My Year of Sobriety
The title may be a bit premature, however I have decided that 2018 will be my YEAR OF SOBRIETY (starting in February).
I don’t drink every day. I abstain from drinking in February, July and October – and have done for years. Alcohol does not stop me from being active, or a “good” worker (no sick days for this puppy), or a good mum. I have friends and family who have lost their licences for drink driving. I have worked in hospitals and cared for people affected by alcohol. I have worked in nursing homes looking after residents who have “alcohol related dementia”. I have also taught adults who have been impacted educationally and socially by drinking booze and taking drugs. I have witnessed the power of alcohol in modern day Australian society.
I drink socially … with friends, family or Facebook.
Why does an ageless goddess have the need to drink??
Some might say that I am a woman of a certain age approaching a significant anniversary of my birth but I prefer the title of “Ageless Goddess” (thank you Dr Christiane Northrup).
A study undertaken by Western Sydney University found that over 624000 women aged between 35 and 59, struggle with risky drinking or alcohol problems. I am not alone – in fact it would seem that I am in good company.
Read the ABC report here.
I started to reflect on my drinking habits when a was chatting with my friend. We were talking about the holiday season, family and our adventures. One statement struck me. She said that she “got so drunk’ and I asked her why? She honestly and openly explained that she just does not have an off switch. That resonated with me because I am the same. I just do not know when I have had too much to drink. I have not gotten to that age of wisdom where I know that I have had enough to drink (If anyone knows can you please let me know what that age is?).
The reasons I enjoy a drink
I like it. I like being social. I have always linked a couple of wines with relaxing. It is what my family does to relax, to celebrate, to morn. It is what nurses do to let their hair down, socialise, relax and unwind. When I was studying to become a Registered Nurse – last millennium, a lecturer had suggested that it is easier to study with a bottle of red wine. It is what teachers do to clear their head, unwind relax and celebrate. It is just what I do.
The reasons I don’t want to drink
The Research is fascinating.
The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education have highlighted a problem in women in my age group.
Dr Janice Withnall from the University of Western Sydney conducted a seven-year study on drinking among mid-life women. She found that we are drinking more. We are often career and motherhood focussed and we don’t fit the historical stereotype of the alcoholic.
More research found that men drink more when exposed to a woman’s scent during the fertile phase of her menstrual cycle (YES woman can drive men to drink??) BUT THE REVERSE IS TRUE. A man’s scent (androstenone) can trigger a significant increase alcohol consumption in women (and nobody asked me to be a part of that study!). I am not sure how we can fix that problem?
So, I have decided on a YEAR OF SOBRIETY. I have allowed myself a “GO TO GAOL pass” for special occasions if I need it.
What am I hoping to achieve from this year?
There is more I want to be. There is more I want to feel. There is more potential I want to experience. I want to create a life I want to live.
I am not sure that an alcohol-free year will achieve that. I am not even sure that an alcohol-free year will make any difference but I want to find out for myself.
For help contact
Counselling 1800 888 236 or www.counsellingonline.org.au
Family Drug Support 1300 368 186 or www.fds.org.au
Alcoholics Anonymous 1300 222 222 or http://aa.org.au
Life is Messy
I have been so busy. With work, teenagers, family, dogs, neighbours and friends I feel a little overwhelmed with all I do. I feel overwhelmed with all that I want to do. Have you “over-done” it this New Year.
This time of year, can be stressful. The reality of the holiday season can seem to contradict the images of love and joy and relaxation plastered over Facebook. The heat (here in Australia), family issues and dietary changes (celebratory snacks and booze) can contribute to the not so festive season.
My lesson and learning is that I am not very good at doing too much for others and not enough for myself. I just do not cope. Does that make me selfish??
It is important not to get too lost in your own thoughts of what others think.
At times when I am feeling tired and stressed it is important for me to care more about my thoughts and let go of what others may or may not think. People hurt each other. Sometimes the hurt is intentional and sometimes it is not. It doesn’t matter, it is hurt.
My survival tips include
It is right and proper that we look after our own needs. It is necessary.
A COURSE IN MIRACLES believes that forgiveness is the only path to happiness. Now is the time when we are getting over the journey of 2017 and preparing for voyage of 2018, take time to appreciate the love and the lessons. Be compassionate on your path to happiness and forgive wholeheartedly. Do not forget to forgive yourself and acknowledge the wisdom that grows from pain. We are all wounded. We all have stories. We all have a past.
When forgiving remember
This time of year, it is important to reflect on yesterday, let go and plan for tomorrow. It is time to reset your course to align with your emerging self. Forgive and move forward – it will benefit you at home and at work.
I have had one hell of a year. There has been a lot of change, a lot of challenges and several hurts and heartbreaks. Despite that, I made it through. More than just made it through actually!
I now find myself in a very new and exciting position. I feel like I am on the precipice of change. Good Change.
I am excitedly anticipating 2018.
2017 was big for me. I quit my job. Started a business. Learned that I don’t know much about business but I do know a lot about people, health and education. My daughter finished high school. I completed a Master’s degree. I also turned down a very well paid position and was not offered a position for a poorly paid part time position. 2017 has certainly seen me grow and change. It has seen me get clear on my purpose and on what I want to achieve. I must have been following the advice of Johnny Carson.
Never continue in a job you don’t enjoy. If you are happy in what you doing, you’ll like yourself, you’ll have inner peace. And if you have that, along with physical health you will have had more success than you could possibly have imagined.
I may have been a little unaware of the process I was exploring or that I was fulfilling a Johnny Carson prophecy. I was simply trying to be true to me. I was simply finding my purpose, independent of the thoughts of others. Was 2017 difficult? YES. Would I do it again? YES!
Change was a big part of 2017. So, in 2018 I am shifting my perspective. I am growing away from fear. I am moving into personal power. I am ready for my move into a more miraculous life.
I am comfortable with the belief that I want to serve others. I can clearly see that to serve others is my primary purpose. This is what makes me feel strong.
I am comfortable with working with others. I am a firm believer in collaboration. So, in 2018 I will be contacting and connecting with more people. This year I will also be open to learning more and not staying in my box. I want love myself enough that I say YES to new opportunities. I shall not judge my failures, I will expect them as I learn and grow. I shall not judge others, especially when I do not understand their perspective or actions. I want to help. I want to support. I want to care.
My 2018 resolutions are:
I invite you to keep me accountable too. I look forward to hearing from you.