“Why can’t I figure out how to quit drinking?”
I must have asked myself that question so many times.
In every other area of life, I was pretty good at making things happen.
I wasn’t afraid of hard work and I considered myself to be a fairly resourceful person.
But I just couldn’t make sobriety stick.
I couldn’t figure out why I kept breaking promises to myself.
If you’re starting to wonder whether you’ll ever get this, this video is for you:
When quitting drinking is the one thing you just can’t seem to figure out, it can be tempting to make up stories about it, such as:
“Maybe I’ll never get this.” “Maybe I’ve got an addictive personality.” “Maybe I’m just not strong enough.” None of that is true.
Success is like an iceberg
You know all those other things in your life that you’re really good at, or proud of? Well, there was a point when you weren’t so good at them. Whether it’s parenting, exams, running, driving, whatever – you had to figure out all of them.
The brain loves to look back at the past through rose tinted glasses. We forget just how much work went into an achievement. If you’re struggling with your drinking right now, all it means is that this is the next thing to work on.
It’s ok to struggle with alcohol
When you can’t figure out how to quit, part of the pain comes from feeling that it’s wrong to struggle in the first place. We’re conditioned to think that we should be able to control alcohol and that you’re ‘weak’ if you can’t. (I shared more about this ridiculous idea here.)
Alcohol is addictive. It’s portrayed as fun, sophisticated and exciting. As adults we’re told that we need alcohol in order to survive work, parenting, the pandemic… So is it really a surprise that you’ve come to rely on drinking?
Choosing short term discomfort
When you drink, you choose the short term comfort of saying yes, but get the long term discomfort of being hungover and feeling bad. In sobriety, you’ve got to be willing to choose short term discomfort, in return for long term well being and satisfaction in your life.
If you’re someone who’s experienced success, reached goals and done things you’re proud of elsewhere in your life, then guess what? You’re used to choosing short term discomfort for long term gains. You can figure out how to do this with alcohol too.
It’s not about ‘being stronger’ or ‘trying harder’. It always comes back to the thoughts you have about you and alcohol. If you want some help to change your beliefs about booze, my stop drinking course will show you how to quit and feel good about it. You can find out more here.