LIVING ALCOHOL FREE
In conceiving Vivify in 2018, my main goal was to create a place of non-judgment where like-minded women could come together and share in their experience of living alcohol free, and follow me through my own experiences, struggles & triumphs.
Through my own process, I was able to collect some Resources that worked specifically for me in releasing the poison from my body, mind & soul. I highly recommend you try and put together an inventory of resources to fall back on when things get tough. This is unique to me and my experience, but I thought I would share in case in hopes that some could perhaps help you too.
Awakening The Brain - Dr. Charlotte A. Tomaino
Be prepared to get into the science of how your brain works. The ins and outs, the guts of it all. It can feel a little overwhelming, but there are some really great insights into how the brain operates. For example, the author states that the repetition of a thought or action eventually makes it an automatic reaction of the brain - good or bad. So for someone who turns to alcohol to placate a stressful situation, that repetitious action is creating a set behaviour in the brain. Hence addiction. Change your thoughts, change your life!
My Fair Junkie - Amy Dresner
Oh my gawd, this book. I can't say enough about it. It actually kept me awake at night it was so raw, engaging and terrifying with some pops of humour throughout. The most truthful and open story about addiction, and the road to recovery I have ever come across. Amy grew up with all the advantages in the world - wealth, education, loving parents - but when has that ever stopped the addiction beast from knocking down your door. I really recommend reading it even if you aren't struggling with the same issues - it's a story about resiliency, getting thrown down and fighting your way back up from the darkest pit of despair.
Drink - Ann Dowsett Johnston
This book has it all - from heartbreaking personal stories, to interviews with some of the world's leading researchers, professors and doctors on addiction, trauma & behavioural issues. It also touches upon how alcohol companies have started to heavily target women in their lightly regulated advertising of booze as a lifestyle, selling us on the notion that to have any real enjoyment in life, we need alcohol. I absolutely fell in love with this book, and place it extremely high on my recommended list to read. I hold it in such regard that I wrote a blog post on it. I could have actually written a book on all the insights I learnt from "Drink"! A definite must read for any woman during any stage of their journey into alcohol freedom.
Recovery 2.0 - Tommy Rosen
I had heard about this book early on in my journey, however I didn't actually pick it up to read until close into a year of not drinking. I think that allowed for a better understanding of Tommy's message, because that's exactly where I was at in my "recovery". First step - You've given up alcohol, awesome. But here's the kicker - What's next? It's not enough to quit drinking, you've got to start going deep into what made you drink in the first place, and what will keep you in a place in your life where you never have to rely on it again. Although I don't fully agree with some of his methods - namely the 12 step program - that is a path that some people need to take, and it is of great importance to them. What I do agree with is his concept that you can't stay concentrating on the not drinking aspect, and move your focus onto other elements that will aid your overall health - changing your diet, upping your daily movement & exercise, adding some breathing & meditation, etc. Tommy also shares his life story, one that many people can relate to and connect with.
This Naked Mind - Annie Grace
It's been a while since I read this book, but I do remember it having an impact on me with regards to advertisers and marketers and their immense presence in the booze industry. They sell you not only their product, but a lifestyle that most people can only fantasize about; living up to much greater expectations that are reasonable to the average person. Annie also has some great resources listed on her website, and I believe has 30 day challenges as well. well worth checking it our in its entirety.
BLACKOUT Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget - Sarah Hepola
How does the saying go - "Alcohol makes everything better until it makes everything worse." This memoir by Sarah Hepola was one of the first books I connected with after I stopped drinking. So much so in fact, that I wasn't able to read it until I had a few alcohol free months under my belt. Sarah referred to alcohol as"the gasoline of all adventure." And it was for me too. Until it wasn't. I started to suffer from blackouts almost every time I drank towards the end of my career of drinking. It was honestly like a full time job. It's absolutely terrifying looking back at the situations I put myself in. Sarah relives her's in this page turner of a book. A real novel to aspire too when I start to write my own.