Fully functional and yet, a DRUNKEN MESS

Fully Functional - Annick Ina


A few years ago, I went through a major life change. I had left my job as a teacher and my long-term relationship, and was starting a new life, 10,000 kms away as an entrepreneur.


People (including myself) were amazed at how well I was dealing with the situation. I had a business that was thriving, I was making new friends, and after a few months, I even had a man in my life. I was doing well… except I wasn’t.


I was trying to keep things together, but inside I was struggling. My nights out, my sundowners on the beach, my dinner parties, everything started turning into me getting wasted.


Police control was almost inexistent, so drunk driving was the norm. As the years went by, I reversed into a wall and crashed the car, got stuck in a ditch on one of the main roads of the town, got stuck in the ditch on the side of my driveway TWO times (each of which I had to call for help the next morning), I drove into a roundabout, burst my tyre, took a wrong turn and got lost in the middle nowhere, but always got away with it.


I felt like I was such a mess, though. And with every “incident”, the amount of shame I was trying to hide under the rug was getting bigger and bigger. How many times did I think “What the fuck is wrong with me?” and yet I had no answer… I knew I was meant to do great things, but still there was this part of me, this complete mess that was my drunken alter ego, that made me think I was just fooling myself.


Then came December 2015. I had started my coaching training and I thought I was good. And yet, that morning, I woke up with no recollection of how I had made it home. My car was outside, my suitcase and two bags were next to the bed. I tried to comfort myself thinking that I couldn’t have been that drunk if I’d managed to carry two bags and a suitcase up the stairs. I texted my friend and asked her how much I had drunk the night before. “Two bottles”, she texted back. She said she’d tried to have me spend the night there, but I had insisted on being ok to drive…


My first thought was: “Well, the Universe must really love me to have let me get home safe without killing myself, or anyone else.” But then something else happened. THE shift. I knew I wouldn’t be given an indefinite number of chances. I knew I had to do something. I asked for advice, but all I got was people telling me I had to go to AA. The LAST thing I wanted was to go to AA! I was already full of shame enough. I didn’t want to label myself as an alcoholic.


So I decided to quit alcohol and do things my way.


Because of my training as a coach, I had a variety of techniques, tools and practices that kept me going. But still, it wasn’t always easy. I like saying it was a mix of My Little Pony and Fifty Shades of Shit: I felt good in my body and in my mind for not drinking, but for the first time in my life, I was feeling ALL the feels and not running away. It wasn’t always pleasant, but I knew it was necessary.


At the same time, I started filling that space left by alcohol with things that lit me up. I started injecting good vibes into my life.


I was in two online business communities. We talked about ourselves, our businesses, our lives and how they were evolving. And that was enough. Johann Hari says “the opposite of addiction isn’t sobriety – it’s connection” and he is SO right. When you feel connected to yourself and to others, life becomes way easier. There is no void to fill anymore.


As I went on my journey and built my business, I realised that was how I wanted to add my contribution to the world. I’d had a look around and saw that something was missing, something that I had.


I have the first-hand experience. I have the contacts. I have the necessary skills to bring everything together.  So, there it is. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Sober Constellation, the place to learn, grow and celebrate your journey into sobriety.


I am launching it in a very small group, so if you would like more details and a personal invitation, comment “I’M IN” in the comments!


PS. If you want in, don’t wait too long, seats are limited!