Stories to inspire you this holiday season

A few months ago we conducted a survey and members of the Hello Sunday Morning community shared stories about their relationship with alcohol and the impact we have had on their journey. We are very appreciative and humbled by their responses. These stories are honest, real and as very relatable – as they are genuine.

As we come closer to the end of the year, we hope these stories will continue to inspire some changes and motivate others to keep going. 

Here are some of their stories:

Monica's story

Monica's before and after: Left – the day Monica decided to stop drinking on May, 30th (with a horrific hangover!). Right – A beautiful Sunday morning snorkelling with kids at a local jetty

My experience with alcohol has been that of binge drinking. 

I am a single mum of 3, clinical nurse and social worker. In the past, I have dealt with stress and anxiety with alcohol. I have given up for three and six month stints with the help of HSM, however after a particularly epic hangover in May, this year, I decided to go for a whole 12 months alcohol-free. 

It has been a good experience so far, with a few days where I struggled to say ‘no’, however so far so good. Summer is coming and this will be a test but I am creating strategies to continue to say ‘no’, I have started an instagram page to keep myself accountable and I am trying all sorts of AF drinks. Most importantly, I am learning to feel and process my emotions rather than run away from them. Although this has been really painful at times, I know future Monica will thank me. 

Above all, I am setting a much better example for my kids of how your relationship can be with alcohol. 

Yay to no more hangxiety!!

What would you like to say about HSM and the Daybreak app?

This app changed my life. I engaged with HSM before Daybreak was a thing, and it was the biggest tool I had to help stop me from drinking. I can’t speak highly enough of this program and how it has evolved to what it is today. Thank you!!

 

Linda's story

I don’t drink at all. I gave up alcohol almost 2 years ago – I was so tired of the daily struggle.  I love my life without it – I can’t imagine I’ll ever decide to go back.  My daily routine looks a lot different to that of five or ten years ago. Now, I go to bed early and get up early – EVERY day, and I love it.  I love running and pilates and I find I am so much happier when I do all the things I set out to do, which is what generally happens now that alcohol isn’t there to throw me off course.  I am a very happy person without it.

What would you like to say about HSM the Daybreak app?

I love getting these emails – honestly these were what kept me going for the first little while. Even though my “new habit” of not drinking is now entrenched I still love reading them.  It’s so good for anyone at any stage of their “journey”.

Claire's story

I have recently quit drinking (1/6/21) after many years of binge drinking which was slowly starting to increase to daily drinking. I realised I haven’t enjoyed drinking for a few years but I never thought to actually stop or maybe I thought it was too hard. I didn’t drink a drop for the duration of my pregnancy (even though I was told I could numerous times). I found the break to be incredible and I felt better than I had in years. 

When our son was born I started drinking again, not much but enough to make me feel constantly foggy and then I thought ‘what am I doing?’. So I stopped. It’s been wonderful and I hope I’ll never go back. 

 

What would you like to say about HSM the Daybreak app?

I thoroughly enjoy reading your emails each Sunday. They are now part of my morning routine. I have slowed down a lot on consuming all the quit lit but your emails are something I keep as part of my sobriety journey. I find them very inspirational! 

Dimity's story

I started drinking regularly when I was 17 and within 6 months had a love/hate relationship with alcohol. 

I lived with that cognitive dissonance my entire adult life. My drinking seeped through stages from binge drinking, to everyday drinking, to excessive everyday drinking to several failed attempts to quit. At the age of 41, I joined Daybreak on a Monday morning with a cracking hangover. And that was the beginning of an 18 month journey to getting sober. 

Through Daybreak I heard of Annie Grace’s work and spent 9 months moderating and learning before I joined her PATH Nov 2020 group. 

Finally, on 1st Feb 2021 I stopped drinking and haven’t looked back. Now 8 months sober and I am grateful everyday not to be stuck in that rotten cycle of alcohol abuse. I am free and making the most of it in ways that align with my values in life; I’m free to look after my kids properly; I’m free to listen to my husband when he speaks; I’m free to pay attention to the beautiful world around me and free to wake up with joy and anticipation of a new day, without a hangover or anxiety or guilt or anger.  

What would you like to say about HSM and the Daybreak app?

Keep up the great work, you are changing many lives.

Bevan's story

Bevan's sober wedding celebration (left) and his graduation (right)

I was a standard Aussie male drinker, getting smashed on the weekends (and during the week sometimes) was a goal and helped out with my social anxiety and whatever else I was dealing with. 

It’s been a long road of self-reflection and understanding, coupled with some health realisations that have helped to say ‘no’ to alcohol. I now describe myself as a non-drinker. If I want to enjoy a slow beer on a nice day or a glass of whisky on a cold night, I can and I feel no internal dialogue telling me to hurry up or drink another. It’s still a work in progress, but perfection doesn’t exist and I have no desire to hold myself to an unattainable standard. 

My journey actually culminated in me not drinking any alcohol on my wedding day. People are utterly shocked when I tell them that, somehow, our culture has synonymised celebration with alcohol consumption. I don’t think they need to walk hand-in-hand, as I did with my wife, completely sober  : )

What would you like to say about HSM and the Daybreak?

It’s a fantastic and safe space that you provide for honest reflection and judgement-free examination, keep it this way. I will be a doctor soon and I’m damn sure I’ll be referring many patients to your services!

Paul's story

Paul's before (left) and after (right) photos

Usual story I think. I was a big drinker. Some 70 drinks a week and it led to fights with my wife and lazy weekends wasted on hangovers. It was a bad decision and a waste of my life. 

I have been sober since January 1st and going for a year. I felt that I would die soon if I kept my lifestyle up. And so it was the best decision I ever made. I have lost 17kgs so far, play padel 4 times a week and ride over 100kms a week on road bike. I became a better person and husband. Such clarity and positive attitude now. It is still a battle to not drinking.

What would you like to say about HSM and the Daybreak app?

Well, I think [HSM] are helping normalise having a problem with alcohol. Being an alcoholic or not doesn’t matter. It’s more just how it affects your life. Promoting it and putting it out there makes it easier for everyone and especially men with toxic male toughness to deal with it. I’m a rugby league and union player and copped a lot of s**t at the start due to our huge drinking culture but I kept at it and didn’t budge and now some others message me privately asking for advice. [HSM] helped that happen.

We want to say a very big thank you to our community for all the stories and emails you have sent us. Without your support, we wouldn’t be able to help so many others.

We wish you all the best with your goal, and we always enjoy hearing how your progress is going.

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  • Thank you for your weekly emails; I find these so inspiring!

    By Catherine Johnson
    |
    December 24, 2021
    • Today i have decided to stop drinking, i have just turned 55 and i am sick of feeling rubbish.I feel strong enough to refuse a drink for the first time in my life,i have always crumbled and said yes when deep down inside i wanted to say no.It’s early days,but the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step,today is my first step.

      By Cameron
      |
      January 4, 2022
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