Have you had enough? Do you feel like you need to drink or want to drink but have had enough hungover mornings? Enough anxiety? Enough groundhog days and groundhog nights? Enough alcohol?
When was “enough” finally enough for me? Regretfully far too many years were wasted when I already knew the answer to the question and chose to ignore it because I wasn’t strong enough to go hard on myself. To tell myself to listen to the answer. To accept – I need to stop drinking – I don’t control alcohol – Alcohol controls me.
I had periods of not drinking, patting myself on the back and drinking again ‘because I could control it now’ 😬 – and I started slowly slipping right back to the same place where I had begun. I tried moderation but that was never going to work. One drink and I wanted more because the drug took all restrictions away. Alcohol jammed my stop drinking button.
I realise now that how I reacted to alcohol depended on the mood I was in before I picked up the first drink, but no matter what the mood, it always made me want more of the drug. Alcohol made me feel relaxed, euphoric maybe, drift into a painless world. It took me over, igniting a flame deep inside me, made me excited sometimes, melancholy at others, more agitated and angry sometimes. Alcohol was a drug that detached me. A drug that isolated me. A drug that took control of me.
How did I stop drinking? What was finally different the day I stood back and refused to allow alcohol in my body anymore.
To stop drinking for good it was of no use for me to tell myself “I want” to stop drinking. I had to change my attitude. I had to change my focus from “I’ll TRY to do this” to “I don’t do that anymore”
I don’t drink anymore.
End of Story.
I don’t drink.
I had to stick to it whatever life threw at me. Whatever mood I was in.
To finally stop drinking I had to visualise what alleged benefits the drug alcohol gave me and how transient they would be. I had to visualize the negatives the drug gave me. For me the negatives now far outweighed the benefits or I wouldn’t have joined an online community to help me stop drinking – or had so many regrets after I drank.
So why didn’t I just stop drinking years before?
The habit of drinking was ingrained in me – I considered it a birthright of modern society. We are encouraged to drink. It’s rude not to drink …..isn’t that crazy? I’d nurtured drinking alcohol for over 30 years so I was very good at it. I thought I needed it and to be truthful, I knew no other way.
Unless you live life without alcohol for a long period of time and amazingly find it’s not only possible to do but it’s actually a better more peaceful life – you may find yourself drinking it again and having regrets over and over again. Ground hog days and ground hog nighst. Well I did.
For too long……😢
I had to focus on “I don’t do that anymore” when the drug called to me and go through many ups and downs before it became second nature to not drink. For me it’s been worth every bad day, every sulk and all the sad days of removing alcohol from my life. Like an abusive partner I had to let it go to protect myself. To survive.
Since letting it go I have not had a single day where I’ve regretted not allowing the drug alcohol into my body. Not a single day where I’ve had a hangover or regrets from the night before.
The problem may be that we are in a habit. We may see alcohol as a sort of crutch for our lives. Alcohol may ‘relax’ us’ and cause ‘enjoyment’ or ‘allow us to shut off from life’ for a while. It may be viewed as ‘reward’ or a ‘comforter’ in times of stress.
But essentially it is a drug, a poison – and all drugs have side effects.
The drug alcohol affects our brains. It’s just that simple.
It alters our brain patterns and causes the ‘hit’ that causes the effects.
What you have to decide is whether you really need this ‘hit.’
Do you now think you need to have alcohol to relax?
Do you now think you need to have alcohol in order to enjoy yourself?
Do you now think you need to have alcohol in times of stress?
For me the effects of alcohol are too sudden and too strong. The drug affected me immediately. It jammed my ‘stop drinking alcohol’ button. I vanished and another person emerged and I looked for more alcohol.
The after effects of the drug now had such a huge negative impact on my life. So for the ‘hit’ I received I had to decide absolutely that the after effects had become too unacceptable. That they were spoiling my life and that this couldn’t continue.
I didn’t really fully comprehend how much alcohol was affecting me. I couldn’t know because it wasn’t possible to know until I stopped drinking alcohol.
When you ‘yearn’ for alcohol maybe start to ask yourself WHY?
What do you think it gives you? Could you maybe consider giving yourself time to retrain yourself to give yourself something else instead?
Or could you maybe retrain yourself to work through and actually live through the reason?
Face life head on without a drug.
I was on this roller-coaster for years — and I mean too many years.
Waking promising I would not drink that night. Getting through the day.
3-4pm would roll around and I would say
“I feel better, I’m not that bad, I’ve had a hard day, life sucks and alcohol is my gift to myself to make me happy and take myself to another world.”
So I drank one drink. After all it’s my reward. It’s what you do after work. I would convince myself that it’s normal.
“Everyone does it.”
3am lying in an unsettled sleep, talking to myself, telling myself I have to stop doing this to myself. Waking promising I would not drink that night.
I think you have to be ready.
I had tried a month off here and there. Always counting the days until I could pat myself on the back and congratulate myself and drink again. Trouble was I ended up right back where I was before again.
I actually think those periods where I didn’t drink were of great value. So don’t despair if you’re still at that stage. They give you an insight into what your life is like with alcohol and what it could be like without it.
Gives you the opportunity to compare the 2 Worlds.
But eventually you may need to make a choice.
Live like this forever – or change.
I stopped drinking alcohol on 26th December 2013.
I was READY.
I had to be ready to actually, truly, purposefully, stick to this with absolutely no excuses making me drink alcohol.
I was absolutely sick of who I was, my life and my wasted life. I had spent so many days, months and years of my life WITH alcohol that do you know what? — I didn’t actually know what it would be like to live WITHOUT alcohol.
So I began.
Not counting days till I could drink alcohol again but counting days since I had lived without it.
And I was very scared. But then by now I was also scared of alcohol and what it did to me -so what did I have to lose?
So I stopped. Solid. Stopped -no compromise. 😱
And I lived it.
Slowly, baby steps, really strange way to live.
No matter what happened no alcohol. Never.
Was it hard? Oh yes. How could it not be? I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. All I knew was I couldn’t drink. Ever. No matter whether it was a good day, great day, celebration, bad day, boring day, anxious day, someone upset me etc etc etc…..
I couldn’t drink. Period.
And I grew into it. Slowly, steady, head high, determined. And to be truthful I enjoyed not having a choice anymore.
I was tired at the beginning, developed a sweet tooth and drank ginger beer though my body cried out for wine.
I could not drink……whatever happened.
Slowly I learned a new life without alcohol.
Yes unbelievably you can live without alcohol. Who’d have thought?
😳 Not me…..
Do you think that maybe we’ve been brainwashed since birth?
That’s what adults do. Adults drink alcohol.
That’s how adults cope with adult life.
That’s how adults have fun.
Given time -and only you can give yourself that -you may find that alcohol is not essential and never was the only way you can have fun.
Never was the answer to all your problems. Sure it can mask problems for a while. Maybe make you more relaxed for a couple of hours. But what if it always affects you in a negative way afterwards now?
It’s a drug. Pure and simple it’s a drug and all drugs have side effects.
Consider the drugs given to you by your doctor. Years of research is done on these drugs involving many trials before it can be licenced. When a drug is taken the positive effect it has is judged medically to outweigh the negative effect it has on your body.
Only you can decide if the positive effects of alcohol are worth the negative effects it has.
It definitely wasn’t for me. I’d never have known that if I hadn’t let it go.
I’d still be living my groundhog days and nights
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