Memo to myself:
1. Write a letter to yourself, explaining how you feel, and feel about yourself, after you have had too much. Post it where you can see it when you are thinking about drinking, or carry it in your purse or wallet.
2. Make your own “Top Ten” list of things you will gain by not drinking, longer and better life, higher self-esteem, more money, better relationships, time for people, interestests, or hobbies – Not my list, YOUR list.
3. Think back over your drinking “career” and find the times and triggers that get you to drink. Come up with a plan for each one that gives you something else to do, that occupies your mind, or makes drinking inconvenient or inpractical.
4. If you slip, (OK, when you slip) get back up as soon as you can, and don’t waste your slips, learn from them. What happened that led to the slip? What can you do differently next time? When you have an idea, sit quietly and visualize yourself back in that situation, using your new plan, and succeeding. Do that a couple of times and your new plan will be right there when you need it.
5. Make another “Top Ten” list of the lies your Little Voice uses to get you to drink, and next to each line put a couple of responses. Remember, you have no moral obligation to be polite to your Wine Witch.
6. Take a break from drinking. I don’t want to get in to the alcohol free vs moderation debate; we each have to figure out what works for us. But – whichever works for you, a month break from drinking will give you the space you need to make a proper decision.
7. Put good things in your life. Be honest, drinking has been a big part of your life – too big. If you just take out drinking, you are leaving a vacuum, and your Little Voice LOVES vacuums! As you dial back booze, dial up exercise, hobbies, volunteer work. Keep moving, keep busy.
8. Log in and post here frequently, every day is good. Maybe you don’t have anything particularly post-worthy, but the folks here are more than willing to cheer your little victories and commiserate in your little defeats. If you have nothing to say, write a few encouraging comments for the rest of us. Write a “welcome to BOOM” comment for the newbies. Remember how much you appreciated the first folks that reached out to you?
9. You do not have to climb Mt. Everest this afternoon. You do not have to clear 7ft on the high jump, or discover a practical method of cold fusion. In fact, you don’t have to do anything at all. You just have to NOT do something – not lift a glass with booze to your lips. And the only time you have to NOT do that is right now. The only drink you have to not drink is the next one. So chill out. Don’t let that Little Voice, or anyone else, make a mountain out of our molehill. Just don’t drink right now.
10. Don’t defeat yourself. Maybe someday you can meet friends at the club and drink club soda, but if now is not that time, don’t push it. Don’t put a six pack in the fridge to prove how strong your will-power is, ‘cus it ain’t – at least not yet. Give yourself space to succeed.
and just in case you forgot what didn’t work .…
Top Ten Ways to Quit Drinking that Don’t Work for Spit
10. The only drink on trips method.
9. The only drink beer method.
8. The find a drinking buddy and moderate together method.
7. The only order drinks you don’t really like method.
6. The make up a cute acronym for your method method.
5. The hungover “I’m never, ever going to drink again” promise to yourself method.
4. The only drink on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and alternate Fridays method.
3. The only drink after dinner method.
2. The stock up on booze to show myself I’m strong enough to have it around and not drink method.
1. The only drink as much as other people drink method.
If you’re Drinking too much too often Rethink the Drink.
The spirit is not in the bottle.
It’s in you !
This top ten list came from a man who I’ll call Ted. My freind Ted is a husband, father, grandfather and hard working professional who is fighting off the” little voice” in his head that loves whiskey. Ted often simply posts top ten lists, that always hit the nail on the head. Sometimes these lists are serious and informative and sometimes very funny, but I know that I would not have gotten through my first alcohol free year with style and a smile if it weren’t for Ted.
When Ted and I parted ways he said that I could publish his posts far and wide on behalf of the Boozemusings Community .
And so I will.
Thank you Ted !