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A very bad day.

Updated: Jan 13

Bad day - Woman looking tired and sad.

Recently I had a terrible day at work. One of the worst work days ever, and this is saying something.

My mood wasn't great, I had not had much sleep, and I had been turning something over my head for weeks whilst trying to "struggle on" which is never a good thing.

It started with all sorts of difficult questions about a difficult issue in my life, where someone I love very much is very very poorly. Word had gotten out to the office, and everyone wanted to know the details. They meant well, of course they did, but it was really tough going repeating "all fine" over and over when nothing really was at that time. I wobbled, but I stayed upright.

Then I was discounted for a meeting I had longed to be part of for so long. It was a super interesting meeting (rare thing indeed!) and I had put so much work into the project I felt sure I would be invited. But no, another guy in the team got an invite instead and I was left in the cold. This may seem petty, but I had put in many evenings of hard graft into the project, saving face for my manager, and producing something really nice. My bad, I know. What a twerp. Anyway, I stayed upright.

After the meeting, which included all the senior leaders, a lot of natter about the meeting and the project buzzed around the office, but neither of my team filled me in about anything that happened. So I was exposed to gossip and untruths, in the absence of facts I would have heard, had I been party to the meeting. One rumour was the whole project was about to be shut down, which would have had a domino effect on other projects I had put into place. The work to undo everything unexpectedly was huge. I still stayed upright.

I had a massive row with my manager about the hurt I had felt about being passed over again. I stayed upright as he glared at me even though it was so painful.

Finally, an incredible opportunity had come up in another department - one I was certain to smash and it would have presented a rare chance for promotion, something which never happens in the company I worked for. It had my name all over it.

A triple whammy this time...

  1. The person hiring said I would be great, except for one tiny thing that was not even on the job description! In other words.... "No, not you...." for perhaps the fifth time in as many years.

  2. My manager, it turns out, is interviewing for the very same role, but failed to mention that when I told him I would like to go it. Ouch. Trust ripped apart. Et tu, Brutus...

  3. Then word got out, and everyone started messaging me on my failure. Zero confidentiality in that place. (Wo)Man down.

I barely got through another hour of the meeting I was in without throwing up. My head hurt, I felt sick to the core, I just wanted to get out of there. Then when someone in the meeting gave credit to someone else for something I had done, I stood up and walked out quietly. It was just too, too much.

I limped back home so destitute I never wanted to go back to that office again. I just wanted to lay on my bed and sleep for a thousand days.

But here's the thing....

At NO point during this journey, not ONCE, did it cross my mind to have a drink when I got home. Zilch. Zero thoughts whatsoever.

Three years ago, that bottle of Chianti would have been uncorked and in a glass four minutes after bursting through my front door. Shoes off, wine glass out, huge slugs of red wine poured, and then at least four glasses after that. Hell, on a really bad day like this one, it might have even been two bottles. Go big, or go home. I might have written emails I regretted in the morning, or applied for 20 jobs on LinkedIn before going to bed. I definitely would have forgotten to take off my makeup before sleep, and tripped up the stairs on the way up only to wake up with a massive bruise I know nothing about the following morning.

Next, I would have awoken after the slumber of the dead, still exhausted, bleary blood-shot eyes and bloated face, hair standing on end, wine stains down my pyjamas. Not a pretty sight. And then I would have likely taken a couple of hours to get back to full speed at work, which would have to be at home because I would not be able to drive with so much alcohol still floating around my system. My teeth would have been stained with the wine, and my skin always looked flaky and dull. I'd have felt slightly queasy all day, and probably would have cooked up a greasy cooked breakfast to get myself started again. Probably something unhealthy or sugary straight afterwards.

Instead I awoke refreshed after a deep sleep, probably through exhaustion after the missed night of sleep previously. I was still pissed at my manager. I was still pissed at the company, knowing LinkedIn was my new favourite social media channel, but I was healthy and strong, free from alcohol, and, most importantly, FIERCE.

So, yes, it is not always a rose garden being alcohol free. You will still get people who annoy you, and promotions will pass you by, and you will still be treated unfairly. The difference is, you'll fight back, harder, and you will come back stronger every single time, if you stand tall and don't let them beat you down. They all lose their power over you. Nothing will defeat you. It's their loss. You rock.

Only YOU own your power. And when you are free from alcohol, my GOD you are powerful. I cannot wait for you to discover this if you haven't already done so.

So, what did I do after this horrible day?

Well, you are looking at it. Alcohol-free and feeling fierce and strong, I signed up for training with This Naked Mind Institute, and built my first ever eCommerce website. Next, I finished off my Mini MBA course, a beast of an exam, but I completed it and sent it off with plenty of time to spare. Then I shopped for some healthy delicious food and spent a day in the garden with a great book and a beautiful plate of salad and salmon.

Your choices will be different, but no matter what you choose to do with your day, I hope you enjoy it. Because being alcohol free is anything but boring. It's completely and utterly fantastic, even when you are an unappreciated underdog.

Stay Fierce,

Amanda x

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