Celebrating 10 years of sobriety

Yesterday, I celebrated 10 years of sobriety, and I must say, the last decade has been quite a journey.

So where do I begin? 

Since 2010 I’ve been on the path of so much learning, transforming, but also releasing many unhealthy and unhelpful habits. Some of these habits offered me some temporary relief, others were quite harmful and affected my life in many ways. One of them was a temporary alcohol dependency.

I’ve never really opened up about it before, but as I’m celebrating 10 years without alcohol this week, I’ve decided to share part of my story in this post.

In my early twenties suffered from a severe anxiety and panic attacks. During that time I was often turning to alcohol, which temporarily numbed the unpleasant feelings I was feeling. To be honest, I never really liked the taste of alcohol, but at the time, it offered me some relief from anxiety, which was hard to cope with. Unfortunately, with the hangover, in the morning, the feelings of anxiety always deepened, and I was feeling twice as bad. And what did I do to block these ‘twice as bad feelings’? I poured myself another drink.

I got depended on it. It seemed easier to have a drink to ‘fix’ the way I was feeling, then to deal with the unpleasant feelings I was going through on my own. I became trapped. It was getting more and more difficult to let go of the alcohol, and I felt I had to have a drink every single day. I was lost and scared.

You may be asking, at this point, if I sought any help. Yes, I did. But at the same time, I also knew I had to become willing to help myself first.

To cut long story short, after a very painful 4 years of living this way, I stopped drinking alcohol completely. At the beginning, it was hard, because I didn’t have the ‘quick fix’ that would numb my anxiety for a while. I developed other unhelpful habits, which took some time to let go of. I’m still working through some of them. But after about 6 months, the thought of going back to alcohol became irrelevant. I’m pleased to say that I am now 10 years alcohol-free, and my daily battle with anxiety also faded away.

It has been an interesting journey and so much learning came out of this experience. Even though the times were tough, I wouldn’t change them for anything. The whole experience taught me so much about myself, my life and that I can overcome anything, if I’m really determined to do so.

If you are struggling, please do seek a professional help. Please know that you are not alone and you can get through anything. There is so much help out there. All you have to do is get out of your comfort zone and ask.

Jana x