What I didn’t expect when I decided to take a break from drinking

Rachael Layton

This week I clocked up two years since I decided to take a break from drinking – a milestone that I never imagined I’d reach.

Back then I knew I had to make a change to the way I was drinking but stopping drinking altogether was a scary thought.

That’s why I set a goal of not drinking for three months and treated it as a health kick.

Why take a break?

I was sick of

  • worrying about drinking and the effects it was having on my health
  • the mental gymnastics of trying to moderate how much I was drinking
  • the frustration of this being the one thing in my life that I couldn’t manage

Even though I knew I needed to make a change, I still questioned whether my decision was too extreme and kept telling myself: “You’re not that bad!”.

Three-month break

But I knew I had to do something as a circuit breaker to the way I was drinking so a three-month break it was.

I also decided to tackle it in a different way to the breaks I’d taken in the past.

Instead of approaching it purely as a habit change, I delved into the way I was using alcohol and started getting curious about what was going on.

What I hadn’t expected to happen

My three months ended up being two years … and counting.

Why? Because I felt so good that I didn’t want to start drinking again.

The biggest realisation I’ve had is that I don’t feel as if I’m missing out on anything.

This has taken time and certainly wasn’t how I felt at the beginning but now the idea of having a drink does not appeal at all.

If I told myself that a couple of years ago I would not have believed it!

My advice

That’s why I advise my clients to stop fixating on cutting back on drinking or white knuckling through a forced break from drinking where they feel deprived.

Instead, learn more about how alcohol works (it’s an addictive substance and there are very good reasons why it’s hard to moderate).

Then get curious about your own drinking patterns and the reasons why you drink.

And if you need support to help you do this, feel free to reach out to me to find out more about one-on-one coaching and other support I provide.

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