It’s safe to say I was operating my life at 50 percent of my fullest potential. Fifty percent wasn’t too bad. I had a great marriage with a man I loved. A career in higher education that made me feel like I was giving back. I worked out, ate my fruits and vegetables and traveled quite a lot. I read books and did yoga and all the things you’re supposed to do to have a “balanced” and healthy lifestyle.
Including drinking. Drinking with friends at parties and social gatherings. Drinking on the weekend to celebrate my time off. Drinking at breweries and wineries to experience the scene. Wine with dinner out on the town. Beer at the pool. Dinner parties. You know, a vibrant social drinking life.
On paper, everything looked great.
But it didn’t feel great. My “balanced” lifestyle was making me miserable. After every weekend, I woke on Monday morning feeling depressed, ashamed, and completely unmotivated to lift a finger. Although diet and exercise were important to me, it was like I was always trying to catch up to where I was before the weekend started. I was on a constant loop filled with stalls and disappointment. Groundhog day on repeat over and over again. And there was nothing like the shame of drinking more than I wanted to. While I kept all of this under a rug, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was made for so much more than this endless roller coaster.
Drinking made me feel small and stuck.
I had taken a backseat to my dreams and hopes for so long, I wasn’t even sure what they really were. Sure, I wanted to write a book one day, but that’s pretty hard. Sure, I wanted to run my own business and travel the world, but I had no idea how to do that. Sure, I wanted to do something that made an impact in the world, but what? I didn’t even take the smallest action steps to explore and work on what I wanted. Drinking me was completely fine with saying “someday.” Someday I would habitualised a writing practice. Someday I would exercise more. Someday I would like to start a business. Someday I would figure out what I really wanted. That someday version of me would be bold and determined. It barely dawned on me that I was responsible for transforming myself into that future me.
I didn’t realise how much alcohol was blocking my connection to my own intuition and inner wisdom to go after my dream life. I didn’t realise how much agency and empowerment it robbed from me, to put that wine glass down, get up off the couch and stop sitting on my hands with my own life.
But you know where this story goes don’t you?
I quit drinking and when I did the world opened up to me.
It’s like I had been asleep in the matrix this whole time and I was finally unplugged and ready to see what I was capable of. My hopes and dreams came flooding to me and there was no way I was going to ignore them anymore. I overcame my self-limiting beliefs around alcohol—I didn’t need it to have fun or to relax or to be social. In fact, alcohol was the one thing standing in my way of my own self-actualisation! Learning this, I knew I would be on the path to overcome my other self-limiting beliefs, the path towards a courageous life marked by playing big and going after those someday goals.
What did this look like?
Well I started writing every single day. Blogging, journaling, writing my first book. I went from a wannabe writer who couldn’t muster more than a few sentences to someone who actually woke up early to write. Many early mornings later and today, I’m almost done with a book. I would have never been able to achieve that—have that type of discipline—had I not quit drinking. Never thought I could be a runner either, and then with a sober determination and motivation, I trained for and ran my first half marathon.
I started my own business. The very thing I thought I was completely inept to do. Other people could be entrepreneurs, I thought, but not me—I didn’t have the skills or confidence. But this time I knew better than to believe my self-limiting beliefs. I challenged it and today I feel so proud to run my own thing and fulfil my dream of helping other people. I love creating and building my dream life. It turns out my someday goals were a road map for me this entire time. All it takes it the willingness to listen to your intuition, and when it says let go of the things that no longer serve you, LISTEN, because doors will fly open when you do.