LOOKING IN THE MIRROR CAN BE DANGEROUS! My personal journey of giving up alcohol and how it affected my life and business.
This photo was taken in Feb of 2020, just before COVID hit.
To give you some context the Mrs and I were fighting about the time I spent in my business as a videographer, the money that we were making to pay bills and the downtime I needed after travelling for work.... Mainly because I was hungover every time I came back from an interstate trip filming with clients.
I decided I was better than this. It pains me to admit it but at the time, I cared more about my business than I did about my 2 beautiful kids aged 3 & 5 and my beautiful wife Jess.
A month later (March 2020) after speaking to a few close friends and getting my hands on an audiobook called "The Alcohol experiment" by Annie Grace, I was faced with a situation where I was given the opportunity to have a couple of drinks, after filming, 8am on a Tuesday morning with a client.
I had meetings on that day, I was driving just over an hour to get there, then had to drive home, the idea of a few drinks just put me off and felt obligated as we had a tight relationship.
So I started listening to the audiobook on my way to the job to give myself "an excuse" to not drink.
The book encouraged you to do 30 days sober as an experiment. I knew it's something I wanted to give up forever but 30 days was a good milestone for me, something I could test out.
When I got to the job, my "obligation" was non-existent, the client respected my decision and after 5 seconds of thinking "oh, it was all in my head", I carried on with the work and the rest of my day.
The following 30 days anytime there was something on or an opportunity to drink, I gave prewarning I was "just testing this method out". Honestly, once you've made the decision, most people respect you for it and are happy to just carry on.
However, after 3-4 months of no drinking at an engagement party, family BBQ's and at the pub watching the footy, this is where something more than peer pressure had hit me.
I was no longer masking emotion with alcohol.
The up's and downs of my relationship, my kids, my business, my life.... I only had me and the man standing back in the mirror to face.
I've spoken to a few people who've done the same and can honestly say this is the hardest part.
Learning to deal with anger, frustration, sadness and life, without the need for a mask or something to drown out the emotion.
As a result of standing in the mirror and facing my emotions for what they are, I can honestly say giving up alcohol is the single best move I have ever made for myself.
Almost 18 months on I can put my hand on my heart and tell that my relationship with my kids, my wife, my business and most importantly myself has never been stronger. I have the ability to face pure raw emotion head-on and know that I have made some tough decisions to come out stronger.
We as men are capable of much more than we are!