Name: Annie Grace
Location: Evergreen, Colorado
Sobriety Date: 12/15/14
Creative niche: Writing
If applicable to your story, drug of choice: Alcohol
Story in a nutshell:
I was sitting at the train station deep under Heathrow airport in London. I'd been drinking vodka and O.J. before the taxi to the airport to take the edge off my awful hangover which was the result of a week of super late night drinks with colleagues. Returning to my husband and two young boys I realized that while they deserved the best of me I was, by drinking so heavily and staying out so late every work trip, giving them the worst of me. I wanted better and it hit me - that I had to find a way out of the alcohol maze.
I had tried to set rules (no wine until 5pm, or no drinking during the week) just to feel deprived and unhappy. Rules resulted in my obsessing about the next time I could drink, and instead of making alcohol less of an influencer in my life the rules made it more important, more powerful.
I knew I needed a way without rules. And in the tunnel that day I had a realization. That although I currently believed that alcohol was vital for enjoyment, relaxation and everything in between I didn't used to need alcohol to have fun or relax.
I formed this simple theory. That I consciously wanted to drink less (or nothing) the far more powerful subconscious part of my mind, the part subject to a lifetime of conditioning around the benefits of drinking, simply hadn't got the memo.
This launched me into a year's worth of research on how to undo a lifetime of subconscious conditioning around alcohol. I stopped trying to stop drinking and instead focused on learning. I created a list of every reason I drank, what all the 'benefits' were in my mind. I methodically went through every reason, looking for science-based external evidence into the validity of each. Once I'd gone through everything it was as if a fog had lifted. The beliefs that I needed alcohol to have a good time or relax just disappeared. I simply no longer wanted to drink! Talk about freedom.
I like to say that I drink as much as I want whenever I want; the truth is that I just haven’t wanted a drink in more than three years. I don't miss it, I don't think about it and I feel truly joyous and free!