I remember that day very clearly. I was lying on a friend’s couch, remembering very little of the night before.
I remember I was asked to leave a pub since I could barely stand and I tripped over something. I remember my friends took me all the way back home.
I remember I woke up feeling gross, with the knowledge I was going to catch a flight the same afternoon. Something I was totally not looking forward to.
I peeled myself off the sofa and I looked around. I started remembering snippets of drunken texts and my heart just sank.
I wanted to snap my fingers and disappear, but that was just not possible. I had a very long journey between there and the airport. It actually felt longer than it probably was.
I realised that alcohol was never my friend.
It has always been my crutch, and every time I leaned on it, I’d go back to the same place.
Blacked out, slightly shook, incredibly sad. I remember I got back to get my two suitcases, pretty much everything I had left to my own name, and I got my iPad. In the space of five minutes, I bought three books, one of them called The Unexpected Joy of being Sober.
I tried sobriety quite a few times, yet I never fully thought I could face the world without having the option of a drink. Or two. Or ten.
I had a nine-month break. Two months. A week. Yet, I would always go back to my crutch.
I remember the book downloading whilst I was heading down the lift. I remember me standing with my suitcase in my hand, saying out loud to the four walls: “this was the last time. This is the end.”
It’s been one year and three months. This was not a break. A let’s see if I can learn to drink in moderation. There is no it’s all about balance this time.
Alcohol can be best described as a pair of dirty goggles you did not realise you had on.
I started to see the world in a much different way. I stopped running away from the mistakes, the excuses and the obstacles life threw at me.
Every time I would face a new challenge (the first night at the pub without a drink, the first Christmas or wedding), I was reminded of how strong a mind can be if only asked to be.
That translated into my personal life, my work, and my overall mental wellbeing.
All because one day I decided it was enough. I decided I wanted to prove myself I did not need a crutch to celebrate every new win or forget the failures. My health changed, my energy levels improved, and I became an overall kinder person – to myself and others.
I learned how to manage my anxiety, and stop burning out every other day.
Despite being one of the lowest moments of my life, that morning, on that couch, I felt like I knew I needed to change for the best, and I am so, so glad I did.