Hi, I’m Sonya and I’m really pleased you’re here reading our Blog.
I’m Doing This To Help You Stop Drinking
To be honest, part of me really didn’t want to participate in this Blog, because by doing so I had to admit weakness and failure and possibly suffer humiliation from that. I have to tell you the story of my previous relationship with alcohol in order to explain how I overcame my problem with it to stop drinking and come to a point where I believe I can help you with your unhealthy relationship with alcohol.
Part of me wanted to just grasp onto my elation at my success at ridding myself of the grasp alcohol used to have over me and get on with my new, more productive, fulfilling, happier and healthier life.
But a long, long time ago I said I wanted to ‘leave the world a better place’. I know now that by sharing my story with others, I can help them stop drinking and achieve the freedom from alcohol cravings I now enjoy in my life. I’m doing this so I can help others.
Some would write a book, but I’m an online girl – it’s where I do all my learning, it’s where I run my business – and I believe I can help more people online, so that’s how I’m thinking about it.
Where Am I Now?
At time of writing, I’m 47 and have been married to Tony for almost 25 amazing years! We have three awesome Boys (13yrs, 10yrs and 5yrs). Tony works the ‘normal job’ and I run my own business from home as a digital marketer doing websites and online marketing for local businesses.
We live in a great spot in Queensland, Australia and have grown up as pretty much ‘everyday’ Aussies. Not rich, not poor, not brilliant, not lacking. Very average and happy with it! We tend to have big goals and dreams (doesn’t everyone?) and set out to achieve as much as we can. But as far as our everyday routine, we live pretty much as everyone else does. Until recently, that included a relaxing drink of wine (or two…) at the end of the day.
I grew up as an only child, raised by my Mum and Step Dad. They’re great and like many people in our society, loved a drink and so by the time I left home at 21, the I was quite used to the fact that the usual weekend routine for the household was to have their friends over at some stage on the weekend ‘for drinks’. Now, everyone was decent and reasonable. There were no fights, everyone was civilized, nothing was out of control, there was no drug taking (other than the alcohol, of course!) but the fun and hilarity and socialising always took place around the alcohol. It was the norm.
Now Mum & Dad liked to drink fine wines, and I was allowed to taste and participate once I was of a certain age. I can’t remember what age, but probably by around 16 or so I had expressed an interest in sharing the nice bottles of wine that were delivered by the nice wine tasting man. They were very expensive. It was very classy.
So I realise in hindsight that my parents believed that alcohol was going to be a part of my life and it was better for me to experience its effects in the safety of my own home, under the watchful eye of my parents. And fair enough, I guess.
So I had been introduced to alcohol. It was the norm to drink. Everyone drank. I grew up in an adult world, and they all drank. Where was my decision, or example, going to come from to choose not to drink?
So I drank.
I Was a Quiet Girl
I was a fairly diligent student and a fairly quiet girl, not much of a party-goer or night-clubber like many of my friends and peers. I did well in my chosen vocation, got a decent job and Tony & I married and led a very respectable and good life with many enthralling adventures. And we enjoyed a glass (or two) of wine together a lot. To be honest, at the beginning of our marriage, I have no idea whether we only drank on the weekend, or during the week as well. There was probably a bit of both.
I remember when we were in our 20s and ‘before children’, there was a fantastic little Italian Restaurant on the main road down from our house. On a Friday night after work we’d walk down and have a pizza and share a 1litre carafe of their House Wine and then giggle and weave all the way up the hill home. (We’d get all that under $20!) It was fun!
I can’t really remember when my awareness of my alcohol intake having increased, first awoke. The earliest I recall trying to make non-alcoholic drinks to consume, instead of champagne, was around 15 years or so ago, when we were living and working overseas. My ‘treat’ on a Friday night after a week of work had been to come home and have champagne. Tony may have had one glass or so out of the bottle, but it would essentially be ‘mine’! I remember at some stage being in our kitchen in that house we lived in, trying to make non-alcoholic drinks or alcohol free wine! I have vague recollections of trying to tempt myself with healthier choices. Needless to say, they didn’t ‘cut the mustard’! I quickly came to the conclusion that having a non-alcoholic cocktail, to fool yourself you were having an alcoholic cocktail, was a bit of a joke.
Did I Have Reasons to Drink Alcohol?
It’s probably worth mentioning that I’ve always had an issue with anxiety. I suppose that came about because my parents broke up and divorced when I was really little and that causes much angst and sadness in any household, any day of the week. My step dad was awesome to me always, so I was so lucky. I used to go and visit my real dad and his new family on school holidays and suffered severe home-sickness during those visits, especially at night.
All in all my childhood was just fine. I never wanted for anything, I was loved, fed, clothed, never harmed, and except for being a bit lonely at times as an only child, I was happy. I was a bit of a moody, difficult girl at times, I think, but I wasn’t nasty or bad.
