So, it has been 18 days since I have had an alcohol drink. I haven’t had a beer with friends in the sun on the beach, no white wine spritzers if you know me so well, no extra dirty martini when I am feeling cheeky, no tequila chasers with lime, or red wine to warm my bones when it’s rainy and I am sitting all alone under the Habitat blanket watching The Bachelorette on ITV.
What has brought me to this conscious decision? I have been reflecting a lot on where I am going on this journey called life. I have created a wonderful life for myself and my children here in the UK. I don’t get to see my family, I have no support here and I do most of the parenting and raising my children on my own both emotionally and financially. At times in my life I have tried to escape this reality. I would numb the feelings of homesickness and failure with my favourite Beaujolais. I would be having such a great time with friends and going on adventures in ‘the city’ that I would never want to sleep. When reflecting upon my past and how I have made most of my friends I would say that other than the friends I made in school and childhood, I had an extensive range of friends worldly that I have met out socially drinking while travelling. I am still friends with the motley crue after all, my journey and who I have crossed paths with have shaped me into the person that I am today.
Many of my friends do not have children and can live spontaneous and hedonistically as and when they please. I was able to be just like those friends before I had children. However, I was always someone who wanted to be different. I wanted to be the kind of parent that was married, had a consistent job, travelled and had family all around me. Unfortunately, I jumped head first and moved to the UK where life has taken me on a magic carpet ride.
At the darkest times I I always felt if I can’t beat them- join them. After all, #YOLO! People who drink surround themselves with people who drink. People who party surround themselves with people who party. Well, I used to be that party girl. I guess I still am that party girl at heart. But now, I am someone who has become very mindful of how drinking alcohol isn’t serving me. Having one glass of wine, leads to two and then the bottle is empty. A friend brings a bottle of Prosecco over and we have run out and need to get more. This lifestyle has been quite a bore; same routine, nothing exciting or new. I have also noticed that the aftermath of drinking makes me feel tired and lazy. I have recently learned that this 20 year old habit has been the ‘thing’ that has been holding me back in my life. The book I want to start writing- I didn’t get in till 4am- holding me back. The art class I want to show up to- I am feeling anxious- booze holding me back. Music that I need to finish writing- I can’t concentrate; too many brain cells frazzled- drinking too much has held me back. I always thought I was the one holding myself back. I thought it was some sort of emotional trigger from my childhood that was holding me back from doing the things I want to do and holding me back from my highest, most true potential self. It wasn’t me that was holding me back per say- it was the drinking and the behavioral patterns that I was establishing in my life that was holding me back.
I know all of these things about myself. And, I continue to search and learn more about myself. But, one thing that has really come to my attention are the friends that I keep, or should I say the people that I keep or have kept along my ‘party time’ journey. I have noticed a behavioural pattern in my life where most people I call family or friends are not anywhere close. And, this is no fault of their own. I thought that the people who I drink with and go out dancing with are my friends. They are not. They are ‘good time’ friends who only call when they want to go out. All my life I never released this. I don’t know why. I think when I first reflected existentially upon this idea my friends questioned me. They said that it wasn’t true.
However, if you tell someone how you feel, that they are not a friend who is there when you need them, and they walk away or turn it around back to you- your prediction is true. There are so many toxic people out there that disguise themselves as friends. And, sometimes these people come as party time shiftmakers. This has become one of the sole reasons I decided to stop drinking. I want to put out in the Universe the things I would like to attract. I want to attract more. I want to attract better. I want to attract ambition such as a reflection to my own. I want to attract a zest for life, love, art, music, travel and good food. I want to attract a higher vibration that I deserve. I was not attracting this higher vibration while sleeping with my eye mask past brunch. I want to wake up early and cease the day. I feel fantastic and have never felt so much energy. I have naturally shifted and have eaten better. Sure, I have replaced old habits with new such as the odd candy bar and coca cola. But, this too will be phased out when the timing is right. And, after all… sometimes life is all about timing.
I hope to share with you more about my journey and experiences as perhaps you might relate. I have lived a very interesting and fulfilling life and now is the time to share it with you. I am no longer wanting to Galvanize. I am so ready to Self-Actualize.
When telling people my intention of not drinking, I had such wonderful feedback. The true friendships oozed out of the cracks to introduce to me what true friendship looks and feels like. I had so many lovely people support me. So, thank you for those that have my back. I am lucky that you are in my life and I cannot wait to share my future adventures with you.
My journey is just beginning…
Jessica Valentine is a Chartered Counselling Psychologist who supports people within the local community and worldwide online. She offers online Skype therapy and face-to-face counselling in East Sussex, Brighton-Hove and London.
follow her on FB and IG: @getwellbrighton @onlinetherapyhelps