I was at a networking event at the end of last year, and talking with a new person I’d been introduced to.
After we had been chit-chatting for a bit, I asked her what she liked to do on the weekends in Jakarta (because I am always after new ideas for fun things to do here!)
“Oh, I get drunk!”, she laughed.
At first, a voice of judgement entered my head. Really? That is all you can think of to do on your weekend? the voice chastised. How boring, how unhealthy, the voice added.
Then I stopped my judgments in their tracks, and reminded myself that it was really not all that long ago that Party Girl Simone would have done exactly the same thing. I may not have been so open about drinking my way through the weekend as being my past-time when chatting to a new person, but gosh, that was exactly how I filled my weekends just a few short years ago.
The Party Girl days
During my Party Girl years, essentially I was unhappy and unfulfilled in my life. I didn’t have the same interests that I have now, and I certainly didn’t indulge in doing the many things I loved doing as often as I should have- this was due to circumstances, finances and location in many ways, but those things that thrilled me lay dormant and left me feeling unhappy.
At one stage I had so much self-loathing, that drinking was the best way to make myself feel better, it gave me something to feel, and the price to pay of a hangover for the weekend was better than actually feeling the pain I had inside.
Now, however, the new me that is thriving and happy, joyfully pursuing the things that make me happy, eating healthily and sharing these passions with others, I have no desire to waste a weekend (and a bunch of money) on drinking and feeling like crap.
I crave good, intelligent conversations that light me up- not drunken, silly ones that get forgotten in a drunken haze. I prefer to relax with a DVD, a book or a massage than by slamming down shots of tequila on a Friday night.
Healthy Simone would rather spend quality time with my handsome hubby, or brainstorming ideas on my business, or working with clients, or trawling the shops for healthy food ingredients for fun. Yeah, what a change there is in me.
And as I start to tap even deeper into my own spiritual practice, the feeling of sobriety is one that feels more right to me than that of a drunken person. It is too much of a contradiction otherwise! I want to be authentically me, and to stop hiding behind the me who shows up when the drinks are around.
No longer boozing it up
I was clearing out the kitchen just the other day and remembered the booze cupboard, our version of a liquor cabinet. I counted 7 bottles of alcohol half full and two completely unopened and untouched, covered in a layer of Jakarta dust. They were purchased back when I’d always bring a bottle back from duty-free when travelling, as I could never stand the thought of not having something ready to drink in the house. These days, the thought of coming home and pouring a vodka and soda as soon as I arrive, is so foreign to me that if it wasn’t for the evidence of these booze bottles, I’d hardly believe I once did that.
All of this is not to say I never, ever drink. I do occasionally enjoy a nice cocktail, or a glass of wine with dinner. At my wedding, I totally lived it up and drank several glasses of wine and indulged in several strong cocktails. But honestly, that kind of behaviour is a rarity and kept for very special occasions, once offs when there is a really good reason to let loose in a different way. Writing myself off just isn’t how I want to spend my weekends, every weekend, anymore.
I prefer to enjoy the flavours of the alcohol when I drink it, savoring the sips, and to drink because it seems like the right accompaniment at the time, not because I want to get drunk and blot out the week or stop feeling my (uncomfortable) feelings.
I have stopped having the need to require alcohol to feel happy and to have a good time, as well. My new years just gone was the first sober new year’s I’ve had since I started drinking at 18 years old. I shared a bottle of beer and drank one glass of beer shandy the whole night. But I had so much fun! Dancing on the beach, rejoicing in the stars above me and the sand between my toes, reveling in the music and the energy from everyone around me, celebrating the coming of a new year ahead- completely clear headed.
Embracing a new kind of party
This made me realise that without alcohol playing such a role in the party, that I could actually experience true happiness- not that brought on by the booze. And even better, I felt so great the next day from a good night’s sleep and a clear head. I could enjoy everything about the day without a headache banging and grogginess overcoming me so I could do nothing but behave like a blob.
Instead I could enjoy the waves from the sea, the laughs with my husband, the deep talks, the delicious food we ate, the wind through my hair from where I sat on the motorbike as we rode, and that my friend, is what living is all about.
My time is too precious, my health is too sacred, to not be able to live all out and to enjoy all these experience. Sobriety has a huge part to play in being and feeling and exuding happiness, it allows you to live life all-out.
- Now I’d like to hear from you! How much do you drink for happiness or do you prefer the sober life? Leave your comments below!
P.S. I have three coaching spaces available in my 3-month Life Transformation Program, at my current rate. I am increasing my prices in Feb, so if you want to work with me one-on-one to learn how you too can find inner happiness, then book a free Get Healthy, Happy & Sexy Session so we can talk!