Who am I?
It’s the question of human existence that could never produce an answer that we would all agree on.
If you have a shred of self-awareness, you may ask the question more often than others, but even if you ask yourself on a regular basis, you’re unlikely to get a clear answer – and even if you do get an answer it’s likely to be different from the last time you asked.
Because we change.
It’s one of the prime movers of living a human life. Something small or life-changing happens to make you stop and think and Hey Presto!, your perspective on who you are has changed.
You changed when you realised you preferred kissing boys, or girls, or both. You changed when you fell in love. You changed when you gave birth. You changed when your last child finally left home. You changed when you walked out of the relationship or job that was making you miserable.
It’s the natural rhythm of living.
Despite these changes, obviously, we all have core characteristics that stay with us for life. I’ve been called stubborn since I was a kid. Personally, I always countered that accusation with ‘I just know what I want and what I don’t’, but I’ve never been able to convince anyone to my way of thinking. Which I think means that I’m being stubborn!
That said, I would be mortified to think I was the same person that I was when I was younger – to me it would signify that I had been through some pretty tough life lessons, learned nothing and changed nothing.
Who Are You As A Drinker?
As a heavy drinker, the ‘who am I?’ question got asked pretty rarely, partly because I was too thick-headed or hungover to ask or, worse, I avoided it because I knew I wouldn’t like the answer. Drinking alcohol for me was an escape from myself, a way of blinding myself to my best qualities because I didn’t feel good enough. I lost who I was in alcohol because I didn’t even like myself – loving myself never even crossed my mind.
I remember the week I moved house when I lived in Spain. Through a combination of poor planning and the sometimes lovely weirdness of Spain and my lack of Spanish I found myself with no internet access for an entire week. Inevitably the release from endless scrolling left me with a rather a lot of headspace. I’m usually pretty good at keeping myself occupied with the various projects I’m always into but there’s only so much occupation I could force on myself before internetless thinking time took over.
Thinking about my identity as a sober woman sometimes made me feel very uncomfortable. Yes, I’ve had rare moments of clarity despite the drinking, and I’ve tried examining the various stages of my life and thought about who I was at that time – daughter, wife, mother, girlfriend, manager, business owner, yoga teacher, but none of those states or situations has had the deeply profound effect that being a sober woman has had.
There Is Nowhere To Hide
Because now I have nowhere to hide. I can’t distract myself with a glass of wine, a night out with the girls or even a hangover. I am here, laid bare to myself, and I when I look in the mirror, that bloatless, happy woman just looks back at me with a knowing smile, quietly waiting for me to fully wise up.
Being sober means whatever thinking I do around my identity, the answers I get are going to be pretty authentic and certainly not clouded by an alcoholic haze or muddled up with shame and guilt. Being sober means I have nothing and no one to blame – of course, I never had anything to blame when I drank but it didn’t stop me trying to blame everyone else and his granny and convincing myself I was right.
Blah Blah Blah
In the past, I would, like most women and maybe like you, hide behind my insecurities and whine and moan about how I couldn’t lose weight because blah blah blah, how I couldn’t find a relationship because blah blah blah, how I couldn’t earn the kind of money I wanted because blah blah blah, how my family were stressing me out blah blah blah. But I can’t do that anymore.
I couldn’t even have an ‘I deserve it’ cream cake because I was sooooo stressed at trying to get an internet service with my limited Spanish – because it wasn’t stressful – because I really don’t get stressed anymore. Even having to go back to the store 4 times in the same day didn’t stress me out – I just thought it was an exercise bonus. I’ve become unrelentingly positive.
For The Rest Of My Life
I have also realised that it’s going to be like this for the rest of my life and that realisation lead me to further question not just who I am but who I wanted to be for the rest of my days, and I’m pretty happy with the answers I got.
For a start, I’m free. Free to be whoever I want to be.
Never again will I apologise for my views, my passions, or my enthusiasm. Never again will I think I don’t deserve love, or that the shape of my body somehow dictates the quality of love I deserve. Never again will I live by the rigid rules that I had constructed around my heart to keep me safe. Never again will I allow myself to be put down by anyone and stand idly by pretending I am being a bit Buddhisty.
