The bottle opens and wine is about to be poured. Liz is sitting at her table, next to her partner, reluctant to have a drink tonight, although tomorrow is a Monday. She sighs, and looks at him and says quietly, “Okay then, just the one.”
Liz had been a gray area drinker for a long time, even when she didn’t know what gray area drinking even meant.
To her it was as normal as candy is to kids.
She started out as a teacher, a profession which spanned three decades and took her all over the globe, including the middle east. But it wasn’t just her work that was keeping her busy, she eventually moved continents, settled down and started a family.
Her life usually revolved around work, friends, family, and alcohol.
She says, drinking was so much a part of her life, that whether she was sad or happy, celebrating or mourning, booze was always there to support her, just like a best friend, it was always there.
It was a glue that appeared to be keeping her life together.
Of course, she had the hangovers, and the lows that came after, that made her feel sick, but hey, her best friend alcohol was always there to help.
Although her drinking never presented itself as stereotypical “alcoholism,” Liz knew, she had no off switch when it came to drinking. And often found herself in situations that were not only embarrassing, but sometimes, downright dangerous.
Like one day, getting lost in a city like London, after a work conference, which ended up with two good samaritans guiding her back to the hotel.
It was in that moment that she realised that alcohol wasn’t really her friend. And that’s when she knew she’d have to do something about it. But the prospect of a life without alcohol was horrifying.
So she started trying to moderate it, and somehow manage to keep it in her life, without letting it adversely affect her life.
It was like a juggling act, and she had to be careful not to drop the ball.
But the fact was, she was struggling. Her days off were marred with hangovers and guilt. She had a young daughter to care for, and her drinking habit was keeping her from being the mother she wanted to be.
On one of those mornings, while pondering over her misery, something inspired her to switch on the television.
To her surprise, she found an interview with Lucy Rocca, speaking about her life as a single mother, and her own challenges with drinking.
Being a mother herself, and also someone who was struggling with the habit of drinking, the timing was just about perfect for Liz.
It was during that interview that Liz first became aware of the term “gray area drinking.” And everything Lucy said, resonated with her so much, that she felt like it was her life story being telecasted.
The key moment for Liz though, was when Lucy spoke about how she had quit drinking and how other women could do the same.
That was a lightbulb moment for Liz; the idea that you can quit drinking for good. Not something she had ever thought of before.
And it’s not surprising, given the fact that she was brought up in a culture where drinking was pretty much a part of their life, intricately woven into the fabric of the society she lived in.
Here Liz was, considering moderation, tempering it down, doing a juggling act, and there Lucy was, staring in her face and telling her, you can quit!
Suddenly Liz had an epiphany, “I can actually stop drinking? Like, for good? Why have I never thought of this before?” She felt like a prisoner of war who gets the news of being released.
One can only imagine her joy.
Lucy, through her interview was sending a message, to all those who needed to hear it. A message that had the power to free them from the dark prison of gray area drinking.
And to Liz’s good fortune, she heard that message, loud and clear! The message that you don’t have to suffer on the merry go round of drinking for the rest of your life!
Liz was beyond inspired, the seed of liberation from alcohol had been sown in her that day.
But it was only a seed by then, it had yet to be nurtured and brought to fruition.
Even after that interview and all that inspiration, Liz was still drinking. But one thing changed, she was no longer in submission to the habit, she was drinking with a higher level of command on it.
She was starting to see through the false necessity of keeping it in her life.
To further nurture the seed of liberation, she also joined Lucy Rocca’s online community called Soberistas. Where she started hanging out with others like her, who were also considering the idea of giving up drinking for good!
In short, the first step towards her ultimate goal, of bidding farewell to booze was taken, and each step from that point was taking her closer and closer to her destination.
Fast forward to 5 years later, and her partner about to pour wine in her glass, but this time a completely different outcome. She gently places her hand on the glass, looks him in the eye, and utters four simple words that serve to change the course of her life forever, “No thanks, not tonight.”
That no, was Liz arriving at her destination, and it is over 2000 days since that day, that Liz has been living an alcohol free life. And there’s no turning back for her!
Liz Folan found the courage to give up on the very glue that appeared to be keeping her life together. In doing so, she realised that her life wasn’t broken after all, it was in fact the glue that was making it fall apart.
Today, Liz is a proud single mother of two vibrant kids, who she totally adores. Having ditched not only the booze, but also an unhealthy relationship, she finds herself in an empowering position, from where she is enjoying both parenting, and living her life to the fullest.
That win over alcohol, led to one more victory. She found the courage to switch her career, and quit her well paying job as a teacher to do something of her own.
She is now a solopreneur, writer and podcaster, and also a programme creator who serves educational institutions and workplaces in a whole new way.
After her victory over alcohol, she armed herself with an MSc in Positive Psychology, which she combines with the skills she acquired on her sober journey, to create unique and bespoke courses to empower others.
One such course is the RISE Resilience programme, which she delivers to teenagers and adults. Not only that, she also delivers well-being workshops, speaks at events, and offers one-to-one coaching.
But that’s not all! Inspired by Lucy Rocca and her own journey of giving up drinking, she is now paying it forward, by offering her signature coaching programme called StrongAF. Her focus is to empower those looking to quit alcohol with positive psychology and mindset skills, so they can do what she did, and snooze the booze until forever.
To learn more about Liz and further connect with her, you can checkout her LinkedIn profile, or send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Love Liz’s Story? Here’s How You Can Help
To say that Liz is a rockstar would be an understatement, she is a clear symbol of the strength of a woman, who has an indomitable spirit to go against all odds and make life work for her.
If you, or someone you know can benefit from Liz’s StrongAF programme, or for that matter, if you’d like to inspire people with her story, why not share it with your network?
You never know who you will end up helping, just by sharing this article. So open your heart, and share freely. For it won’t cost you a dime, but it might as well help someone change their life!
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