Life doesn’t stop because you don’t have the bandwidth for it. Sometimes, you need to shut down for a bit.
After struggling with too many emotions for too long, I recently had a little shut down. Maybe it was a big shut down, and unfortunately, it went on for too long. It wasn’t healthy – I wasn’t healthy – and I needed to get it together.
I was drinking too much. Too much for the number of responsibilities I have, too much for the type of parent I want to be, too much for any reasonable human being.
I thought I was drinking “to relax.” But in reality, I was drinking to numb myself. I was numbing the stress, the overwhelm, and the exhaustion – everything that comes with being an obnoxiously positive mother, partner, business owner, and person.
Just real quick: No judgment (AT ALL) to my drinking parent friends out there! The majority of adults do it, and they do it responsibly.
I cannot honestly say that I was one of them.
I was a freight train without an emergency brake.
I couldn’t get control over it and that made me very nervous.
How was I going to get better?
Well, earlier this summer, I tried hypnotherapy. A friend of mine teaches yoga for mental health, and one day, while we were chatting, she said, “You know I do hypnotherapy, right?”
Well, no, I didn’t.
“Do you have anything you need help with?” she asked.
Uh…yes. Yes, I did.
I’d been thinking about addressing my drinking for a while, but I didn’t know where to start. Frankly, I was avoiding doing anything. It was easier to stay in the same routine with the patterns I was used to – whether they were good or bad.
When my friend mentioned hypnotherapy, it seemed like the universe was sending me a message. “Time to get it together, Bitsy.”
I had no idea what to expect. Would I be put in a trance? Would I shout animal noises every time I saw my neighbor’s dog? How deep was this going to go?
I cannot speak to everyone’s experience, but I can easily speak to mine.
I was not “out.” I was very present during the entire hour-long session.
I was lying on the floor of my friend’s studio, covered in a blanket, with my eyes closed. The first 10 or so minutes were a guided meditation to help me relax my entire body so that I could fully focus on the session.
When I reached that calm, heavy feeling, I was asked questions I had to think hard about. Being face-to-face with, frankly, some uncomfortable thoughts.
“What would your life look like if you had never had alcohol?”
“What would the best version of yourself think of your drinking?”
“How would your life change if you stopped drinking alcohol?”
Long, drawn-out pauses followed these and several other questions, and I was forced to consider how things would be different if I gave up drinking.
I have to tell you, I cried two different times envisioning all of the ways that I could be better. Not just as a mother and a partner, but all the ways I could be better to myself. For myself.
After the session, I felt weird. I can’t describe it. It was just strange.
I went home and had a normal Friday, but no drinks that night. Saturday came. No drinks then either.
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday – so on and so forth.
It’s been several weeks, and I have only had drinks one evening, and I didn’t overindulge. Frankly, considering who I am as a person and that we always have alcohol in the house, this is a total shocker.
I have felt more grounded the past month. I have been a more present parent and partner. I have been equally as efficient in my work, but I have felt less stress over the objectives I have yet to complete.
I also have been in-tune with my own needs and feelings, and I have been having frequent introspective moments. (Much to Kevin’s exhaustion, I’m sure.)
At the end of the day, I want to be a good example for Coraline, modeling what a well-balanced adult looks like. Let’s hope I’m making powerful strides in the right direction.
If you would like information on Cindy Beers, the hypnotherapist I worked with, please reach out to me, and I would be happy to share her information.