The Gift of Not Giving Up

When we embark on this journey of losing the booze and look honestly at the trainwreck elements of our drinking life, it’s very hard to see the benefits, apart from our physical and mental health. Life looks like a small speck of light at the end of a long tunnel.

As we do the work, by simply not drinking and then gradually looking into new habits: meditation, mindfulness, hiking, listening to music and yoga – and lots of other discoveries, we are actually returning to the person we were meant to be, before booze took over. (And yes, if we’re honest, IT does take over and we become enslaved to it .)

Slowly, slowly, our hearts begin to thaw, from the fossilized husks they had become. We start to see possibilities, we laugh more and stress less; the resentments weaken and we look to joyful people for ways to live our lives – especially those who handle health or relationship issues on a daily basis. We observe, and experience, a deeper Resilience emerging, which was always there – always. It was waiting for us to notice it and to start using those neurons, and repeating the mantras and prayers and sun salutations.

In doing this, and not drinking, we open ourselves to positive influences. Synchronicity begins to reappear in our lives: at the very least we notice all the alcohol-free choices in our local stores, and the storylines on soaps in which heavy drinkers come to a crashing end (as so often happens when we can’t quit…..)

And we make friends – and then good friends – online here. People all walking towards the same goal: being utterly free and utterly themselves.

Twelve years ago, I published my first book “An Ethiopian Odyssey“, all about my quest to find missing classmates from my schooldays in Ethiopia, inspired by a dream in 2000. A quest in which I’d shared my dream and had the help of strangers around the world in tracking down many of the women. The book includes the biographies of 9 of the women: all strong – and mostly African – women, who served their communities and served internationally (two ended up working for the UN: wow!)

I’d never given up on finding the remaining women – I still have 10 to find. Earlier today, I had an email from one of the missing ladies: Tsion. She’d found my website, reached out across the world (and the internet still reflects our world, remember, not just memes or trolls) to say “Hi, I’d love to hear from you.”

I’ve responded. I hope to hear later this week. In the photo below, Tsion’s on the front row, 6th from left. Luladay is next and then me (11 when this photo was taken in 1963!) We’ve not had any contact for 54 years – extraordinary!

So, that was my gift from the Universe, because I didn’t give up. I never will, just as I’ll never give up being sober, because the gifts it brings me are too myriad, deep and expansive. Now I know, with all my being, that I AM a child of the Universe. You are too – you always were. Just stick with being alcohol-free for today.

An Ethiopian Odyssey Annette Allen, a book about not drinking

This post was shared with the Boozemusings Community by Annette Allen, an active member of BOOM Community Rethink the Drink and the author of An Ethiopian Odysse

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