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How To Quit Alcohol: Sydney Event Manager Melissa Lionnet Reveals How To Stay Sober

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A high-flying event manager who quit alcohol after a decade of daily drinking that left her struggling to get out of bed has revealed five memories that help her stay sober.

Melissa Lionnet quit her prestigious job to coach others on the benefits of total abstinence after her relationship with alcohol spiraled out of control.

In a recent post to her Instagram account, It’s Not Me, It’s Booze, 33-year-old Sydneysider said that while she “sometimes” has the “high” that comes with drinking, she’s learned the hard way that the “peak never lasts’ ‘.

“It creates a person who is broken,” she added.

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Sydney events manager (pictured nearly two years sober in 2021) stopped drinking after more than a decade of alcohol abuse made her struggle to get out of bed

Ms Lionnet (left, in Bali in 2019, and right, nearly two years sober in 2021) started drinking at the age of 15 and quickly developed a toxic relationship with alcohol

In times of temptation, when she feels she could crack, Ms. Lionnet said she reminds herself that alcohol reduces the power of the “executive brain” and increases dependence on the “primordial” part, which can lead to bad decision.

“You become an animal looking for your next climax,” she said.

The life coach, who has been sober since March 2020, also thinks about the overwhelming nature of addiction that makes you forget your health and who you really are.

“You don’t care what’s in the substances you’re offered because you just want to hit that peak,” she said.

Your body is hot and cold. Your eyes are blurry. Your mouth is dry and you cannot speak. You don’t care if your body isn’t functioning properly, because you have to reach that peak.’

In times of temptation, when she feels she could crack, Ms. Lionnet (pictured) said she reminds herself that alcohol reduces the power of the 'executive brain' and increases dependence on the 'primordial' part, which can lead to poor decision-making

The life coach, who has been sober since March 2020, also thinks about the overwhelming nature of addiction that makes you forget your health and who you really are

In times of temptation, when she feels she can crack, Ms. Lionnet (left and right) said she reminds herself that alcohol reduces the power of the “executive brain” and increases dependence on the “primordial” part, which can lead to bad decisions

Five memories to help you stay sober

If you drink alcohol…

1. You reduce the functionality of your executive brain and start listening to your primal brain. You become an animal looking for your next highlight.

2. You don’t care what’s in the fabrics you’re offered because you just want to hit that peak.

3. Your body is hot and cold. Your eyes are blurry. Your mouth is dry and you cannot speak. You don’t care if your body isn’t functioning properly because you need to reach that peak.

4. You make inappropriate calls at any time and make inappropriate calls because you need connection to fuel that spike even more.

5. You become powerless and lose control. You lose your true self and become the person who only cares about that peak.

Source: It’s not me, it’s booze

Ms. Lionnet said she is trying to remember the embarrassing behavior and chats that come from being drunk.

“You make inappropriate calls and inappropriate conversations at any time because you need connection to fuel that spike even more,” she explained.

“You become powerless and lose control. You lose your true self and become the person who only cares about that peak.”

Her advice, which has garnered 211 “likes” since it was posted online on Sunday, sparked dozens of heartfelt responses.

“This is powerful,” one woman wrote.

“Love this, love you, I can tell,” said a second, while a third called Mrs. Lionnet an “inspiration.”

Ms Lionnet previously spoke to Daily Mail Australia about her toxic relationship with alcohol, which started at the tender age of 15.

The sobriety coach (pictured with a glass of non-alcoholic wine in 2021) quit drinking after more than a decade of abuse

The sobriety coach (pictured with a glass of non-alcoholic wine in 2021) quit drinking after more than a decade of abuse

Raised by her grandmother, she said she used alcohol as an escape when she suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts.

Like many teenagers, Mrs. Lionnet started drinking with friends, but soon discovered that she was always the “drunkest at the party.”

“At the time it seemed completely normal, it was fun because everyone was doing it,” she said.

Her alcohol use continued to worsen as she began working in the hospitality industry and landed a lucrative gig as an event manager, a role that involved regular schmoozing and driving clients to events such as the Melbourne races.

“I was always entertaining people and alcohol was always involved,” she recalls.

“But if it’s part of the job, you don’t see it as a problem — that was just my normal, four days a week feel.”

Ms. Lionnet (pictured in 2021) believes your sober journey starts from the moment you begin to reassess your relationship with alcohol

Ms. Lionnet (pictured in 2021) believes your sober journey starts from the moment you begin to reassess your relationship with alcohol

Ms Lionnet said her partner had to deal with her increasingly erratic mood swings, indecision, low self-esteem and depression, while continuing to excel at her job.

After years of self-loathing and struggling to get out of bed, Ms. Lionnet decided to reshape her relationship with alcohol.

She signed up for a 30-day detox challenge in 2019, which showed her how different life could be, without a hangover.

“It gave me a lot of clarity back,” she said, adding, “I think your sober journey starts from the moment you start thinking about reassessing your relationship with alcohol.”

Ms. Lionnet dipped in and out of these programs for a year, but always returned to the bottle when the challenge closed.

To the outside world she was in control of her life, but behind closed doors the reality was very different.

Ms. Lionnet (back row, second from left) thanks down-to-earth social media groups that have provided her with an online community of like-minded alcohol-free friends (pictured) who have kept her on track for the past 18 months

Ms. Lionnet (back row, second from left) thanks down-to-earth social media groups that have provided her with an online community of like-minded alcohol-free friends (pictured) who have kept her on track for the past 18 months

“I stumbled home and he would have to drag me out of the yard or find me unconscious on the couch,” she said.

‘He was the only one who saw me as I really was, and finally he said, ‘I don’t know if I want to marry you, I can’t be your caretaker’.

“It made me realize that I never want to be the person someone has to take care of.”

But it wasn’t until she started educating herself on what excessive alcohol consumption really does to the body that she was able to completely give up her dependence.

Alcohol causes damage to the liver, heart and brain, as well as digestive problems caused by the high amounts of acidic drinks that accompany it.

It has also been shown to interfere with and reduce sleep quality, with drinkers who imbibe shortly before bedtime often experience restlessness and debilitating fatigue the next day.

The three best tips from an ex-drinker to quit alcohol

1. Connect with the sober community

“This can be done any way that works for you, but whether it’s AA, a local support group, or an online forum, you need to reach out and talk to people,” Ms Lionnet said.

2. Learn more about alcohol

One of the things that Ms. Lionnet thinks has kept her from relapsing is educating herself about what alcohol consumption really does to the human body.

Books she recommends include “Quit Like A Woman” by Holly Whitaker and “Annie’s Naked Mind” by Annie Grace.

3. Simultaneous Self-Discovery

Ms Lionnet believes that if you want to stop, you need to understand why you are drinking.

“You have to find out what experiences made you drink and dissolve them at the root,” she said.

This can be done through therapy, participating in alcohol-free challenges, or anything else that works to transform your beliefs to align with your true moral values, Ms. Lionnet says.

Source: It’s not me, it’s booze

Experts say that drinking the drink for just a month can change your health, provided the temporary abstinence leads to a more moderate and mindful approach to drinking in the long run.

Dietitians and fitness coaches promise that even short periods without alcohol will improve memory, mental clarity and sleep, as well as promote weight loss and reduce pressure on the liver, which begins to cleanse itself an hour after your last drink.

Doctors say abstaining from alcohol for just a month can improve concentration and decision-making, while also reducing the risk of mental health problems, including anxiety and depression.

Ms. Lionnet testifies to this, stating that both she and her clients have seen clarity improve within a few weeks.

“People support themselves, they make quicker, clearer decisions and rely a lot more on their instincts than when they were drunk,” she said.

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