How much were you drinking and what problems was it causing?
I was drinking a bottle of wine every night during the week, and more at weekends. I was stuck in this cycle. I lost count of the number of times I would have a poor night’s sleep: waking in the early hours and then tired for the start of the working day. I would blame my poor sleep on stress or the menopause, but in my heart I knew this was not the case. The number of mornings I would promise myself I would not drink that evening, but by the time the evening came, I weakened and the same cycle repeated itself.. Why did I not have the will power to just stop? I would also hide the amount I was drinking from anyone outside my household, so I knew I wasn’t be honest with anyone, including myself.
What was the key reason you wanted to change- what motivated you?
I want my husband and I to enjoy a happy and healthy life, but I knew that to continue drinking was going to seriously damage my health. My husband had a period of illness and chose to stop drinking to improve his health. This should have been the strongest motivation I needed to support him, but I didn’t stop: that was when I knew I needed help.
Were you sceptical this method would work for you?
Yes I was sceptical as whether the programme would work. I can remember my first meeting with Sandra. After telling her my situation I remember her saying that she was 100% certain she could help me. I thought: How can she be that confident? But she was right!
Did you enjoy the group structure?
The group structure and that of the whole programme works very well. I am very much an introvert by nature and I don’t join in easily with new people. But joining a group of like minded women who are at different stages of the programme helps the journey.
What difference has being alcohol free made to your life?
I am no longer stuck ! I have been able to choose not to drink, and now I don’t miss it and saying no to alcohol has become easy. I used to feel anxious at the thought of spending an evening without alcohol. Now I would be 10 times more anxious at the thought of drinking what I used to. At the moment I don’t want to drink alcohol at all – long may that feeling continue!
You recently attended an event where the rest of your group were drinking, and you were alcohol free- was that difficult and did you enjoy it?
I honestly believed that I would want to drink alcohol, that I would find the day difficult and I wouldn’t enjoy the event because I wasn’t drinking. However, I saw the glasses of alcohol as the illusion that they are. I was happy to have non-alcoholic drinks, it really was easy. And I enjoyed the event, and my memories are clear. That experience has demonstrated to me that I can have fun without needing alcohol.
What would you say to someone thinking of signing up to work with me?
I would highly recommend Just the Tonic and Sandra’s expert coaching. This programme will work if you really want to change your relationship with alcohol, you are prepared to engage and put in some work. Then just trust the process.
What are you most excited about now that you are alcohol free?
I am looking forward to living the best life I can, making memories, being equipped to face life’s challenges and not hiding or being secretive about what my life is.