• Val

She Believed She Could Do It So She Did!

Updated: Jan 6

I knew that all I needed to do was to find something that meant so much to me that it would overrule the emotional and psychological response that triggered me to seek alcohol.

Although there were some very low points along my journey of trying to break the cycle and habit of drinking alcohol to get to sleep, I also had a deep routed belief that I would one day be able to.

I had glimpses of hope along the way. There were scenarios in which I could refrain from drinking to get to sleep. One of these was whilst working as a professionally qualified Youth Worker.

Holding the status of ‘professionally’ qualified meant that I took my role very seriously. At no point when I needed to drive young people the following day or if I was away on a residential trip with young people would I ever drink. These were points I prided myself on.

I always found it very odd that teachers I knew would discuss how teaching staff would drink socially with each other whilst away on residential trips with school groups. I could never get my head around this. In the Youth Work settings I worked within, this was a huge no-no and I very strongly believe that it is not acceptable to drink when young people are in your care on such trips.

This strong belief within me meant that it was very easy on such occasions for me not to drink to get to sleep, or even crave alcohol to help me sleep!

It was this that gave me hope and belief that I would one day be able to break the cycle I had got myself into.

I knew that all I needed to do was to find something that meant so much to me that it would overrule the emotional and psychological response that triggered me to seek alcohol.

At the first point I went teetotal, it was opening up to a group of friends who I saw regularly throughout the week that gave me this. They were part of the gym I went to at that time and hence I saw most of them anywhere between 3-6 times per week.

Once I opened up to the girls I felt accountable to them and did not want to let them down. Even though I knew that it did not mean as much to them as it did to me, it meant the world to me to uphold my integrity with them and not lie to them or let them down.

This was a huge part of my success in being able to stop drinking at that point in time.

A few months prior to this I had also realised that my self-esteem was not in a good place. I had been in a very destructive relationship and despite my mum and close friends trying to make me see sense, my inner sense of self-worth was so low that I kept allowing myself to be treated very disrespectfully.

Once I realised why I had let myself be treated in this way, I began working hard on my self-esteem.

It really dawned on me during a conversation with a friend of a friend online when she pointed out that I had built a life I loved but that I did not love myself.

She was absolutely right! I have always worked hard to ensure that I live a life I love. I genuinely love my life! And hence I use the mantra Live Life Love Life! This was why it was more than a little perplexing trying to understand why I would continue to go back to a destructive relationship time and again when it wasn’t making me happy. All of the things outside of that relationship were good and I loved living my life. But because I did not value myself, I let myself be treated very poorly and dragged back into that relationship every time I tried to leave.

I believe that building up my self-esteem was the first part of the journey to breaking the cycle of drinking at night. I have always wanted to live a long and healthy life and I knew that alcohol would not help me achieve this. Once my self-esteem began to blossom and flourish it felt easy to open up to the girls because it no longer mattered to me what anyone else thought of the trouble I had got myself in with alcohol. Getting myself out of that mess was the stronger emotion.

I had one relapse in being teetotal due to finding myself in a situation I let myself stay stuck in. When I evaluated why this had happened I realised that, due to many different life events over the course of the preceding 12 months, my self-esteem had again dropped. It had not dropped to the level it had before, but it had dropped enough that I was putting the needs and wants of another person above my own. This led to a high level of internal stress and eventually pushed me to seek alcohol to help me sleep.

It was both recognising the dip in my self-esteem and confiding in a friend once again that helped me to break the habit and get back to being teetotal.

From my own experience I have learned that there are three key ingredients to my success in being teetotal:

  1. Maintaining an inner belief that I will live teetotal for life

  2. Maintaining a high level of self-esteem and self-worth

  3. Being open with people in my life who mean a lot to me and who I want to remain open and honest with

I always knew that I would one day be able to break the cycle I had got myself into with alcohol even though at times I was incredibly difficult, and I was close to losing hope.

In my bedroom I have a whiteboard upon which I write goals I wish to achieve. When I first started working to become teetotal I would track my progress on this board. At the top of that board I wrote very deliberately about this situation ‘She believed she could do it so she did’ – seeing that every day gave me hope and it is a phrase I still use and love to this day.

If you believe in something enough you can and will make it happen!

I ask all readers to be respectful. This is an honest and heart-felt account of the struggle I incurred.

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 how much alcohol you are consuming or if you would like to talk further on the subject 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 having with alcohol.

52 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All