I’ve Given Something Up for My 34th Birthday

20130804_172615This post is a little scary to write. And a little confronting. But isn’t that what getting older is all about? Evolution, new paths, changing our direction and becoming happier in our own skin? So I’ve made a big decision recently and I’m so excited, nervous, anxious, determined, to share it with you.

Writing it down makes it a little more real for me. Don’t you find that? You think so many things in your mind, make so many decisions and resolutions, yet until they’re made reality somehow it’s like they don’t really exist. “Oh, I know I said on Sunday that I wouldn’t eat chocolate this week but it doesn’t matter if I have one little bar!” Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. “This week I’m going to the gym five days in a row!” And before you know it, it’s Saturday and you went once. Because these thoughts aren’t really real! They’re just thoughts, floating in and out, with no real substance.

So I’m going to give this thought, this decision, some substance. And here goes… I’ve given up alcohol. Four little words, so much meaning! Now I don’t know about you, but booze has played a pretty big role in my life. First drunken experience when I was 14 (I think it was about three beers!), leading into an 18-year-old heading to 90s raves with bright yellow pants and chupa chups. Oh yeah, that was me. Next thing you know, I’m living in London with cheap highs and cheap vodka and I’m out every weekend. Fast forward to my mid-20s recovering from a bad break-up with the help of illicit substances and chardonnay. Looking back now, holy crap what a downward spiral. I shake my head in disbelief at some of the things I’ve done.

So lately I’ve been thinking, how much do we rely on drugs (alcohol, class A, caffeine, nurofen) to get through life? Especially in Australian, New Zealand, English culture. It’s a social lubricant, it’s what we do. When you catch up with a good friend, it’s over a drink. You invite people over for dinner, you pour the wine. You’re out on a first date? Let’s go to the pub! It’s Friday? Crack the beer!! And I’m sure you see on the news as much as I do the amount of violence, devastation, the fracturing of lives and families over this culture we have.

Not to mention, for me anyway, the amount of motivation it takes away. It clouds my brain and saps my energy and I can’t be bothered doing anything. And for the last few months, I haven’t been happy with this at all. We all love a lazy day now and then but I want it to be because I choose to have a lazy day, not because I drank too much wine last night! I want to wake up early, hear the birds singing and feel refreshed and alive. I want to practise yoga and make my morning smoothie and feel like I have a day ahead of endless possibilities.

So I’ve made the call. I’m listening to my body and my spirit and conceding, you are right! It’s time to end that phase and start a new one. I cut out the class A, the caffeine and the nurofen a loooooong time ago and now it’s time to say goodbye to the booze. I’m scared though. My biggest fear is, will I still get invited to events? To parties? To social activities? Will I have to deal with 50 people asking me if I’m pregnant every time I’m out? But I’m facing those fears and sticking to my decision.

So I’m turning 34 in ten days and for the first time in 20 years I’ll be doing it without alcohol. If you feel like joining me for a celebratory cup of tea, you are more than welcome! The green tea is on me!

Have you made a big decision lately? Have you ever given something up and had to face your biggest fears? I’d love to hear your story! Share it below xxx

With love and sobriety

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