How much were you drinking and what problems was it causing?
I was drinking around half a bottle of spirits a night, more on a weekend. This had been for many years, but I had noticed I was finding it harder and harder to either drink less than this amount or to not drink at all. I was feeling lower and lower about it, more and more worried and increasingly anxious about the future. I was looking and feeling unwell and struggling through the day, and it was severely affecting one relationship in particular, as well as my personal emotional well being.
What was the key reason you wanted to change- what motivated you?
I had wanted to change for around a decade. I just didn’t know how. I was motivated to change by the prospect that I could gain control of alcohol and stop it from controlling me. I was also motivated to have finally found something that explained what was happening to me when I was drinking as well as to understand how I would feel alcohol free, and of course, how to get there!
How did you discover me?
I rarely post on Facebook, and spend a matter of a few minutes on there a day…but this is where I found the post about Just the Tonic.
Were you sceptical this method would work?
After a short meeting with Sandra, I was not sceptical about the method… as it seemed fool-proof. I was sceptical about me though! I would be the reason for it not working if it didn’t work for me. I had tried and fallen short on many ‘health’ programmes in the past (mainly weight loss), so the track record was not great! But I had successfully stopped smoking in 2004 after following Allan Carr’s method, so there was hope!
Did you try before to cut down or have a break from alcohol?
I had unsuccessfully tried to cut down, but had not managed a break from alcohol for a single night for about 4 years. I had done some listening to ‘stop drinking’ podcasts etc., but I don’t think I was ready to fully take on the messages until I joined Just the Tonic.
Did you enjoy the combination of one to one and group coaching, how did it help being part of a group?
I was definitely sceptical about the group participation…but it soon became invaluable as you are amongst like- minded women, facing the same challenges. The group is a place of safety, honesty and immense support. The one to one sessions helps with specific aspects of your desire to drink etc. and support you set up mini challenges or small steps to lead to the ultimate goal of gaining control over alcohol. The group and one to one sessions complement each other brilliantly – they seems to dove tail to provide the support network that makes the programme so effective.
What amazing results did you get?
I have totally changed my relationship with alcohol. Within a few weeks I was able to ‘leave it’ rather than ‘take it’ and was free from the ‘shall I…shan’t I’ conversations that had played out in my head night after night and for so long. I embraced being alcohol free and learning about myself in the process. I am currently in the ‘grad’ group after completing the 12 week programme, including achieving 30 days alcohol free. I am currently moderating my drinking to one night a week, but this may well become 100% alcohol free in the future. There is a long list of benefits – My anxiety has reduced dramatically, my productivity has gone up, my energy levels have increased, my persistent stomach problems have nearly gone completely, my sleep is dramatically better, my mood is more reliable and my energy for the future is really strong. An aspect I am still working on is reflecting on the past and finding out more about what I love doing when I am alcohol free, making this my road map for the future.
What would you say to someone thinking of signing up to work with me?
Sandra is amazing. Her knowledge and experience in this field always makes you feel that there is nothing you cannot overcome with her support. She is like the alcohol free super-power! If you are serious about embarking on a life changing event, and really want to understand why you drink like you do and how you can become free from the need to drink like you do…then don’t hesitate. It’s truly amazing and transformational. Be prepared to put the work in, but also be prepared that you will discover the ‘work’ is a pleasure rather than a chore. Be prepared for some soul searching and for some emotional discoveries…but ultimately you will have taken a massively positive step for your health and well being, and ultimately, your future happiness. Don’t look back and say…if only I’d…
What are you most excited about now that you are alcohol free?
It’s good to be in the grad group with some familiar, friendly’ faces’. I am excited to begin 2022 with so many alcohol free experiences and am looking forward to deepening and growing these. I hope to continue to become healthier and happier without alcohol ruining my life, and to discover what I want the next chapter of my life to look like.