Updated: Oct 30
Five years ago, on October 28, 2018, my life took an unexpected turn. I had my last alcoholic drink, a decision I never anticipated making, but one that I'm immensely grateful for today.
In this blog post, I'll share my personal journey and the benefits I've experienced from giving up alcohol. If you're struggling with a similar journey, I hope my story can inspire and guide you towards a healthier relationship with alcohol.
The Friday-Night Dilemma
In 2017, I was living a healthy life as a certified health coach and personal trainer. However, there was a persistent issue that gnawed at me. At the end of each week, I would find myself reaching for a bottle of wine, only to feel awful for the rest of the weekend.
It was a classic case of cognitive dissonance—my unconscious mind craved alcohol while my conscious self desperately wanted to stop. This inner struggle undermined my confidence.
The Turning Point
After a long day of travelling, followed by attending a Halloween party for my kids with everyone in the neighbourhood, I found myself downing wine and vodka shots. Crawling up the stairs at the end of the evening in front of my children was the wake-up call I needed.
The next day, I decided to stop drinking until I ran the Singapore half marathon 6 weeks later in December. While preparing for the run, I also read "This Naked Mind" by Annie Grace, a book that would prove to be life-changing.
From then on, I decided that if I wanted to drink, I would. But since then, I have simply been happy not to drink.
I’m not saying the past five years have been a walk in the park. There were many moments when I craved the numbing effects of alcohol, for sure. Take Covid, when I was stuck in Malaysia for a year, trying to juggle homeschooling and work, while my husband was stuck in Singapore. However, I learned to look ahead and remind myself that alcohol would only make the pain worse.
Social situations were especially challenging, but my true friends supported and respected my choice. They love me for who I am and are proud of my achievements. I've built better relationships because I now respect myself more.
From Forgettable to Memorable Parties
Parties, which were once occasions filled with hazy memories, transformed into opportunities to really bond with friends and boogie the night away.
What’s more, rather than lounge about in bed or on the sofa the next day, I was up bright and early to seize the day. And more importantly, be there for my kids.
What I've Learned in Five Years
The most valuable lesson I've learned is that being sober gets easier with time. The first few months were an exciting, albeit challenging, transition. You'll be proud of your efforts, but remember, any significant change requires dedication and thought.
Facing my emotions head-on, instead of dulling them with alcohol, has been incredibly rewarding. I've also achieved so much in these five years that wouldn't have been possible if I had continued drinking. I now embrace challenges as learning experiences, not something to avoid.
Today, I no longer think about not drinking; it's simply a way of life that I genuinely enjoy.
If you're struggling with cognitive dissonance and want to build a healthier relationship with alcohol, please don't hesitate to send me a direct message. I'd love to help you navigate this journey.
Some Useful Tips
· Commit to a sober period, say "Sober November"
· Read a book or two, for example "This Naked Mind"