• Val

Day 2 “We Repeat What we Don’t Repair”

Updated: a day ago


So what prompted this 365 Day Journal blog and why is it on my BeTeetotal page? Well, it’s because I was scared of turning to alcohol to help me through a challenging time.


I was very surprised as I thought I had this thing nailed. I’ve never liked alcohol and have never wanted to be a drinker. It’s one reason I wanted to speak out on the subject, because I think that given the right circumstance, anyone, even someone adverse to the concept of drinking alcohol, can and will succumb to alcohol’s addictive properties.


I experienced trauma when I was younger which left me with a Post Traumatic Stress Response. When this stress response is triggered it is very overwhelming and was the reason I ended up with an alcohol addiction in the first place. To read more about it see my previous blog on Mental Wellbeing and Alcohol.


Recently a situation unfolded that meant my PTSD response has been re-triggered after years of laying dormant. The triggers began in December 2020 and I am still experiencing them at the moment. Each time I got triggered my resilience to be able to deal with it got reduced. It got to the point in the last few weeks where I felt very overwhelmed to the point that I began to wonder whether I would return to alcohol. This was a very scary moment for me as this is not a path I want to walk down again.


I had been using alcohol-free drinks as a coping strategy in the weeks prior. I had first thought it was just a placebo effect. But after nearly two weeks off from drinking them and then drinking a less than 0.5% beer on Sunday evening, I felt the effects of alcohol in my body. This has raised a few points for me:

  • Drinks that are 0.5% or less than 0.5% alcohol should not be labelled as ‘alcohol-free’ as was the case with the beer I consumed on Sunday

  • That there is no safe level of alcohol – if a beer containing less than 0.5% alcohol can cause those feelings in the head that one feels after consuming a regular strength alcoholic beverage, it shows that alcohol the drug is still negatively impacting the body even in small doses

  • With the point above in mind, the drink drive limit in the UK should be lowered for safety reasons since such small amounts of alcohol can and do affect the brain

I have started this journal in order to track my progress over the coming year.

I work in fitness and sports coaching but hold an inner belief that be it fitness or sport we should be aiming for health and wellbeing of our bodies. Whether we want to perform well in life or in sports, we need our body to be operating to its best capacity. This involves time and attention spent on seeking and achieving Life Enhancing behaviours and reducing or eliminating Life Robbing behaviours.


I do not want alcohol or alcohol-free beverages in my life. They are Life Robbing. Research suggests that alcohol is now the third leading cause of disability and death in the UK behind smoking and obesity. Sadly, alcohol is marketed to us in such a high esteem and is ingrained very deeply within our culture from a historical economic perspective, that it is challenging for the truth about alcohol to become common knowledge.


I believe it is important for the dangers of alcohol to be more widely discussed and accepted. This blog serves not only as a support structure for me but also to anyone else struggling with any of the issues raised.


Although it has been a very challenging few months, I am pleased to have the opportunity to delve deeper into my PTSD response in order to further process it. The first time I experienced it I was unable to find suitable therapy to help me through. Mindfulness practice was very helpful in the end and provided support to help me get over the PTSD response the first time and also helped me when breaking free from alcohol. However, from the reading and learning I have recently been doing, I don’t think it went deep enough into the cause of my stress response and hence has not processed it. I therefore think it was only a matter of time before something happened to trigger it again.


“We repeat what we don’t repair”


At least it has happened at a time in my life where I am able to give time and attention to working through it.


I think the reasons we succumb to the addictive properties of things like alcohol or even foods like sugar, is often linked to unprocessed emotions that lay beneath our rational mind. This is why I believe strongly in working on the mind as well as the body.


This is my live journal focusing on Fitness, Nutrition and Mindset to help me navigate the challenges of my PTSD response.

Day 2 - 365 Day Journal


Reflections


Tuesday Night

Things that were awesome today:

I had a really enjoyable outdoor walk. The sun was super warm and it was amazing being outdoors feeling the sunshine on my face.


Things I could have done better today:

I need to better plan my work to prepare for the easing of lockdown restrictions in a few weeks.


Wednesday Morning

Things that I am grateful for:

😀A lie in! Normally I have an early client on a Wednesday but they had to reschedule this week so I didn’t have to get up so early


😀What looks like another pre-spring lovely day weather wise


😀The chance to work more deeply on my PTSD response in order to fully process the emotions that lay behind it

Health Dashboard


Caffeine, Alcohol & Alcohol Free Beverages

0











Fitness

Low Intensity

Walk


High Intensity

Indoor Rowing


Strength & Mobility

Push & Pull plus Structural Balance





Veggies & Fruit

Ginger

Cucumbers

Kale

Spinach

Onion

Tomatoes

Lettuce

Red cabbage

Peppers




Meditation & Mindfulness

Morning – Guided meditation

Before bed – Guided meditation













I ask all readers to be respectful. This is an honest and heart-felt account of the struggles I have and do encounter in life.


I thank you in advance for your respect and kindness and I encourage you to sign up to my mailing list so I can notify you about new blog updates.

If you are struggling with any of the issues raised in my blogs please get in touch. Your conversations with me will remain confidential. Please note that I am not a therapist but I can support you to find a way to address any issues you may be experiencing.




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