55 days into my decision to give up alcohol, I was thrown the biggest curveball of my life – a shock diagnosis of an aggressive type of breast cancer at the age of 46.
In the trauma of the first couple of weeks post diagnosis, I questioned how I was going to get through one of the biggest challenges in my life without using alcohol?
When I looked back at my life, there had never been an occasion when I was grieving or in pain when I hadn’t drunk alcohol to numb, soothe or escape.
Watch: Your body after one year without alcohol. Post continues after video.
For many years, my relationship with alcohol felt unhealthy and problematic. I started binge drinking as a teenager in Australia in the 1980s and 30 years later; I was still struggling to control this destructive drinking behaviour.
I felt confused a lot of the time as binge drinking was so normalised and accepted in Australian culture. I wasn’t a daily drinker or physically dependent on alcohol. I enjoyed taking part in FebFast and Dry July and didn’t find it difficult to abstain from drinking for periods of time.