What do you do when you’re trying to stay sober and your brain cries out for alcohol? The problem seems to be that we are in a habit. We see alcohol as a source of enjoyment, learned by default throughout our growing lives. How can we possibly enjoy ourselves sober when alcohol has always been the pathway?
The key is learning that we may be mistaken.
Alcohol may ‘relax’ us and cause ‘enjoyment’ or ‘allow us to enjoy’ ourselves for a certain period. It may be viewed as a ‘reward’ or a comforter in times of stress, but essentially it is a drug, a poison, and all drugs have side effects. The drug effects our brains. Plain and 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 HAVE to have alcohol to relax?
Do you HAVE to have alcohol in order to enjoy yourself?
Do you HAVE to have alcohol in times of stress?
If so you may ask yourself WHY? What does it actually GIVE you? And can you give yourself the time to choose to learn a new habit in order to do the same?
For me, it was simple mathematics. The effects of alcohol are too sudden and too strong. The drug affects me immediately. It may in its effect ‘relax’ me and make me feel I am ‘rewarding myself’ for whatever (the list got longer and longer) or ‘comfort’ me in times of stress (the list got longer still), but it jams my ‘stop’ drinking alcohol button. I vanish and another person emerges and yet I looked for more alcohol.
The after-effects of the drug were bad.
So for the ‘hit’ I received, the after-effects were too unacceptable. The after-effects were spoiling my life. I didn’t really fully comprehend how much for a long time. Let me give you an example.
Here in the UK it is a Bank Holiday weekend. That’s 3 days off work. The old me would have said ”Alcohol.” I would have drunk a glass of wine as soon as I could after work and that would have lead to more. I would become ”relaxed, happy, euphoric”, as the alcohol altered my persona. I would have eventually been oblivious of how drunk I was and probably have started talking crap, maybe getting a bit irritated and nasty without me realising it and maybe listening to music as I had a ‘great time.’ Sleep when it came would be sudden, fitful and not for long. I would awake feeling ill, anxious, sad, tired, full of loathing and with a sense of gloom. Tasks the next day would be laborious and my constant yearning would be to sleep to feel better. Later in the day I would start the whole process again.
Because it was a Bank holiday weekend. My weekend to do whatever I wanted……………
In contrast the new sober me went out for a meal, watched a DVD, drank lots of tea and then listened to my music. Today have been up, shopped, done the washing and organised a dance night tomorrow with my friends. I am the driver but I will be dancing the night away nonetheless. I am happy, no anxieties and content with myself.
The only advice I can give you is this.
When you ‘yearn’ for alcohol start to ask yourself WHY?
What do you think it gives you? Could you maybe give 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.
But most of all ask yourself do you really want/need the after-effects.
Play it Forward.
More from our Sober October Mascot Trevor below … but first a word from our Sponsor
If you’re “sober curious” …
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We are an independent, anonymous and private community who share resources, support and talk it through every day. It helps to have a community behind you in a world where alcohol is the only addictive drug that people will question you for NOT using
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Sober October Bonus
Economics 101 🤓 ………
Our Sober October Mascot Trevor explains :
“Diminishing Marginal Utility”
You have to choose between a favourite (but on its last legs) toy and a brand new, indestructible, beautiful bouncy blue rubber ball
Or using this example, a much loved old favourite alcohol beverage – Pink Gin (the worn-out toy) or his shiny new, slimmer Alcohol-free life (new bouncy blue ball) ???????
What did Trev choose? As you can see him indicating with his left foot- Trev chose the Blue Ball.
What will you choose??? 🤔
Best wishes, and safe travels for Day 6 of Sober October 🤗🥰🐶🤓❤️🌸
More from the author of this post on Boozemusings :
Boozemusings is a lifestyle blog and the BOOM Community is a peer support group. We are NOT trained addiction counselors but simply a community of people who have overcome or are overcoming alcohol issues. We do not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, nor does anything on this website create a physician/patient relationship. If you require medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, please consult your physician.