The anxiety persisted – I remember my first two weeks of high school I vomited every morning before leaving the house to catch the bus – I was so anxious about the whole thing! I started getting upset on the Saturday night about having to go to school on Monday!
I mention this early tendency to anxiety, because anxiety did blow into a bigger issue when I became a Mum. I do wonder if this was the start of the pattern with alcohol I later had to battle so valiantly to stop drinking.
Tony and I had longed for a long time to become parents! We were blessed to start a family instantly when we chose to, in the most ideal of circumstances. Everything went to plan. Except when I ended up with post natal depression (post partum depression) after giving birth to our wonderful firstborn. I was a mess! I got myself to the point of coping and did pretty well through the pregnancy and delivery of our second amazing little man. But the anxiety and postnatal depression never fully left me. By the time I had our third sensational baby boy, the full force of PND hit me before he was even born.
Post Natal Depression is a nasty beast! I’m blessed to have wonderful people around me, healthy babies, a helpful medical system (even if they do call it ‘depression’ when I clearly wasn’t ‘depressed’ – I was ANXIOUS). So once my babies were safely delivered, my way of stopping the tummy churn and pulse racing and brain working overtime, was to have a relaxing glass of wine – or two – in the evenings. What’s wrong with that? People not only told me it was okay to do, some even advised me to.
For some people, there’s probably nothing much wrong with a wine in the evening. For those of us who process the drug alcohol in a particular way, like my body does, there’s a lot wrong with it. We talk more about this in our Blog.
I Have to Stop Now
Y’know, I don’t feel able to go into further detail here, right now. It’s not easy to reveal all this. I have to remind myself at this point that ‘what other people think of me is none of my business’. If anyone reading this relates to my story and decides to work further with Tony & I to move to a better place in their lives, then it will be worth it for me to have bared my soul.
It has taken me quite a few years, a lot of self-loathing, disgust, sorrow, anger, frustration, confusion and valiant determination to better myself and to stop drinking, and I just love the health changes after Quitting Drinking. Now I am absolutely loving being alcohol free!
I Want to Let You Know How to Stop Drinking
I battled for a long, long time to get to this point where I am happy to quit alcohol. I tried and failed, tried and failed, tried and failed I don’t know how many times. I managed to not drink at all during three pregnancies, so I knew I could stop drinking – why did I drink too much the rest of the time?
I searched online a lot for help to stop drinking, and found nothing helpful. I looked for helpful books to quit alcohol and came up with nothing.
I’m an “information junkie” so read and researched and tried one hundred different things. I learned what did and didn’t work. I learned what drove me nuts and what soothed me. I learned who to ask for help to stop drinking and who had no idea of what I was asking them for. I realised that if someone didn’t have the problem I had, they couldn’t possibly understand to help me.
(This is one of the reasons I want to reach out to those suffering as I was – I GET it! I DO understand how you fell! I TRULY understand how difficult it is to stop drinking)
Eventually, after quite a period of time, I cracked it! A specific sequence of learning, understanding, taking action, noticing feelings, changing habits and constant focus led me to an amazing outcome! I found a way to stop drinking completely. I told Tony I would stop drinking. He then gave up and quit alcohol also! I’d shared my struggle very vocally with him the whole way. He, being the typical Aussie male, said very little! But clearly he’d taken it all in – all my research, all my findings, all the things that worked and didn’t work. So that by the time he’d worked through the system with me – the system I found by trial and error – he was completely absorbed in it with me. You can read Tony’s version of events here.
Do it Together. Do it Alone. Do it for You. Stop Drinking and Love Being Alcohol Free
So whilst we are now alcohol free together, we truly traveled separate journeys – alone! I still can’t believe it, but that’s the truth. So if you’re reading this as a single person, or a person who knows their partner will not give up, don’t despair. You can stop drinking on your own (I have other proof of that, which I’ll share later). And, really, you’re not alone, as we are here to offer our support and tips to stop drinking. Which is why we set up this Blog in the first place, to show you the easiest way to quit drinking, as well as show you all of the benefits of quitting alcohol.
Sometimes I pinch myself and can’t believe I’m now living the amazing clear-headed, healthy, craving-free life I had desperately wanted to for so long! I quit alcohol and have booted the cravings out of existence and I have a very balanced perspective of where alcohol belongs in my life now – it DOESN’T! I don’t usually use such crude terms, but “So Long, Sucker!” LOL.
If you want to know more and would like our help to get control of an unhealthy relationship you may be in with alcohol, do opt in to receive our Free Booklet “Why Your Attempts to Cut Down on Alcohol Haven’t Worked, and What to do Instead” where we share inspiring and helpful information with our special members, and help you to stop drinking.