Happy Earth Day!
A year ago Earth Day would have passed me by without much thought. It’s not necessarily that I didn’t care, it’s just that I wouldn’t have noticed. I was busy…drinking and stuff.
But there’s been a surprising side effect to being sober. Giving up alcohol has made me more environmentally friendly, and I don’t just mean the amount of beer cans consumed on a weekly basis.
I’m now 5 months sober and I feel as though I have overcome the awkward adjustment phase of giving up alcohol and I’m now fully in the flow of sobriety. The shift in my life has been enormous, I feel as though I’m the most in tune with my mind and body that I’ve ever been. With that realisation comes a newfound respect for the complexity of how my mind works and how powerful my body is, especially as a woman. Concepts like “self love” no longer feel alien to me, and I’m actually buzzing to do things that are going to make my brain and body feel good.
I now see things such as going to the gym and eating good food as an act of love and care rather than something I have to do out of guilt after bingeing all weekend or through a dislike for my body.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming my body is a temple by any means, I’m still partial to an odd cigarette here and there (sorry Mum) and pizza will always be the way to my heart, but I’m now completely conscious of both the fragility and strength within.
What has that got to do with the environment? Well, the key word is one I’ve already used – conscious.
I started to feel a responsibility to myself to do what’s best for me, so slowly but surely I started to make small changes in my life that would affect me positively. Things like cut down on dairy, drink more water, cut down on crazy hours at work, use make up and toiletries that are kinder for my skin and hair. I was doing good things for myself that just happened to be environmentally friendly, but it really is no coincidence that the things that are good for us, are also good for the planet. The better I felt, the more conscious and mindful I became of everything and everyone around me and the more I started researching into the impact I was having on our environment. The statistics I found during my search are shocking and I won’t bore you with them, but the question I had for myself is why didn’t I really care until now?
I’ve been vegetarian ever since I was a teenager. I saw one PETA video and never looked back. Why? Because I love animals. I saw that video and felt the direct weight of responsibility and vowed to never again to eat meat.
But when it came to nature, sure, I liked being up a mountain or at the beach but I never felt like I was directly responsible for the negative impact I was having on the environment in the same way I felt responsible with the cow. What was one more plastic straw anyways? I was disconnected.
The truth is, I had to connect with and learn to take care of myself first, to have the realisation and respect for the fact that, duh, of course everything is connected. And just like that I finally felt not only responsible, but that I really wanted to help to make things better.
Perspective is everything, I think maybe if we approach healing the earth from a place of true love and respect, rather than with sporadic bursts of guilt. We will find that the Earth, just like ourselves, is worth saving.
Don’t forget to donate to my 1 year sobriety challenge for Mind Charity – HERE