[Video Transcript]

My Reasons for Stopping Drinking

Have you ever wondered what reasons would be big enough for a person to give up drinking completely?

Hi, it’s Sonya, from Love Being Alcohol Free and today I wanted to share with you my reasons for giving up drinking.

Because I’m often asked by friends who have learned that I have, what made me make the decision?

It really boils down to about three reasons for me.  Three major reason, most other “bits and pieces” of reasons that I can put together would really come under these three major areas.

And they’re not in any particular order.  I can’t think of any one of these that’s sort of stronger than the other, really.

My first reason:

Of the strongest reasons for me deciding that I really had to do something about the way I was drinking and what made it seem very attractive to give up, was the influence I might have been having on our young sons.

Tony and I have three sons, varying in age. Our eldest is a teenager and our second eldest is going to be a teenager this year.  And children really do absorb, and use as role models, what their parents do and what the adults around them do.

We know that.

I was brought up in a family where alcohol was very… everyone was very open about drinking alcohol whenever they wanted.  And there were parties. It wasn’t wild, drunken parties, but they were fairly lively. And I was introduced to that from a very young age and involved in it.  And I’m not suggesting that, that’s right or wrong, but it is the influence.

This this societal, this peer group, just this common acceptance is one of the factors that really influences whether a person drinks or not.

And I do know that that had an impact on me.

There is evidence that says that the younger a person is introduced to alcohol, and has experiences with it, the more likely they are to have problems later on in life.

And I would put my hand up as a case study. So I really felt very strongly about, I wanted to set a good example for my boys.

I’m not suggesting that they will never drink. It’s up to them, but I felt that I didn’t want to have it in their face all the time. And (I didn’t want to) show that what I was doing was acceptable, because I don’t think it was.

So that had a really big impact on me.

We’re trying to do the right things as parents and I want them to have the best chance in having a good long healthy life without any problems.

So that was a big one.

My second reason:

This sounds a little bit mellow dramatic, but I really was a little bit worried that I might accidentally kill myself.

I probably wasn’t drinking to levels where I would have major withdrawal symptoms. I don’t know. It was a level that I wasn’t feeling good.

But as I went into my 40’s and mid 40’s and as my age progressed, I found that my body was reacting differently to the same level of alcohol.

I was having a worse affect, I suppose.

It affected me more quickly. And the side affects seemed worse. The headaches seemed worse. I just didn’t seem to cope with it as well as I had when I was younger.  So I think our bodies change.  I know women have a different reaction from men, so you, know, there are actual biological, or physiological changes (whatever you call them!), or effects.  And I was also taking some prescription medications as many of us are, and I would hear stories about how people did die accidentally from drug, alcohol whatever.  And whilst anyone knowing me would think on the outside that I (never) had any problem at all. People would be quite shocked when I said, “yeah, this isn’t a healthy relationship” (and it’s) because of that “high functioning” ability.

You know, I was fine on the outside. You look fine. You know, makeup covers all sorts of stuff! I wasn’t drunk driving and I wasn’t beating anyone up and I wasn’t in the gutter.  You know, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem.

So, I really felt strongly about, you know, when you put a lot of chemicals in your body.  Alcohol’s a chemical.  Prescription drugs are a chemical.  I just didn’t want to be someone who accidentally tipped, the scales just too far.

How do you know where the limit is?

How do you know what your body can handle?

So I kind of thought, “I really don’t want to do that.”

And I didn’t want it to get further out of control.

So, seriously, that was something for me.

And another thing was that I want to live a long healthy life.

And I don’t think, by pouring all of those chemicals into me, I was going to achieve that.

So that was a big thing.

My third reason:

I did strongly believe that by, I guess, “sedating” ourselves (What do we do? We medicate ourselves. “I’ve had a hard day, I need a drink.” Or, “I feel stressed or anxious”, or “I feel a bit down”, so “I need a drink.”) we are limiting ourselves and covering up issues.

I just felt that I needed to, I really wanted to become the person that I know I can be and achieve things that I wanted to achieve.  And complete things.  And write that book and finish the house renovation and do those trips and holidays with the boys.

And when I was doing what I was doing with alcohol, I wasn’t able to really achieve the best that I could. I knew that.

And since I have changed my lifestyle, I’m having greater success.

It’s been a process.  It hasn’t been an overnight thing.  Giving up drinking was one part of it.  There’s other areas that I have worked on.

And they’re the sorts of things that I realized are so powerful and why I’m participating … contributing… so much time to this blog and this cause that we now have.

Because I realize that all the things that I’ve learned can be something that can help other people.

So, definitely having a few drinks in the evening, how ever many that is, making you sleepy, making you not finish off bits and pieces, and then making you feel shocking the next day, you’re not at peak performance!

I’ve always been someone who’s been pretty ambitious and wanted to achieve great things and do a lot.

And you just can’t do that when you’re not, feeling good and healthy and when your mind’s a bit foggy or when you’re trying to get over a hangover!

So, I really, strongly know now, in hindsight, looking back, I know that the way I was “chilling out” or trying to escape through numbing myself with alcohol, was standing in the way of me completing projects and things that I wanted to do and I’m achieving things now and becoming much more  productive and learning an awful lot more.

And that ties back into being a good example for the people around me, and being able to help others.

You know, my success can help a lot of people, but my failure doesn’t help anybody.  It drags them down and stops them, maybe, from getting to their successes.

So there are my three reasons.

Now I’d like to put this question out there:

Is there a reason that would be big enough for you to decide it’s time to give up?

One reason or several reasons?

Would there be a benefit that would be big enough for you to decide to give up drinking?

I don’t know!  It’s certainly food for thought and definitely worth thinking about.

So,  I look forward to seeing you in the next video. Bye for now.
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