CLEAR ANY CONFUSION ABOUT HIATUS
I was disconnected from my Pink Cloud, message, and mission, trying on trends instead of being true to myself.
I was trying to find a way to catch the wave of success that I watched blow up in popularity. It was frustrating to see these catchy phrases and stop drinking challenges all over the place when I worked for years before they made the scene to shift the focus from drinking to filling up on life. I have watched hundreds if not thousands of people struggle with their decision to abstain. I have always felt and still do that the focus is on the wrong thing.
I never could bring myself to promote dry or sober challenges. Yay for those that enjoy that type of energy and forum. It’s just not in me to get excited for people who are struggling not to drink. I know some people find success in those groups, just as some find success in AA.
DON’T BE IDENTIFIED BY YOUR STRUGGLE
But I know more women like me don’t want to be identified by their struggle. They don’t want to think about drinking and make alcohol their focus. They don’t won’t to be brought into the bosom of you don’t have to quit drinking only to find that’s highly suggested – because alcohol is poison, and the industry is seducing you.
They simply want to get on with their lives, and if they have a drink one month, two years, ten years from now, not feel as if they’ve screwed up. That’s sober freedom.
What they have done is forgotten who they are. Much like I did when I tried to find a way to emulate what is working for others in promoting a “like” message using familiar language. I had to remember who I was and what mattered most to me, YOU. The woman that doesn’t want to manage a disease for the rest of her life. The woman that doesn’t want to be known as her challenge. The woman who doesn’t want to demonize alcohol or the industry instead explores other possibilities and gets excited about what’s possible.
THE SONG SOCIETY SINGS
In order for people to find me, I would need to use searchable language and offer products and programs that would solve their problem to stop drinking – even though they didn’t want to quit.
The truth is most people haven’t done the work to identify THE problem; they stop at the symptom, drinking. Stopping drinking rarely fixes anything, and that’s why many people go back to drinking; the payoff wasn’t there. Something is still aching, gnawing inside, trying to get their attention.
Unfortunately, they will download the song that society sings loud and clear; if you can’t stop drinking, you have a problem and need to be in recovery, abstinence is the only option, and you will need to manage your brain disease for the rest of your life.
This is true for those that believe this is true. Some people need to believe alcohol is poison and bad. Some people need to believe there is a disease in the parking lot doing push-ups getting stronger no matter how long they abstain. And then there are some like me that if they have to believe these things, they’d rather be drunk.
If I had stayed in AA, I would have gotten drunk over and over again.
I FELT TRAPPED LIKE SO MANY YEARS BEFORE
Over the last few years, I worked with brand experts and marketing professionals and tried what I was supposed to do to create an alluring image and language that was recognizable and common so people could find me. That all makes such good sense.
But the truth is it wasn’t me and my message. My messaging would require a learning curve because what I offered hadn’t been presented before.
It wasn’t what I stood for. It wasn’t in alignment with my experience. It wasn’t reflective of my philosophy.
The further I got away from my voice, values, and truth that fired up my passion and gave me meaning, the more distance was wedged between my spirit, my soul, and my work, causing the pain of dissonance. I was out of alignment. To manage the pain of internal conflict, I chose screen time, and nothing pairs better with screen time than the activity of hand-to-mouth food distraction.
I was stuck, trapped, uninspired, and going through the motions – the doldrums.
This is no different from most of the women I talk with about their misuse of alcohol and doldrum drinking.
THE ONE CONSTANT JOY
The one constant joy was my actual work with women. When I worked with clients, I would get inflow, and all the marketing messaging and packaging portrayal fell aside. I was with them. That kept me connected enough to fight for better.
Nothing brings me greater fulfillment than helping women move their thoughts, ideas, and beliefs around, laying them out on the table to be explored, challenged, weighed, measured, identified, purged, and honored.
I will always be grateful for the internal call to love and support women to explore the possibilities and discover what freedom looks and feels like for them.
But the marketing, promoting, creating content always fell flat and gross. It was like I was wearing a heavy suit of armor drudging through the days. It shouldn’t be so draining. Life should never be a drag. Sure, there will be dark days, but they should never bleed into weeks, months, and years.
THE CONSEQUENCE OF DISCONNECTING FROM SELF
Here’s the thing, I wasn’t even aware of my misery until one day I walked into my husband’s office and said through tears, I feel trapped in my body. I had forced down all the supposed to’s, shoulds, and ought to’s in my body, and it had taken a toll. I could barely walk; I had so much pain in my feet, legs, and lower back. I had such a hard time with breathing. I now found myself with asthma, Covid-19 running amok in our country at the time, and I now weighed in as obese. I had gained 65 lbs. Who was I?
Have you ever looked in the mirror and wondered where you were?
RETURN TO SELF
At the beginning of 2021, I cleared the deck. I metaphorically to my arm and swiped it across the table, wiping everything off; tabula rasa!
It’s time to return to self. If you have worked with me, you know the drill. We must go deep and move information around to find the waste and the gold.
Who do I want to be? How do I want to live? What do I want to do? What do I have to say? – Curiosity!
If I can’t do it my way, I’d rather not do it all – Courage!
It was the same feeling, awareness, response I had when I left AA eighteen years ago. If this is the way I have to live sober, I’d rather be drunk.
If this is the way I have to show up, market, promote my business, I’d rather get a J.O.B. – Conviction!
It was the same feeling and knowing, fed upness.
I can’t be who I am supposed to be; I have to be me. The me I was born to be. The me screaming inside to be set free.
OLD HABITS DIE HARD
The how’s were no different than what I have coached for years. Once I got clear about who I wanted to be, it pulled me forward to make better choices that supported the vision I held for my future.
My renewed spirit, soulful work, and return to self are evident throughout my website, social media pages, and the life I now enjoy without dragging the extra weight literally and figuratively around.
I have lost 60 lbs., walk or run daily for body and spirit, my resting heart rate is twenty points lower, and I am back on my pink cloud where I’ve found heaven on earth once again.
It’s easy to get sucked into popular trends of thoughts, beliefs, ideas and get lost. This kind of disconnection rarely happens all at once, but a slow and constant change. A return to self is the only way to find peace and freedom. This takes time, intention, and practice.
I’m grateful for this experience. It reminded me why I do what I do and what matters most, meaningful work.
I will leave you with this before you drink; think P.I.N.K. because it really is having a clear mind and an open heart to consider the POSSIBILITIES. Without a defined INTENTION to guide you, you will wander off the path, and before you know it, you’re lost. NEUROPLASTICITY, yes, your brain may have changed with the habit of drinking, and it can change again. Lastly, be KIND to yourself. Guilt, shame, and berating will never give you the outcome you desire.
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