.
And I was officially maxed out with this massive scar on my leg. Can you say being FORCED to slow down and FEEL.
From there came a season of change.
I moved out of my house with no new destination to go, I just knew it was time.
I house sat for a month and floated in between houses for a week before moving into MY OWN STUDIO and yes – put together Ikea furniture without a sip of alcohol!
During this time, I met a guy who brought so much light to my world who supported and encouraged my decision with this goal.
I went on some amazing summer trips and met lots of new people.
I was on two podcasts speaking about my experience with HPV.
And the last month and half…. that was the hardest part.
I was back at work, with my job security somewhat on the line and experiencing new sets of challenges in my role. The guy I had met had to leave the country. I had the worst stomach flu for weeks, making it impossible to eat normally and I had to cut out coffee. AGAIN… FORCED TO FEEL?
I CRAVED a big glass of wine.
I could taste it. I wanted it so bad.
I would picture myself dancing on tables and doing shots, laughing and just being… that old version of me. I craved her.
I CRIED THE MOST I’ve cried in YEARS.
(and that’s a big statement for me … hello sensitive empath Emily over here 🙋🏽♀️)
And through all of this no alcohol.
Through all of this I cleared my body of LOTS of old deeply rooted emotions and patterns that were keeping me stuck in old ways of being, that just couldn’t come with me into this next stage of life.
Through all of this I got to see myself in a new light. I got to meet parts of myself I had never met before. I was clearly met with habits and shadows of myself that I was turning a blind eye to.
Through all of this I got to explore and experience deep connections with people when I was completely present. Nothing altering how I showed up.
Through all this I made new friends and got to show up completely as myself. My quirks, emotions and all.
I got to see who supported me and my choices. My values.
Who wanted to see my succeed.
I got to experience what it was like to consciously date someone. To be in a healthy place of self worth. To be in a place that allowed me to have my heart fully open with both feet in.
I got to experience someone who I felt so completely me with and not once did he see my with alcohol in my system.
This last six months has been way more than what I bargained for. Way more that what I thought I’d experience by doing this. Way more impactful. Way more heart opening and expansive than I could have dreamt of.
So the answer to all your questions is this,
No, I didn’t loose weight.
No, my skin didn’t become clearer than before.
No, it wasn’t hard to say no.
Yes, I was lonely. Really lonely near the end.
And yes, at first I felt like I wouldn’t have anyone to spend time with.
I was lonely when I didn’t know that people would support me.
I was lonely when I felt I had to explain my reasoning.
I was lonely when I was in my apartment all alone, learning the new path I was on. I was lonely when I had to sit in my feelings from old situations that I had once repressed with alcohol.
But I did it. I sat in the uncomfortable.
I felt so fulfilled when I was sitting under the moonlight with strangers camping, talking about life. Changes. Astrology. Things that matter. And people being open and vulnerable. My heart felt home.
And those moments continued.
I came to realize that I didn’t need any substances to have those connections I craved. They showed up when I was authentically me.
Fun became working out.
Fun was trying new coffee shops.
Fun was going to the beach and writing.
Fun was creating for my blog.
Fun was having deep conversations with people in my life.
Fun was doing handstands on the beach and getting lost in the waves of Tofino.
Fun was being with people who made me feel home.
I did this originally to clear my anxiety.
To run away from that god awful feeling of waking up in the morning after a night out filled with shame, a weird taste in my mouth and a wasted day.
But now I realize it was more.
I had to clear my body of stuck old emotions.
I had to clear old parts of myself. Old habits to create new ones.
I had to do this in order to connect and meet myself deeper, so that I can meet others deeper. I did this so I could help others see that we can have fun without alcohol.
To show others that life can be lived fully. That running to alcohol to escape will only hinder instead of enhance our experience here on earth.
To show others that relationships can bloom without alcohol.
That it can all be done.
Above all, I proved to myself that all the things I want can and will come true. I have strength and determination that blows my mind. That I’m not the party girl I once was, and that’s okay- I’m still fun. I’m actually just a better version of who I was before.
So what comes next?
I’m sure you’re all wondering.
Next, I won’t lie…I am craving that glass of wine.
A wine with girlfriends sitting around having a laugh and talking about life. A wine on a date. A cold drink on the beach. These are the times that I’ll learn to have a better relationship with alcohol. Learning to balance. And not ever feel pressured or need to make excuses or shame myself. Or like I have to be the all or nothing girl.
These are my new goals.
The next is unknown. And I’m okay with that. I’m okay with seeing where it goes and listening to my intuition. I’ll ask myself, does this enhance the situation, or am I running from something internally? And go from there.
I’m so proud of how far I’ve come.
Thanks for coming along for the ride.