Welcome to The (Not) Drinking Diary Series! I chat to people on alcohol and on life; about their sobriety, mindful drinking and/or alcohol free period.
Wonderful Rebecca (Bex), an Instagram friend and all round inspirational woman – she has been alcohol free for over three years! Rebecca runs Sexy Sobriety, is a Health & Life Coach, Author of A Happier Hour, and Speaker. Named ‘one of Perth’s leading Healthpreneurs’ by The Sunday Times Magazine, Rebecca has coached hundreds of women to get their sparkle back and create a life they love.
Name: Rebecca Weller
Location: Perth, Western Australia
1.What led you to think differently about drinking?
I’d been running my new health coaching practice for just six months when one of my beautiful clients confided that she drank to make herself feel less lonely. To my sheer horror I heard myself say, “That’s okay.” I felt sick the second the words left my lips, because I know in my heart that it’s not okay. It’s never okay to use alcohol (or food or drugs) to numb ourselves or avoid what’s really going on in our lives.
I felt truly disgusted with myself. I owed my clients more than that and most of all, I owed it to myself. In that moment, I vowed to be a better example and to sort out my dysfunctional relationship with alcohol for once and for all.
And to be honest, I was just so freaking exhausted by the sick cycle I couldn’t seem to claw my way out of. I didn’t want something so stupid to hold me back. I didn’t want to feel upset if I didn’t have a drink on
Friday nights. I didn’t want to keep falling into the binge drinking trap. I was sick of the anxiety, the shame, and the horrific hangovers slowing me down and keeping me from rocking my passions.
I wanted freedom! I wanted to feel playful, with confidence that was authentically ME, not
poured from a bottle. I wanted deeper connections, less anxiety, more space, more love, more potential.
I longed for transformation.
2.How would you describe your relationship with alcohol now?
I really struggled through the initial months of my ‘break up’ with booze. I was upset that I’d let alcohol have such a huge influence over me and I hated the fear I felt in taking it away. I was frustrated that it felt so hard to go without it, and that I didn’t really know how to deal with my daily emotions. I hated that reality felt so relentless without the option of ‘cutting loose’ on a Friday night. And I hated that I wasn’t sure who I was in social settings without a drink in my hand.
I felt challenged beyond belief. But slowly I began to heal, and transform.
This week, I celebrated three whole years alcohol-free, and it blows my mind how different life is now. Never mind all the dreams I never thought I’d achieve – writing and publishing my first book (read by almost 5000 beautiful souls so far); creating Sexy Sobriety and welcoming and supporting more than 500 incredible members from around the globe; countless speaking events, and podcast, video and editorial interviews (and even a television story!) sharing the message of wellness and empowerment.
What’s changed most is my soul. I’ve never felt more clear, balanced, peaceful, or at home in my own skin.
And I want to reach back and hug that terrified, lost soul from three years ago and tell her it’s all going to be okay. That a magical journey awaits her, once she finds the courage to take that first step. That far from her fear of sobriety equaling a life of misery, she’s about to experience a level of joy she can’t even imagine.
3.What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced since your approach to alcohol shifted?
My biggest challenge has been healing my heart, and creating a life where I feel authentically confident and grounded in who I am and what I have to offer the world.
When we’ve been drinking for a long time, we can forget what on earth it is that we even enjoy that doesn’t involve alcohol. We disconnect from ourselves. My only idea of ‘fun’ involved drinking. Whether it was disguised as lunch with family, dinner with friends, a picnic, or a live concert — make no mistake — my true desire was to drink.
Sobriety pushed me to be creative. To do and see things differently. It’s helped me to discover new activities that light me up, and to unearth beautiful new connections. I’ve since created a rich tapestry of a life — one far more fulfilling and rewarding than I ever imagined. Sobriety to me now, is not about living without alcohol, it’s about truly LIVING.
4.What lessons have you learnt about life (and yourself) since your relationship with alcohol has changed?
A lifestyle change of this magnitude challenged me to do a ton of internal work. It shone a light on beliefs that no longer served me, and forced me to heal and release destructive patterns. It cracked my heart wide open and pushed me to be truly open and vulnerable. I learned how to rely on myself, to self-soothe, and to take responsibility for my decisions.
With this came a higher level of emotional maturity, leaving me better able to handle all of life’s ups and downs. I understand now that situations are happening ‘for’ me, rather than ‘to’ me – helping me to learn and grow from the experience. I’m more self-aware and a much kinder and more considerate person to be around.
I finally feel like the confident, empowered woman I always hoped I’d be.
5. How do you start your day? Do you have a morning routine?
I’ve been experimenting with this a lot lately, because I don’t feel like I have a morning routine that completely rocks my world (yet!). A healthy breakfast in the sunshine is non-negotiable, of course. But then, some days I find I write best in the morning, while other days I love to run in the park first. But that experimenting process is where the magic happens, right? Trying a heap of different things and figuring out what works best for us.
6. Do you have any rituals you always make time for?
Far from the days when I used to place myself at the bottom of my ‘to do’ list, I now understand that self-care is non-negotiable if I want to feel happy. I eat plenty of whole foods, move my body, take vitamins, and get enough sleep. I declutter often, and stay organised, to avoid feeling overwhelmed. I write in a daily gratitude journal, and gift myself time for play and fun.
7. What’s your favourite thing to do (hangover free) at the weekend?
I never used to think much of breakfast (probably because I was always too hungover to enjoy it!). Now, I adore meeting my girlfriends for brunch dates in sunny cafes. I love going to farmers – or local handicrafts – markets, running through the park, heading to the cinema with my love, sneaking in an extra yoga class, and soaking my toes in a magnesium foot spa.
8. When it comes to your own personal development, what is one thing that you’re working on or learning right now?
Setting healthy boundaries is a topic that fascinates me, mainly because there was a time when I had no idea what they were.
I was out with a girlfriend the other night and she was in the middle of explaining something. “It’s like…” she trailed off. Suddenly she clicked her fingers and said, “Quick! What was the first thing you did this morning?”
“Ooooh… Jumped in the shower!” I grinned, delighted. I love games like this.
“No!” she demanded. “Try again. The first thing.”
“Uummm,” I furrowed my brow. “I thought about work.”
“No! Bex! Come on! The very first thing.”
Now I was totally confused. I figured humour might help. “Uuhhh… scratched my butt?” I joked.
“No!” She said, exasperated. “Checked your phone!”
I burst out laughing as I shook my head and told her, “Oh no. No way. No phones in the bedroom, ever.”
Her eyes were like saucers as I explained how much I’ve learnt about healthy boundaries and how they’ve changed my life. It was just a passing conversation but it’s little things like that chat that make me realise how far I’ve come in the past three years.
9. What is the one thing you’re obsessed with at the moment that’s making your life better?
I recently completed my very first yoga challenge and was stunned at the difference it makes throughout my entire life. It’s like my whole central nervous system has been reset. I can’t wait to get back to class each week day.
I’m also falling more and more in love with the fascinating world of Podcasts. I love listening to conversations with incredible people from around the world.
10. And finally, thinking differently about alcohol can be challenging and isolating, is there any advice you turned to or do you have any words of wisdom for people reading this?
If you’re struggling with something that feels insurmountable right now, above all, choose love, beautiful. Reach out for support, be your own best friend and cheerleader, and surround yourself with people who lift you higher.
Because we weren’t born to stay small, angel. We were created to become all we are meant to be. To stretch, to do things for the first time, and to reach our beautiful potential. To follow our hearts, always, even when it’s scary. ⠀ ⠀
We were created to find and shine our magnificent light.