Four years of sobriety at this point has taught me that I am getting a sense of this new Sobersista and she’s pretty feisty, completely honest, a bit sexy, funny, chilled and a bit kick-ass, but she’s also even more compassionate than she was before and that compassion stems from and grows from a genuine love of her fellow Sobersistas.
I can see that in a world that is rampant with misogyny, it helps our male-dominated society if we are too pissed or hungover to do anything about paedophile rings in our communities, about casual, everyday sexism, about a lack of equal pay or about how our daughters are treated.
As I write this it’s becoming clearer and clearer to me that Sobersistas isn’t just about providing a group for women to help them change their relationship with alcohol.
It’s about changing the world one woman at a time. (My EGO is having a field day right now!!!)
On one of those internetless days, I was making my way home on the promenade by the beach, listening to the waves and people watching, I was overtaken by a feeling of such pure joy that tears sprang to my eyes. As I wiped them away I looked up and a man who was probably in his eighties passed me on his bicycle and my right arm got a life of its own and flew up in greeting and my voice joined in with a cheery ‘hola!’. He smiled back with a genuine smile and a twinkle and in that moment I was totally overwhelmed at the beauty and perfection of my life. Then I decided to sing my way home.
This is who I am.
Of course, that feeling didn’t last, and thank goodness, because crying with joy all day would be ridiculous. I know there will be bad days but even those imperfect elements of my life are perfect just as they are, and knowing that means that I can fully accept myself as I am today and who I will be.
For every Sobersista who goes alcohol-free, there is one more woman in the world who is free to be exactly who she chooses to be. Not someone who is drowning in a poison that is increasing her cancer risk, damaging her relationships or stopping her from living a better life.
Perhaps you are the woman who will inspire other women to do great things or create something of value in the world? Perhaps you are the woman who will improve her parenting skills and inspire her children to be amazing parents. Is it you?
Because when you look around the world there is plenty for us to be getting on with.
I created My 30 Day Sobriety Journal to help you get intimately connected with yourself and your relationship with alcohol. You can get your copy here: My 30 Day Sobriety Journal
Don’t Buy Into The Scam
I look at the billion-dollar advertising around alcohol – it’s almost as if there is a frenzy to push it down our throats. It’s wine o’clock! Here’s a great three for two deal. Look! – do your weekly shopping on our online site and we will give you a FREE bottle of prosecco. Oh and while you’re at it, here, have some prosecco lip balm.
I know I am playing my part in a small way by not buying into this scam and I hope you will join me and your fellow Sobersistas and show the world that we aren’t going to play their game anymore. Let’s play our own game, by our own rules.
What did you dream of when you were a little girl? What boils your blood but you currently don’t have the energy to do anything about? What dreams do you have today that are swimming at the bottom of a glass of wine?
Whatever those dreams are it’s time to do something about them.
Your fellow Sobersistas need you sober too so you can figure out exactly what your identity means to you so you can step out into the world and fix what needs to be fixed. Even if you only ever fix you, it’s more than enough because the ripple effect will have a hugely positive effect in the world.
It’s Easier Than You Think
If all of this seems a bit out there or unachievable I want to tell you that I am nobody special. I come from a poor council house background with the lowest of expectations set on me for my life. I lived up to those expectations until the day I stopped drinking.
The physical act of giving up alcohol is so much easier than you think. If you’re drinking a bottle of wine a night like most Sobersistas, then when you stop you are likely to experience about a week or so of discomfort while you detox and your body starts to heal. (Obviously, consult your doctor if you have any health concerns. NHS Info)
The real work is in working on your mindset, having goals that make you feel tingly and getting excited about living an amazing sober life – however that looks like for you.
I’ve written a blog about the typical timeline of giving up alcohol which you can read here: How Long After You Stop Drinking Does Your Body Heal?.
You Are Not Inadequate
I started reading all things personal development about 18 years ago and one quote that I read, even in my drink fuzzed brain, stuck in my mind. These powerful words finally made sense when I stopped drinking:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson
Are you ready? If you are tired of going it alone, thinking one day you will find your moment, join us now and myself and your fellow Sobersistas will do everything we can to inspire you to live the life of your dreams. JOIN HERE
Much love always, Jules xxx
P.S. If you would prefer the privacy of one to one coaching you can book your no-obligation Discovery Call by CLICKING HERE.