Since sharing about my sobriety journey, I have become aware that other peeps are in a similar boat. I tried to stop drinking many times but it wasn’t until I got to the point where I physically couldn’t take any more that I was able to stop. As they say, you don’t know it’s enough until you know it’s too much and this chestnut advocating for the all or nothing approach, one drink is too many and a hundred drinks are not enough. There have been things that have been helpful to me to stop drinking that may be helpful for others too. Whether your poison is booze, pills, sugar or caffeine, these can help. An addict isn’t always facedown on the tram or stumbling around the streets looking for their next fix, they can be regular ‘functional’ ‘respectable’ members of the community like me and you, hanging out for coffee or wine o’clock.
The Replacements: Addiction takes up time, money and energy. Think of things to do with the sudden excess of these you will have when you stop. It’s a good idea to find some substitutes. Decaf for caf, ginger beer for beer, cacao for choc, going to the gym rather than the pub etc. Going cold turkey is black belt level tough so cutting down in the preceding weeks is less of a shock to the old nervous system. Withdrawals are real dude (I’m surely not the only one still traumatised by that scene in “Trainspotting”) so be kind to yourself and do all the self-love things; water, sleep, exercise, comedy-only Netflix binges. You can avoid triggers by not going to the pub or only staying for one (has anyone managed this ever?), making plans to fill your time with movies, walks, reading etc.
13 reasons why: Be clear on your reasons for stopping. Think of what it has cost you and will continue to cost you. Take a walk down uncomfortable street, embarrassment lane and hangover hill. Feel these feelings. OMG I can’t believe I did that/ said that/ stole that/spent that/wore that. Then pivot towards positive-ville. Focus on all the things you will gain; increased health and happiness, money and brain cells saved, not having to wake up in fear of what you may have done the night before (memory’s a bit hazy…. ). Visualise this new you laughing in a group wearing a fabulous dress with a fabulous glass of sparkling water in hand and make this imagined future compelling enough to propel you through all the temptations of the present. I’m surprised at how strong my default impulse is to ‘drink’ when facing strong or uncomfortable feelings. Even after almost 2 years of no alcohol, not drinking is a practice I must practise daily.
Insert inspirational quote here:
“A decision is when you cut off any other possibility and you commit to something with everything you’ve got, and you take action”
So decide to stop your addiction du jour and create a vision of the future so compelling it pulls you forward to overcome any challenges that may arise.
Love and light and here’s cheers with ginger beer! xxx Yvette