Just over three months ago, I had a sudden urge to give up alcohol.
It was so clear. There was no hard decision. It was completely effortless.
Let me wind back about two years prior to this.
I had boarded a plane to Peru, on a quest to take my spiritual journey to a new level and partake in an ayahuasca ceremony. Prior to this, I was heavily into binge drinking, partying and there was some drug usage, which had slowed down a lot since I moved out of the area that I was living in, Exeter, in the UK to Bristol, and then on from the UK in a big move to the United States.
The experience in Peru was amazing and pretty intense. Drinking a rancid tea from the Amazon rainforest was one thing. Boarding a boat that, the trip prior, was held at gunpoint and then living in the jungle when you’re used to five-star hotels, is another.
After going through three days of drinking the tea (and a crazy tobacco purge), my desire for drinking dropped by about 80%, and I also gave up smoking. These were crutches that I had for years.
In the months that passed after the trip, I just noticed that there was not so much of a big desire to drink. I could have a glass of wine and then stop. Stopping once I had started was my biggest challenge. It was like something took over my body.
To say that I didn’t have any ‘big nights’ after Peru would be a lie, there were one or two, but for me, this was a massive deal as a I used to go and get ‘smashed’ at every opportunity.
So recently I had become aware that I was sabotaging going to social events and building connections with people. I would often use the excuse of ‘I’ve got work to do’, or ‘I’m tired’.
One of the most powerful things you can do for your own self-development is to become aware of the patterns you are running, that are stopping you from getting to the next level and I caught this one a few times. This is something I then expressed to my friend Jessica and I specifically asked her to call me out if I did it to her.
A couple of weeks had passed and Jessica invited me to a housewarming party of one of her friends. My natural response was to say ‘yes’, but on the day of the event, what happened?
Yep, I text her and said ‘I’m too tired’.
She came back a very direct ‘no, you’re coming!’. That was enough to remind me of my sabotaging pattern.
One of the reasons I bailed from social invites was the anxiety I would get from meeting new people. I would be pretty bad, so the first thing I do is head to the closest bottle of cider, lager or wine.
I headed up to the event, and yep, I felt pretty uncomfortable. Lots of new people. Great people, but new people. And this would start a cycle of thoughts and shut my body down.
I went straight to the fridge and started to drink. As soon as I finished that one, onto another. I would walk around really not being present, but instead focusing on trying to get into a space where I felt normal. I just wanted to feel relaxed and normal.
I had a good night at the party, I didn’t make a fool of myself, but it just wasn’t ‘right’.
The Morning After
So, I woke up the following day, took a shower and started my day. It was about 12pm when I had this massive calling. It’s hard to explain it. This wasn’t like the normal ‘I feel groggy, i’I’mot drinking again’.
It was awareness matched with ‘now is time’.
The message was ‘it’s time for you to give up for good.
I recognized and felt at my core that I needed to break the pattern of using alcohol to relax myself. I want and desire more connection with others, I want to feel comfortable without that need, and I want to make a change.
It was not a hard decision. There I was. I’m ready to give up alcohol for good.
Three Months On
Naturally, one of my concerns was that I was going to not sustain my goal of quitting. So one of the first things I did was a post on social media for some accountability. I also repeated the phrase ‘I’m a non-drinker’ to create that new belief and identity.
Here’s the interesting thing, since the event, I’ve had multiple opportunities to drink and have been to parties, social gatherings and business events. On none of these occasions, nor in my regular daily life had I had any temptation to drink.
That feels really good, and it got me thinking a lot around times in our life when sometimes you just get that clear calling that ‘now is the time’.
I don’t need to resist anything. I don’t need to try. I just am being me, which is a non-drinker, with no desire.
It’s so important to listen to that inner voice and do what feels right to you.
Don’t listen to other people, don’t worry what others think and remember, when you set the example, other likeminded people may also be inspired and their ‘time’ may come up a little bit quickly too.
I now feel that I’ve let go of a lot from the past, and I’m able to step into a whole new level of leadership for my company and those that I help to create true, lasting change in their lives and businesses.
This post isn’t meant to ‘get you to stop drinking’. It’s just to share my journey. I truly believe after this experience, that divine timing is spot on and what is right for you will happen at the perfect time.