When you’re worried about your drinking, it can often feel as if you’re the only person on the planet who struggles with alcohol.
But you’re really not alone.
In today’s blog, I’m sharing some of the things I’ve learned from working with hundreds of women who want to stop drinking.
When it comes to quitting, I’ve noticed many of us follow a spookily similar path… and make the exact same mistakes! 🤦♀️
There’s no gloss, no judgement, no inspirational buzzwords in this blog – just 33 ‘steps’ I think you might be VERY familiar with…
How many of these have you done?
33 Easy Steps To Stop Drinking Alcohol…
1. Wake up with a hangover and decide you’re thoroughly fed up of feeling like this.
2. Pour any remaining alcohol down the sink and promise yourself you will be good tonight. In fact, you’re going to turn over a completely new leaf.
3. Start planning your Healthy New Life. As well as quitting drinking, you vow to run every day, cut out sugar and carbs, do yoga, meditate and cook your meals from scratch.
4. Log on to Amazon to buy a book about stopping drinking. Notice the ‘frequently purchased together with’ section. Buy 12 more.
5. Wake up the next day feeling more human. Feel immensely proud and confident about operation Healthy New Life for about five minutes.
6. Have a nightmare day at work. Decide to scrap the diet at 11am. Spend the afternoon wondering whether to buy red or white wine on the way home.
7. Groundhog day. Wake up at 4am with a pounding headache. Feel exhausted yet unable to sleep.
8. Decide that trying to cut out alcohol completely is too extreme. Google ‘how to drink less’.
9. Read 25 articles containing the same few pieces of guidance. Collect bonus points if they include helpful suggestions like ‘alternate every alcoholic drink with water’ and ‘drink from smaller glasses’.
10. Go to the supermarket to purchase one of those tiny, single-serve bottles of wine. Notice the tiny bottles are on a 3 for 2 offer. Decide that it makes financial sense to purchase all three.
11. Get home, tip one of the small bottles into a glass and chug it back whilst standing at the kitchen counter.
12. Decide that the first glass doesn’t really count. Pour a second, try to drink it slower.
13. Discover (to your amazement) that once you start drinking, it is still really hard to stop. Who can be arsed drinking a glass of water in between each wine?
14. Rush through the kids bath time and bedtime stories so you can get back to drinking.
15. Search the house for more booze. Find some long forgotten about brandy that tastes horrible. Drink it anyway.
16. Fall asleep in front of the TV. Wake up and commence a panicked check of your phone for evidence of calls, texts and Facebook posts you can’t remember.
17. Finally drift back to sleep just before your alarm goes off.
18. Get ready for work. Layer on makeup and use some ‘bright eye’ drops in an attempt to look less dead.
19. Concerned colleagues ask if you’re ok – you’re a bit quiet today and you look tired. Brightly tell them you’re absolutely fine. Isn’t it a lovely day? Would anyone like a coffee? Your acting skills could win you an Oscar.
20. Spend the day sneakily consulting Dr Google about your hangover symptoms. Are you imagining it, or is your liver actually aching? Scare yourself by reading about all the health risks of drinking.
21. Start googling the health benefits of drinking in order to make yourself feel better. Sure, alcohol is linked to at least 7 types of cancer, but look at the antioxidants in red wine! Decide that you really, really care about antioxidants.
22. Check your bank balance. Wonder where on earth your money goes. Try to work out how much cash you’d save if you quit drinking.
23. The Amazon books arrive. Read a few pages of one memoir and decide you have nothing in common with the author. Hide the rest under your bed.
24. Fill out a ‘Am I drinking too much’ questionnaire online. Feel surprised by the result but decide that you must have exaggerated some of your answers. Take the test again.
25. Crowdsource opinions on your drinking. Friends are confused and horrified at the idea of you drinking less. You can’t have a problem, they reason. You drink exactly the same as us!
26. Ask your partner for advice, knowing that they’ve seen you at your worst. They know about the late night secret drinking on the sofa. “Why don’t you just… drink less?” they suggest, helpfully.
27. Feel annoyed that no one understands you. You’re certain that you’re not a ‘normal drinker’ but you’re not an alcoholic either.
28. Head out for drinks with the girls. They’re relieved you’ve forgotten all about that sobriety nonsense. Hurrah for cocktails! Drinking is so FUN.
29. Decide to give up on giving up. Life is too short for this. Resign yourself to a lifetime of hangovers.
30. Wake up face down on your bed, makeup on, half dressed. Look around for your personal belongings. How you got home last night is a mystery.
31. Decide to take the day off work because you feel too sick. You never take days off work. You’ve always made it in before.
32. Watch the movie 28 Days and When A Man Loves A Woman. Sob wildly. Make yourself a solemn promise that you won’t give up again. Realise you still have no idea how to do this stop drinking thing.
33. Return to Step 1. Rinse and repeat.
If you’re interested in an alternative approach to stopping drinking…
(One that actually works) get your name on the waiting list for my next course here. The next class starts in January.
Now what steps have I missed off this list? Please let me know in comments below! 👇