Taking a mind altering substance will rarely end well. In fact, it’s pretty guaranteed that at some point in its misuse, there will be some kind of disaster.
You’ve now reached the point that you’re sick of feeling sick, tired of waking up knowing that you have failed again, bored of the same repetitive pattern.So you decide this is it. You’re going to give up alcohol. For good. No more regrets, lost nights, embarrassing moments. You are going to become sober.
All you need to do is continue as before but just substitute poison with water right? Wrong.
I read so many posts where people try and give up alcohol but fail. Lots of times it’s because they need extra help such as a support group or medical assistance. But sometimes, they just need to do things differently, to think about their triggers and how to avoid them.
For example, if you were allergic to horses, would you go and sit in a stable for the afternoon? Or if you had given up smoking, would you ask to sit in the smoking area? Of course not. You would stay as far away from the source of the problem as possible.
So why, in the initial stages of trying to give up alcohol, would you go to an alcohol fuelled party? Or spend the day in a pub? It’s like torturing yourself and that won’t help you in your quest.
Part of becoming sober is accepting your life has to change. Some things will stay constant but lots of things will either have to be discarded or adapted and this will be the biggest test of all. This could be friendships, relationships or activities such as the pub. You may be able to reintroduce some activities later on in your recovery but as time goes on, you may find you don’t actually miss them anyway.
You will not succeed if you are not willing to change. Our clever minds make associations with lots of things .. sometimes just a song can remind us of a crazy night out and be a trigger, or simply the sun shining on a beautiful day can make us think of having a drink. You have to replace the triggers. Do something on a sunny day that you think about the next time the sun shines. There is more to life on a sunny day than getting bladdered!
You have to break the cycle. You have to fill your time with different things than you did before. Take up a new hobby, go for a run, read a self help book, listen to a podcast. You have to change your associations in order to succeed. You can do this but it will take hard work and determination and a willingness to change. This is your new life, a second chance. Make it happen.