Finally listening and learning

It’s Day 11 for me now – hurray! And I think I may actually have cracked it! On other occasions, when I’ve stopped the wine for 3 days, a week, or earlier this year, a massive four and a half months, it had been more a question of will power, grit and determination. Less so for the four and a half month period though, when I really had time to enjoy the benefits and clarity of not drinking. Although I went back to the odd night of drinking after that, I always regretted it. I should have sat with the craving and let is pass, or found something else to do – a distraction of any kind.

No, this time it feels different. I’ve realised that I am actually listening to podcasts. And I mean really listening. Not picking and choosing the titles that suited me, that I thought I could relate to, and skipping the rest as ‘Not me’, ‘not the same problem/level as me’ etc. This time I’m choosing the podcasts that I feel comfortable with and listening to them from the beginning. I’d done this with Janey Lee Grace’s ‘Alcohol Free Life’ podcast and liked the flow of listening to her navigate her own journey and talk about the people she met along the way, and the lessons she learned.

Now, I’m listening to Love Sober ( https://www.lovesober.com ). Mandy and Kate are just lovely, and their podcast is so relatable. They are a similar age to me and they have children – I think it’s really important to have a few things in common with someone you’re listening to talk for hours, otherwise you switch off, thinking ‘these are not my people’. I feel as though I could be in the same room with them, joining in with the odd ‘too right’, ‘yeah, that’s how it was for me’. And I am really appreciating the courage they have shown to speak out and share their own stories, to help inspire and motivate others to do the same. It’s so empowering and a great help. They focus a lot on ‘grey area drinking’ and how people need help before they reach that ‘rock bottom’ and how that rock bottom can be avoided. That is absolutely true for me. I never had a rock bottom; I just got to the point where I knew alcohol wasn’t working for me, and I was spending more time than I was comfortable with thinking about it.

I’m also really reading the so-called ‘quit lit‘ (literature on the subject of quitting alcohol). Even though I didn’t drink alcohol to the same level as Catherine Grey, I can relate to a lot of her thinking in her fantastic book ‘The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober’. And I’m no longer being judgemental about other people’s drinking habits. At the end of the day, whether you drink a bottle of wine a day, or a bottle of wine over the course of three nights – if it’s making you unhappy, it’s time to ask yourself a few questions and make some changes.

So, I think I’m finally ready! And it feels really good 🙂

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