Do you wake up in the morning promising that you will drink less, or not at all, only to find yourself pouring a drink that very afternoon?
If you’re using alcohol as a way to deal with life’s challenges, then reaching for a drink can sometimes feel like an automatic response.
Does any of the following sound familiar:
- Stressful day = “f**k it, I’ll just have a drink”
- A never-ending to-do list that is making you feel overwhelmed = “pour me a drink”
- Unwinding at the end of the day with your partner, kids, cat, dog and/or Netflix = “ahh, time for a drink”
Whatever the reason, or reasons, you give yourself for ‘needing’ a drink, they can be very powerful in overriding your desire to cut back or stop altogether.
Why? Because usually we’re relying on willpower to make the change and willpower is a finite resource.
By the end of the day or the end of the week (or the end of our patience!) we cave in and use what has always helped us deal with whatever challenge life is throwing at us, i.e. a drink or two or more.
So what’s the alternative?
Understanding why you’re drinking is the first step.
For many of us we have a drink to take the edge off – to unwind and relax.
When I decided to take a break from drinking I would ask myself a simple, yet powerful, question whenever I was tempted to have a drink:
“Is it worth it?”
Sure, having a drink might have taken the edge off if I’d had a stressful day or helped me to relax into a social event but I knew it was just a temporary fix.
I started to consider whether it was really worth it?
- Was it worth waking up in the middle of the night unable to get back to sleep?
- Was it worth feeling sluggish and queasy the next morning?
- Was it worth worrying about the health impacts of drinking?
- Was it worth the back-and-forth cycle of questioning “will I or won’t I drink tonight”?
Asking “Is it worth it?” is a good way to fast forward past the point where a drink provides a temporary ‘benefit’.
I began to realise that it was actually doing the opposite and was adding to the stresses in my life rather than relieving them.
I know it’s not always as simple as asking the question – “Is it worth it?” – so if you’re struggling to gain back control of your drinking and would like some support, please reach out.
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