When I would tell myself that I needed to do something about my drinking I thought that I was aware of my problem, but I was only looking at the surface. It is easy to say “I drink too much” but quite another thing to fix that problem. To drop that dialogue of denial- “maybe I’m not that bad … one more drink can’t hurt…I’ll stop tomorrow” – I had to dig deep.
Make This the Week That Your Sobriety Takes Off
The way that I finally stopped drinking was based on developing self-awareness of my habit. What it took to stop drinking for me was really taking responsibility for what I was doing by looking at it honestly and openly in a safe space where I could talk it through with a group of people who understood the behavior because they had done it too. I joined an online community where I could post anonymously and privately to other people like me.
The community system of posting and commenting, supporting each other from day one and before, to years and years alcohol-free, encourages you to reach back and help the next person coming along, which feels great to you but also keeps the community growing and working together. Everyone is invested in themselves and invested in each other. The definition of great teamwork!
It is hard to break the status quo in a world where alcohol is the only drug that people will question you for not using. It takes teamwork!
Getting your head around stopping drinking can take some time. This is simply because we are so well used to this method of dealing with problems and it feels easy and nice to simply drink the problems away. Stress will always trigger addictive behavior. When we’re stressed we experience ‘cognitive overload’ and feel overwhelmed. That’s when it’s hardest not to revert to tried and tested means to get away from those uncomfortable feelings. On top of that comfortable routine, buying booze, the decision to do so, the handing over of the money, releases dopamine in our brains so we get an immediate reward, release, relax sensation even before pouring the first drink.
So to STOP drinking or CHANGE this chain reaction we really do need to pull out all the stops. You do have to dig deep now and for the foreseeable and there really is no wriggle room on that one.
Get excited; what you’re embarking on is hard work for sure and you’ll be digging deep time and again – BUT STOPPING DRINKING IS LIKELY TO BE IN YOUR TOP FIVE LIFE ACHIEVEMENTS. Start to grab back you, be able to trust you again. Commit to a lifetime of learning and personal development.
Make stopping your No 1 priority for the time being:
In the community post often and comment on other people’s posts mindfully. Read recovery books, films, blogs – everything.
Understand your drinking problem:
This is personal!
Identify your triggers. What emotions and physical feelings come with them, what time of the day, week, month, year do they appear. Which situations or people make you feel like a drink? Can you set up boundaries to protect yourself?
Start judging yourself less harshly;
Talk to yourself as you would do a friend in need. Being mean doesn’t really help…
Be responsible for yourself:
You drink because of you; so stop because of you – other people are influences for the good or bad – you have a choice so make it the right one.
With support you can do this; just accept it might be bumpy and difficult at times – but no one here who stopped regrets it and no one who said no to a drink ever regretted it.
Rethink the Drink… You are Worth it!
Read the entire text of this talk here
How to Stop Drinking – Make This the Week That Your Sobriety Takes Off