I can’t pinpoint exactly when my relationship with drinking turned from being casual to something a bit more toxic.
The analogy of the frog in boiling water helps to explain this.
The story goes that if you were to put a frog in boiling water it would jump straight out but if you put it in tepid water and slowly increased the heat it would gradually get used to it.
Now, despite the element of animal cruelty, it’s a great analogy to explain how alcohol slowly creeps up on us. There is this slow realisation that the substance we once loved is now causing us pain.
It was when I got to the stage where I was in a love / hate relationship with drinking, that I really struggled to find a way out.
What I loved about drinking
I didn’t want to stop drinking because it was – or so I thought at the time – so instrumental to so many aspects of my life.
It helped me to relax at the end of a stressful day and helped soothe me whenever I felt sad, angry or annoyed.
It was also for the fun times – socialising, holidays, even just a relaxing night in with my partner.
What I hated about drinking
But I hated it as well. I hated how I was increasingly waking up at 3am, dehydrated and with my mind whirring with thoughts, unable to get back to sleep. I hated feeling hungover and have morning-after regrets about how much I had drunk the night before.
I really hated the fact that if I drank too much I would forget parts of the night before. In fact, that really scared me.
The only solution was to moderate my drinking. But I soon learned that moderating isn’t as simple as I thought it would be.
I cover this in my free guide Four reasons why moderation is so difficult, which you can download if you want to learn more.
The bottom line is that moderation is difficult because it relies on willpower. The way alcohol work in our bodies and minds is very powerful and trying to control this process through willpower is like trying to throw a bottle of water on an out-of-control bushfire and expect it to distinguish.
So what’s the solution?
My escape from the love / hate relationship with alcohol was firstly to realise that it was even going on.
I then got curious.
“I’m a smart woman who has control over all other areas of my life,” I thought. “Why can’t I control my drinking?”
It was only when I read This Naked Mind by Annie Grace that I started to question the role drinking was playing in my life.
I discovered why it was so hard for me to moderate and it wasn’t because I was weak willed.
I then learned to question my long-held beliefs about drinking.
The entire process was empowering and helped me to gain back control over my drinking rather than feeling like I had lost control.
It was so life changing that I decided to train as a This Naked Mind certified coach and now work with people who are struggling with their own love / hate relationship with drinking to help them gain back control.
I’ll continue to cover what I’ve learnt in this blog so, if you haven’t already done so, you can sign up to my weekly newsletter to receive updates.
You can also contact me directly for a free 30-minute chat about the services I provide.
Photo courtesy of Keenan Constance, Pexels