I have been drinking since the age of 18. I am now 60. In all that time I have brought up 3 children on my own, cared for elderly parents until they died, lost a younger brother in a plane accident and now become a granny!
Throughout all that time I have never taken care of myself as other people needed me. Having stopped drinking for 3 months now, I know it’s early days, I have really learned “The value of me”.
Suddenly, what I want, counts and learning to nourish myself in different ways has been a revelation! I have found that people like me now, just as much as they did before. I am still witty and funny (even more so with a clear head) and that came as quite a shock.
Suddenly I don’t have to pretend that I’m this crazy extrovert just to be accepted. I am loved for me and that has enabled me to love myself.
I want this for everyone now! Each of us has a nugget of gold within us no matter how much at times we despise ourselves. It’s our actions which sicken us not our souls.
Being able to be authentically us is an amazing feeling. Many of us have grown up feeling “not enough” and this is perpetuated by the magazines and newspapers we read. We seem to think that we are the odd ones because we cannot just stop at one drink like everyone else. I suppose it’s like putting your hand in a fire for everyone. One day we will get hurt.
I have found that I am pretty much even in my moods now, and they’re all contented! I spend more time reading and my hunger and curiosity for knowledge is back with a vengeance!
After losing my family in the 90’s I became a carer in a Children’s Hospice, so that I could use what experiences life had thrown at me to support and help others,. I was there 14 years! We all had so much fun among the sadness. I was telling myself that I deserved a drink after every shift! When I thought about giving it up (often) I thought “what else do I have to look forward to.” That is REALLY depressing! Now I can’t wait to get home, watch soaps (guilty pleasure) and read book after book.
My life is full and I am fully present in it!
I have suddenly become a “warm” person who genuinely wants to help anyone struggling. My new job is working in an assisted living complex of apartments and I love it!
All I really want to do is encourage women struggling with the weight of responsibilities, and feeling totally unappreciated for all they do, to know that alcohol, while relieving the symptoms for a while, is only compounding and prolonging our low mood. You really deserve so much more:- more love, more respect, more help, more acknowledgement and more appreciation. After all, we are the people moulding the next generation of people and often the only person in any family showing a degree of softness and love to those around them.
Just know that you are of value, you are here for a reason, (no-one else can fulfil that reason) and that you are loved by our “sisterhood”. Never give up because contentment is waiting for you.
If you want to reduce, take a break or stop drinking, come and join us in the supportive, non judgemental Women Who Dont Drink Group.