Hey!

This might be the first video that a lot of you are seeing of me, so just briefly for those of you who don’t know my story…

I’m a mental health advocate. I’ve had experience living with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), my Dad’s lived with depression, anxiety, psychosis and had 2 attempted suicides. I’ve experienced a lot of losses throughout my life. And the last two years have been filled with a lot of trauma, grief and heartache of various forms. But I’m still here, I’m still smiling, and the reason that I’ve made this video is to tell you about

my decision to go alcohol-free for 2018, yes the whole year (!) up until my 29th birthday on 19th January 2019, and to hopefully get your support!

If you’d like to read more of my story & my reasoning behind my initial decision to not drink, then you can do so on my blog posts:  Alcohol and Anxiety and My Mental Health Journey.

I’ve always had quite a charitable nature, but have never really found my true cause. Until now.

I want to raise funds for mental health charities & support the crucial work that they do, so going sober for 2018 just seemed like the perfect challenge for my first one, and also something worthy of your support, because believe me, it’s not going to be easy at times!

I’ve been a social drinker before, so the times I’ll find this most difficult are probably during nights out with friends, now that summer has arrived (Pimms!), and when I’m away on holiday – there’s always been something exciting about drinking in the sunshine. But, not this year!

Who am I doing this for?

I’m doing this for my Dad, myself, and anyone else who might be struggling with anxiety, depression, other forms of mental illness, and those affected by the pressures of social drinking.

Pops used to love having beer or wine in the evening with friends or over Sunday dinner, and I think he greatly misses how the experience used to feel. He’s able to still have 1 or 2 on his current medication regime, but I can tell it’s not the same for him, and I strongly believe that alcohol played a part in being a catalyst for his 2 suicide attempts.

I’ve come to realise that alcohol has played a significant part in aggravating feelings of anxiety for both myself and others.

I’ve experienced & seen first hand, just how paralysing this can often be for some people. I want to do anything that I can to help myself after my experiences the last 2 years. While not drinking alcohol will not miraculously take all of life’s problems away, it will certainly help in not adding to them.

This is something I never ever thought I’d do. Alcohol was just a normal routine part of life. It never occurred to me to ever go without it! It will be a massive challenge and a huge lifestyle change!

Things I’ll find challenging:

△ Feeling like I’m missing out

△ Staying strong & avoiding temptation. Though most of my friends are supportive and as a Capricorn, once I’ve set myself a challenge, I’ll be seeing it through all the way until I reach the top of that rocky mountain

△ Being sober in crowds, especially with all the elbows and pushing & shoving

△ A lack of confidence

△ No spring & summertime day drinking

△ No drinking on vacation

△ Feeling like I sometimes can’t just let loose & forget about everything (escapism feels like a beautiful thing at the time when you’re struggling through anything)

Things I’ll find exciting:

△ The challenge

△ Being fully aware of my surroundings.

△ No hangovers, no headache, no feeling sick, no exacerbated & debilitating anxiety

△ Protecting my time & my weekends – alcohol & nights out used to take up a lot of my time & wipe out a good day or 2 for me

△ Proving to myself and others that you don’t need alcohol to have a good time – I used to be of the (false) mentality that if you weren’t drinking, then it wasn’t going to be a fun night

△ Enjoying those euphoric moments in life completely sober, knowing that I don’t need anything external to experience them

△ The money I’ll save

△ Feeling generally healthier – both body & mind

△ The possibility that I might encourage those who have thought about doing similar. Whatever decision you make, do it for you and no-one else.

Lastly, but most importantly, raising money for Rethink Mental Illness & supporting more happy & healthy minds

How can you sponsor me?

Right here :D: Sober2018

It was challenging choosing the Mental Health Charity that I wish to raise funds for, as there are so many amazing ones out there, but my final decision lies with Rethink Mental Illness.

Rethink Mental Illness directly support almost 60,000 people every year across England to get through crises, to live independently and to realise they are not alone. They change attitudes and policy for millions by campaigning and lobbying the government. Thank you for sponsoring me today and for helping them to do more.

HUGE THANKS in advance for everyone who clicks the link above to donate and for those sharing, liking & commenting on social media!

I’d love to hear your stories & all about your own alcohol-filled or alcohol-free experiences…

WE ALL HAVE MENTAL HEALTH, AND WE ALL DESERVE TO LIVE WITH HAPPY & HEALTHY MINDS!
HERE’S TO YOURS!

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