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Why I chose to become an alcohol addiction counsellor?

Where it all started - far from counselling profession

To start with, I must admit that my professional journey resembles a maze game or strange colourful timeline. With retrospect, I realise that my heart was always the one making the right decision. When I made decision based on my acquired skills and qualifications, it was leading me nowhere closer to feel happier. My dreams weren’t inspired by fame or money, but by an arrow of various interests changing along my life’s discoveries and journey. All that to sum up a collection of unrelated qualifications and work experience in different industries and professions.

 

Firstly, I studied hospitality dreaming to become a café owner, then followed my love for literature: reading and writing were my passion and I felt really attracted by all the darkness and despair of some writings either musical or books productions. Halfway through my Master on the role of laughter in The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky, following a trip to Russia to learn the language, I decided to call it quit with literature. I wanted to do more impactful and practical work. In all honesty, teaching literature wasn’t my dream. During that period, my university student job was teaching assistant to teach French second language to skilled migrants. I loved this work so much. I was fascinated by migration and gypsy music. I decided to complete a Postgraduate Diploma of Sociology and immigration. Of course, that would lead me nowhere specific. My project was to complete a Master of Public Administration in International Management, reasoning that management opens all the doors, right? I found a placement with Quebec Ministry of Agriculture and not in the Immigration Ministry to my disappointment. During my placement, I had to manage business meetings between Quebec entrepreneurs in the food industry and international buyers. I did enjoy it and was offered a permanent position. It was a great opportunity to travel internationally, to work with inspiring entrepreneurs, and learn more about different markets. I was very eager to work, and that job was too slow for me. I did feel trapped between the comfort of this stable income, the reality of what was the work market after spending so much time studying, and my study loans to pay.

 

Moving to Australia

This was at that time that I met my partner. He was shopping around to find a country where he’d love to live, hesitating between Australia and Canada, but ready to leave his natal France. We moved to Australia to give a go. The first years, I found work in line with my skills to survive financially with the hope to organically grow in a company and find more opportunities. It was so easy to find work and earn a decent salary. I worked in diverse industries and positions: administration, human resources, and recruitment. It was often fast paced which was suiting my need for action and my organisational skillset. My eagerness and motivation were always a fast pathway to burnout and at some point, it made me feel underappreciated and even used. In the end, I decided to thread my own path, using all my skills and savoir-faire, I settle for migration law studies then starting my own practice as a migration agent.

 

All the professional decisions I made in Australia were based on the rational of my skillset and my two languages. I was unfulfilled professionally and I missed my friends still living in Montreal so much. It takes time sometimes to grow roots in a new location, especially when socialising requires so much effort. Add to it a layer of wine to an underlying depression and you have a quick descent into darkness – refer to the article about depression to have a glimpse about that period.

 

The breaking point and the ah-ah moment

Then, after having had my son, and going through the biggest challenges of my life in a very short period: my partner’s cancer, my mom’s passing, my son’s stressful temporary health condition, a short stint of working from home leading to a real burnout, and a pneumonia resisting to many antibiotics to top it up, I finally realised that it was time for me to choose something with my heart. I decided to study counselling and mental health in-depth. I thought that I could help people caring for loved ones with cancer. I thought my lived experience - I did it twice in less than a year – would be helpful to support others in similar situations. Oh boy was I wrong thinking I’d be ready to do it. It was way too close to home and still is now. Nonetheless, this decision to study counselling, to learn about the human mind, the connection mind-body, knowing that I could make an impact in the way I’ve always preferred: by talking with one person at a time to fully immerse in the stories, the connection, the humanity of it all; I had finally found my way.

 



Why I decided to become an alcohol addiction counsellor

During my study, I started to be more mindful about my own mental health and more honest with myself about my own alcohol issues. It was always on the grey line: a mix of binge, some breaks, and some period of more consistent daily drinking for a few days more on the high-functioning drinking side. I felt guilty all the time to destroy slowly my health. My confidence was low, and I often felt anxious, nervous, agitated. I was tired, irritable, lost. I had to make a change and quitting drinking was for me an absolute relief. That wasn’t all pink and unicorn at the beginning but for me there was no other way to save myself from a life diffuse latent misery like a sad grey life.


Back to why I decided to dedicate my counselling practice to binge and high-functioning drinkers. I’ve mentioned everywhere possible that it was the service I would have needed. I mean it. I quit without having received the help of a therapist for my alcohol addiction. I used a lot of tools and resources that I found along the way and did everything separately: therapy about my fucked-up past stories and traumas on one side, dealing with motivation to quit and change of habits on another side, and additionally learning more about myself and my mind thanks to my counselling studies as a complement. When I decided to dedicate my practice to alcohol addiction, it felt like the biggest epiphany I had in my life, a moment of enlightenment like finally everything was making sense.

 


Hope in Sobriety of alcohol addiction
Sobriety led me to becoming an alcohol addiction counsellor.

Counselling services dedicated to binge drinkers and high functioning drinkers

Nowadays, there are a lot more resources and sober coaches around and I think they are doing a great work! I follow a lot of them on social media. I quit with the help of a program from a popular sober coach as well: Sarah Rusbatch, who is doing an amazing job. She has dedicated her coach services to women, and for me, that was great. But what about all the males out there who are struggling? I’ve always wondered what men could do if they couldn’t find sober coach and an empathic alcohol addiction therapist.

 

 I decided to offer services to men and women because I do enjoy working with both genders. Furthermore, I was inspired by two of my male friends in my decision to quit alcohol. One of my good friends took one year off the booze. He was honest about the reasons he was taking an extensive break; he said he felt like he was drinking progressively more after work. He was afraid of becoming an alcoholic if not changing his habit. In the meantime, another male friend went to a rough patch and instead of going down the rabbit hole with booze, bars, and promiscuity, he intentionally decided to quit drinking, challenged himself with travel adventures and a path of healthy self-discovery. As much as I found it slightly frustrating to catch up with them without our usual wine during dinner, they looked so happy, healthy, confident, and vibrant. That made me reflect firstly on my reaction: disappointment that they were not drinking anymore. It was very selfish of me but very telling too. It was uncomfortable like looking into a mirror and having to admit the reality: alcohol was ruining my life and running the show.

 

This article was a long detour to explain why I’ve decided to dedicate my counselling services to all those under the grip of alcohol addiction, whether it’s showing as a binge drinking or daily high functioning drinking. And if you were wondering, I can assure you that I absolutely love being a counsellor. I never get bored and every day, every sharing, every client, every story shared with me make me feel honoured to be the receiver. It makes me a better human every day.

 

Get in touch

If you feel that this resonates with you or if you have any questions, feel free to book a free 10-minute inquiry call and this way you can see for yourself if those counselling services could suit you.

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