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Inspiring Story #4: Kristen in Canada

I didn’t start drinking until my late teens, and soon as I entered my 20’s, I became “the party girl”. I would drink on weekends and have the absolute worst hangovers the next day, feeling myself in deep state of anxiety/depression, only to repeat it again the next weekend. In reflecting, most the time I was doing it to “fit in” or with an idea that I couldn’t be fun or social if I didn’t drink, and as a mechanism to avoid my feelings. I often describe myself as the girl who was the most drunk at the party/bar of my friends. As I got into my late 20’s and early 30’s, it changed from being the party scene to a glass or two of wine to “de-stress” at the end of the day, however that then became a daily event and the way that I coped with stress. It was present in movies, social media, tv shows of being “normal” to use wine as a way to de-stress, and was also something I witnessed as a child, seeing my parents have a beer after a long day at work.

After my dad passed away in 2018, I used wine as a way to numb those painful emotions. I remember being beside him as he took his last breath, crying and crying, and it was like a switch in my body just flicked to say “nope this is too painful, I’m shutting this off”. The emotions would try to surface at times, and now I can see I used wine any time any emotion tried to surface as a way to swallow it back down, literally. I felt like I lost my family unit as I knew it, and my life very quickly shifted into a life I no longer recognized.

On top of that, I was having all sorts of gut health issues; and finally after coming back from a yoga retreat in December 2021, I thought to myself, no one can help you, except you. I wasn’t liking who I was becoming, my mental health was suffering, my body was screaming for me to pay attention to it. It was time to make some lifestyle changes. I happened to find Alex by pure chance on social media a couple months earlier and I was drawn to her instantly. When I saw her posts about a 30 day sober curious yoga challenge, I was so intrigued as I love yoga and thought the two went well together for what I was looking for. I sat with it for a bit and finally decided to dive in January 1st. Little did I know, this was just the beginning of a beautiful adventure of finding my true self, my passion, and my joy.

I can honestly say I’ve never felt better. It has given me back so much - I can sit with discomfort, feel my emotions and work through them, I am healing my gut health, and finding my true authentic self who got lost along the way. Today, I feel connected to myself, grounded and present in my body, and most importantly showing up for myself daily. I am re-building myself from the foundation up. I am setting boundaries, honouring myself, and deepening connections with others.

Alex and the MLPC community hold such a beautiful, safe, supportive and loving space that allows for deep connections to be made all across the world. And I truly feel a part of a community now. I would not be where I am today without this beautiful community.

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