I’ve recently had family visiting from overseas and, after three years apart, there has been a lot of catching up.
We’ve had beach holidays, girls’ weekends, big family gatherings, lunches, dinners – and at all of these celebrations, there has been booze.
In the past, I would have been indulging with everyone else and would definitely have overindulged on many occasions.
Of course, I would have woken up regretting how much I had drunk, particularly after a night of too much ‘celebrating’, and would have promised to rein it in. But then by the afternoons there would be something else going on and I’d be straight back into it.
My past self would never have thought of not drinking. How would I have fun and socialise without alcohol? I didn’t even consider it an option.
Now that I’ve chosen to go alcohol free, my belief that you can’t have fun, socialise or go on holiday without adding alcohol into the mix has completely changed.
If I told myself a few years ago that I’d happily enjoy all these things without drinking, I wouldn’t have believed it.
So how did I change my view around drinking and socialising?
When I realised that the way I was drinking wasn’t good for me and I was worried that it was progressively getting worse, I needed to really examine what was going on.
One of the key things I did to change my approach to drinking was to question all the reasons I thought I ‘needed’ to drink and ask whether my beliefs were really true.
The belief that I needed alcohol to celebrate the good times was very entrenched so when I questioned whether it was really true, it was like I was questioning whether the sky was blue or the grass green.
It’s a fact, isn’t it?
How do you enjoy the good times without drinking?
As it turns out you can have a great time – I would argue a better time – without adding alcohol into the mix.
I’ve enjoyed mocktails by the beach at sunset, an alcohol-free red wine at dinner, botanical non-alcoholic spirit with tonic for drinks and nibblies … and the list goes on.
As I wrote in last week’s blog post, alcohol-free drinks have been instrumental in helping me to enjoy adult drinks without side effects of drinking alcohol. For me – it’s a win-win.
And the thing that I realised – and that has really blown my mind – is that when I’m not fixating on alcohol, I’m actually enjoying the company and experiences a lot more.
No more blurry memories of the night before, no more hangovers, no more sluggishness, no more regrets.
So if you’re thinking about taking a break from drinking – either short-term or for a longer period – and don’t think you can manage the good times without drinking, you may want to start questioning your beliefs around drinking.
And if you need support in taking back control, please reach out to me.
I provide a free 30-minute discussion call where you can talk about your situation in a completely private and confidential way and I can advise you on the support I can provide.