“Alcohol was my everything.” That’s how Stacey and so many of us have felt. This Naked Mind allowed Stacey to see that alcohol held no power. She’d held the power all along!
My journey to become alcohol-free started over two years ago. At first, it was something I hoped to achieve “one day” in the distant future. Then, as my life began to devolve, it became more urgent. I felt that if I didn’t soon escape the dark place I’d found myself in – one of low self-esteem, shame, and regret – maybe I never would.
After a long day at work in my customer service job, I would come home feeling tired, sore, and emotionally drained. I would have been looking forward to a drink for the past few hours, and now, could finally satisfy the desire. Within five minutes of kicking my shoes off, I’d have fetched myself a can of cider, a glass of wine, or a shot of whiskey and diet Coke. The exact drink wasn’t overly important; it was the effects it would bring that mattered most.
Alcohol Was My Everything
Alcohol was my everything. A reward for a hard day’s work. I had put in my usual eight hours of soul-sucking monotony, and in return, I got to treat myself. I saw alcohol as my friend, my confidant, and the key to relaxing, unwinding, and feeling better. It made me forget my problems; or at least, stop caring about them for a little while.
When I was drinking, I didn’t have to confront the fact that I was working a job I hated. I could ignore that my living conditions weren’t what I wanted or that I was wasting my potential by not furthering myself in any way. Those thoughts were shoved down, out of sight, only popping up for brief moments before flitting away again. The underlying unhappiness I still felt, however, confirmed they hadn’t truly gone anywhere.
Aware Of The Danger
In This Naked Mind, the concept of the bee slowly sliding down into the pitcher plant, but paying no mind because it knows it can fly away anytime, is a relatable analogy for how I slid down into alcohol dependence. For a long time, I enjoyed drinking (despite the hangovers, the embarrassing behaviour at parties, and the experiences it was costing me). Drinking was a want, not a need, I told myself. I could stop if I wanted to – and I didn’t want to.
Until, one day, all the negatives started adding up to a point where I couldn’t ignore them anymore. I decided perhaps I wouldn’t quit, but I would cut down. And I found out, much like the poor bee who spots the carcasses of all the other bees way down in the pitcher plant, that I couldn’t fly away like I thought I could. Unbeknownst to me, I had slid down too far, and could no longer make it out. The realization sank in for the first time. I was trapped.
Alcohol Was My Everything Until It Did Nothing For Me
Thus began my journey of slowly, painfully, making my way up the slope of the pitcher plant. Many times I’d make it a few feet and then slide back down again. I’d deem it a hopeless enterprise and give up for a while. I’d think, “Maybe it isn’t so bad here.” But before long, the darkness would become overwhelming, and I’d start working my way back up to the light once more.
What did this look like in real terms? A lot of reading, a lot of writing, and a lot of introspection. Not to mention, a lot of trial and error. There were two things that helped me the most: education and inspiration. Eager to learn everything about alcohol. The psychology behind drinking. Why it is unhealthy. The problems it causes in society. Why we’re better off without it. However, facts only take us so far. At the end of the day, we are emotional beings and we respond the most strongly to stories. That’s where inspiration comes in, and why This Naked Mind was so helpful for me; it seamlessly blends both facts and anecdotes together, which succeeded in creating a powerful shift in my mind. Annie Grace wrote about everything I knew to be true deep down, but had never heard out loud.
Looking to be able to say alcohol WAS your everything after reclaiming your power and control from it? Start reading This Naked Mind for free now to find out how to gain control.
Reading It All
It lifted the fog that alcohol, society, culture, and norms around drinking had created in my head, and allowed me to see the truth for the first time. It also cleared the way for other sober resources to make an impact on me as well. Some of these being The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray, the channel Alcohol Mastery on YouTube, and sober accounts on Instagram such as Teedoodler, Sober Evolution, and Drop the Bottle.
All of these resources paired with the most important tool of all – belief in myself and my dream of being sober – is what got me here. Today, I am 102 days alcohol-free, having flown out of the pitcher plant for the last time on June 28, 2020.
Done With Day One
You may notice that I said “for the last time” and that’s because becoming alcohol-free is not always linear path; there are ups and downs, wins and losses. There were many times along the way where I crawled out of the pitcher plant, got a breath of fresh air, and decided to go back down. While it felt like a mistake at the time, I see now that it was part of the process; it reminded me why I left in the first place.
The pitcher plant was a dark and lonely place to be, a place where I felt undeserving of love – both from myself and anyone else. It made me feel like I could never reach my goals in life. Never living up to my potential. Never being someone who made a difference. Conversely, now that I’m out in the fresh air, feeling the sun on my back, flying in and out amongst the flowers, the opposite is true.
For the first time in a long time, I am free. I know my goals won’t magically come true, but now, they are within my sight. They are possible. All the parts of me that I used to hand over to alcohol, receiving nothing in return, can now be used to better myself and the world around me. That is a gift I took for granted. One I won’t ever give away again.
Share Your Story
Stacey wanted to share with you how she went from “alcohol was my everything” to finally free. Will you also share your story to inspire others that freedom is waiting?