The morning after I’d been drinking, I’d often wake up in the early hours and wonder:
“What the hell is wrong with me?”
“Why do I keep doing this?”
“Why can’t I just get my act together?”
Lying in bed with my eyes closed and my head pounding, I had no idea that I was asking myself all the wrong things.
If you’ve been drinking when you promised yourself you wouldn’t, there’s a much better question you should be asking instead. I explain what it is in this week’s video…
A better question to ask
If you’re struggling to quit, the thing to ask yourself is this: “How does my drinking make sense?” “How does it make sense that I’ve developed this pattern?” You can learn a lot of useful stuff from this. This question forces you to bring curiosity without judgement to your situation and step into a calm, figuring-out mindset. That will get you so much further than beating yourself up with shame and disgust.
So how does your drinking make sense? Let’s say you drink in the evening to switch off after being on the go all day. It kind of makes sense to use alcohol for that purpose because it literally slows you down. If you’ve been really hard on yourself all day because you haven’t got as much done as you wanted, drinking alcohol might help you think about something different and stop beating yourself up.
Why this information is useful
A big part of quitting drinking is understanding yourself and why you drink. There’s always some benefit to your drinking, otherwise you wouldn’t do it. Some of those benefits are subtler than others, but they’re always there. Once you start identifying what that benefit is – and it might be different on different days – then you can begin thinking about how else you could meet those needs and manage your life.
Curiosity vs shame
When you make your drinking a personal and moral failing (“What’s wrong with me?”) you end up shaming yourself, which can feel very painful. When you’re in that place, you close down the opportunity to learn from what happened, which reduces the chance of you making lasting changes. So drop the judgement and start being the scientist of your sobriety.
Looking to create a sober life you love? Click here to find out more about my Getting Unstuck Course.