“Sometimes deciding who you are is deciding who you will never be again.” ~Anonymous
May 13thth, 2011. I finally gave in to the fact that I had a drinking problem and desperately needed help. Comments from acquaintances, concerns from friends, complaints from housemates, the intensity of my depression, conversations with a therapist—they all led to the decision that I must break the chain from liquid abusers. rice field.
It was one of the hardest decisions of my life. I had to say goodbye to my old life and dive into a new one where I didn’t have to grasp reference points or safety handles.
At the time, I thought AA was the only option available to me, so I emailed their helpline at 2:43 pm that Friday. Thank you for taking the time to share.
I started attending meetings right away and my friend Federica held my hand for the first two. I felt blessed to have her calm and loving presence next to me while I was filled with fear and confusion.I will be forever grateful to her.
I quit drinking as soon as I joined AA. I started going to meetings three times a week. I knew my drinking was well below the average for most fellowship members, but I was encouraged to look at the similarities instead of the differences, so I did.
My quiver is now equipped with sparkling new arrows. I have the power of determination, the meetings I attend, the opportunity to mix and match them as needed, the whole community of people I can connect with, and very quickly, after regular meetings or on weekends together. A stable group of friends going out.
I found almost everything I was missing and more than that in a few weeks. , I know finding those people made it so much easier for me to stay sober. Also, I was never physically dependent. I was an “emotionally dependent” drinker.
What I didn’t know at the time was that this bubble I created was so fragile that it lacked my personal drinking foundation.
Nine months after sobriety, I met my dearest life partner and husband on a dating site. I created a space for him in my bubble, and he opened a portal to his life for me.
Since I stopped drinking, I have become a part of the outside world that I never interacted with, unintentionally keeping my distance. I started to feel like a weirdo and resent everyone else who “can” drink.
I have been able to recognize other people who are problem drinkers but have not made the same decisions as me. did it wellthat they are considered normal and that Me He was a problem person.
I was an exuding mass of anger towards everyone and I didn’t know how to handle it. I was also starting a very demanding job.
Gradually, I was able to reconsider the decisions I made on that day in May and became convinced that I was ready to bring alcohol back into my life, but in smaller, more rational doses.
The day I decided to drink again was as calm as I remember. It’s been almost two years since I quit smoking, and I know I had a small glass of wine. I took it, but it was a being that could be taken out of my life and taken out of my life when I wanted to. Also.
Approximately 6 months later, these synaptic pathways were retriggered. For me, who was self-medicating for the stress and depression caused by unbearable work, the closest shortcut was a liquor store.
What I learned later is that I didn’t start drinking again. diseaseI started for the same reason I was able to ride a bike many years after I last rode.
On the other hand, the easiest way to solve the problem was to drink alcohol, and I repeatedly learned that the pleasure obtained from alcohol activates the reward circuit in the brain. This caused it to repeat its behavior over and over again by reactivating neural pathways that had already been established many years ago.
On the one hand, I hadn’t established new healthy ways to deal with these problems and hadn’t established new habits.
I don’t know how I managed to stay in that job and complete a yearlong life coaching training program while drinking so much. But I did both, and when I moved from London to a small coastal town, I solemnly promised myself and my husband that my drinking would change.
I quit my job that I hated, studied in my favorite city, and lived while looking for a job. There was no excuse this time. However, without the constraints and responsibilities of my job, I drank more, not less, and had more time on my hands.
my way out
But I knew I didn’t want to rely on AA this time. I thought of AAs as band-aids to stop bleeding from alcohol use.
AA also did not delve into why I made these bad decisions or prepare me in the future for an alcohol-free life. I wasn’t happy with the idea of attending. I wanted to be free
I wasn’t sure what my solution would look like, but I was open to trying other methods. I decided to stop and contacted my local organization. I made an appointment, got a quick assessment and was invited to groups and activities there.
I’ve been in women’s groups a few times and felt down through the bones that it wasn’t an environment in which my sobriety would thrive. You have taken a formal step towards full acceptance and seeing in front of you.
The second step was to educate myself on what alcohol is. I dived into everything I could find: books, podcasts, courses, videos, online communities like Fish to Water.
I learned the effects of alcohol on our physical and mental health. The extent to which it interferes with neurotransmitters in the brain and affects the central nervous system. how it causes anxiety and depression as a result; how it undermines our self-confidence under the guise of giving us ‘courage’.
I understood that this was the solution to the problem and that the problem might be different for different people. And some decide to try to curb their alcohol problem. A person with food, shopping, or other material possessions.
I learned that alcohol is a toxin, a carcinogenic psychotropic drug, a highly addictive substance, and that we become emotionally addicted by tapping into the reward system in our brains. .
I came to understand that the effects it had on me were the result of a chemical reaction, not a disease, and explained by science. And since it was the easiest shortcut to solve the problem, it developed into a problem.
The third step was to pay attention to my emotional recovery and look at the problems alcohol solved. This was the key to true liberation from alcohol for me.
Setting sobriety on something outside of myself and relying on structure to maintain it was one of the things that kept me away from AA. was the only one. Source, get back to me and understand where the alcohol pull came from.
A few months before I quit drinking, I had obtained EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) certification as part of my efforts to find a purposeful and meaningful career for myself. As part of my training, I had to conduct practice sessions with other certified colleagues.
I met the woman who introduced me to the concept of being a “highly sensitive person” and realized I was one of them. I found the evaluation “too sensitive” and “too sensitive”.
In my sessions with her, she helped me uncover layer after layer of emotions, thoughts and memories associated with my drinking and the pain I was trying to erase with it.
We started with the most superficial and got to the deeper and oldest, the most secure and recommended protocols for using EFT.
The work I did alone, with her, and with other co-workers along the way softened the desire when it was, the trigger that once made me run like a headless bullet into a liquor store. It also helped me recognize when alcohol had transformed me into a confident, self-assured person and started believing that I had struggled and worked hard.
There were many turning points along the way. One of them is that he no longer gets angry with people who drink.I can still recognize that someone has an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, but instead of feeling like them ran away So my perception changed.feel like Me I’m the lucky one who got away because alcohol has no place in my life and none of my little cells make me want to drink again.
I know that alcohol does nothing positive in my life, and that what I need is inside of me.
I want to show this to people who are struggling with alcohol and show them how life without alcohol can be wonderful, rich, rewarding, fun and relaxing. And while their bodies have the ability to do all of the above without it, the fun, excitement, or relaxation they find is short-lived, but the results are not.
But I know we each have our own journey. It is not my place to interfere in their journey.
I have already spoken to the most important people I need to speak to. That’s my younger self.
When I went looking for her in my memories, I told her she didn’t need alcohol to be a nice, nice girl. I told her I had all the resources I needed to find my way back.
She cried and then smiled and said thank you for reminding me and for believing in me.
About Ilaria Longo
Ilaria Longo is a therapeutic coach and certified Advanced EFT Practitioner. She uses a variety of advanced emotional release techniques to help people struggling with stress, anxiety, and trauma. She is a certified member of her EFT International.you can find her www.eastsussexeft.co.ukShe also works with people at any point on the alcohol-drinking spectrum to help them live a happy alcohol-free life. www.soberrebel.co.uk.