Have you ever pulled out a piece of paper, drew a hard vertical line down the center and wrote PROS and CONS at the top to make a decision?
When you are ready to question your relationship with alcohol, try this legendary exercise. Mark at the top, “Reasons to Keep Drinking and Reasons to Quit Drinking.”
It is truly eye-opening to see what transpires on paper.
My own personal list was startling. It went something like this:
Reasons to Keep drinking:
- I love wine.
- I have fun with my friends.
- I can keep my friends.
- We get to experience fun times together.
- I like the way wine and food taste together.
- Everyone drinks and I fit in.
Reasons to Quit Drinking:
- It will save my life.
- It will save me a ton of money.
- I won’t feel hungover anymore.
- I will never risk getting a DUI.
- I will lose weight.
- I won’t act like an idiot when intoxicated.
- I will remember everything I say and do.
- I won’t experience any blackouts.
- Because I need to.
After writing the above list, I literally shed a tear. The cold hard truth was staring back at me. I was at ‘my enough’. I was scared and ashamed. I was internally embarrassed. I don’t think I have ever felt that way previously and it frightened me.
What’s your truth? What are your reasons to keep drinking? What could happen if you experiment with not drinking? Write it out and examine it for yourself. Seeing your own truth on paper is an awakening, to say the least.
Once you see the reasons, compare them. Look at them for what they are. Ask yourself the ‘why’s’ behind each one.
- “I love drinking!”
- Okay, why? “Because it makes me feel relaxed.”
- Why? “Because I had a rough day and the kids were driving me nuts. I needed it.”
- Why? “Because I deserve it.”
- Why? “Because I just do.”
- Why? “Because, umm, not sure.” (gasp)
Alcohol works because it’s a depressant. It works until it no longer works – and hence why you’re most likely reading this blog post. You want to know why – your brain releases massive amount of dopamine when you drink, and over time, your brain needs more of it to receive the same effect. This is why over time, you need more and/or have a hard time stopping at just one drink.
“But wait! How will I have a fun social life? What will I do?”
Several years later, I now laugh at my “reasons to keep drinking”. I was saying the same thing just in a different way. I was trying so hard to come up with GOOD reasons but they all surrounded this false notion that without alcohol in my life, there would be no fun. Boy, was I wrong! SO wrong.
It’s not what you CAN’T have – it’s what YOU GET TO HAVE.
Maybe this is your story as well.
Start by questioning the drink. Join the private Facebook group, Question the Drink today.
Start where you are and move one tiny step. That’s all you need to begin. Just – one – step. (Plus paper and a pen.)