WHAT SCARES YOU ABOUT NEVER DRINKING AGAIN?

Momentum feels fantastic, doesn’t it? Especially when it comes to not drinking.

It’s invigorating to have nights of uninterrupted sleep, mornings with no regrets, and days with the kids where you are present and more patient.

You may even reach a point where you don’t crave a drink anymore, and taking a break feels effortless.

And yet, the thought of never having another drink feels, well…scary. Why is that?

First of all, I’m not suggesting you make promises to yourself about never drinking again. That’s not what I teach. My focus is on understanding why you drink to begin with and then deciding what kind of life you want to create. Nevertheless, it’s a useful exercise to ask yourself why the thought of never drinking again gives you pause. It will point you to where your work is.

When you think about never drinking again, what thoughts does your lower brain offer you? What thoughts about drinking are still knocking around your subconscious masquerading as truth? These are the thoughts that will keep you stuck in a cycle of quitting/restarting. Because as good as not drinking might feel, your brain also thought that alcohol helped you out on some level. And these sneaky little thoughts will keep pulling you back into the habit if you don’t root them out. Maybe they sound like:

I won’t be as much fun.

I’ll miss the buzz.

I’ll have no escape.

People will think I’m weird.

Give it a try. Ask yourself what scares you about never drinking again. Write down the thoughts that come up. Then take them one by one and build a case against them. They seem true because you have thought them repeatedly. They’re familiar. But start to chip away at them. Look for evidence that disproves them. Come up with a believable response and practice that. When your brain starts to offer you the old thought, redirect it.

You’ve got this.

COUNTING DAYS MISSES THE POINT

Counting days misses the point.

When you focus on counting the number of consecutive days you’ve gone without drinking, you’re paying attention to the wrong thing; you’re focused on the behavior. 

And who could blame you, that seems like a reasonable place to start, right? 

The problem is that behavior doesn’t take place in a vacuum. It’s always driven by a feeling (desire for alcohol, restlessness, etc.), and the feeling is triggered by a thought. 

When you focus just on the behavior, you’re left relying on will-power, white-knuckling, distraction, or avoidance to get you through your cravings. 

Have you met someone who quit drinking years ago but still thinks about it regularly? It’s likely they changed the behavior, but not the habitual thinking and feeling behind it. They still want alcohol even if they don’t let themselves have it. 

But real freedom happens when you stop wanting alcohol. When you don’t want it, the drama falls away. Not drinking becomes the default. But that doesn’t come from muscling through sober days. It comes from understanding why you drink in the first place and deconditioning the habit by allowing urges peacefully. 

No matter how many times you’ve tried to change your drinking, this is 100% possible for you.

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