So, lets say that this is day one. You’re quitting alcohol and you’re on top of your game! But what about tomorrow? Will quitting alcohol feel as good tomorrow? Or what about when you’re in a really shitty mood? How will you cope then? Or when it’s your birthday or you get good news…. or bad news … or you see your friends….. STOP!!!
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
How do you complete a marathon? One step at a time.
Most achievements happen gradually, with much hard work and determination and quitting alcohol is an achievement of epic proportions. The easiest way to do it is to take it one day at a time.
We’re only dealing with today. Tomorrow will take care of itself.
Treat life like an advent calendar. Just open todays date and see what’s inside.
All you have to do today is go about your normal routine in the same way you usually would apart from one thing – you won’t be drinking alcohol. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t easy. It’s just the easiest way I know.
Set An Intention At The Start Of Each Day
Every morning, before you do anything else you must set your intention for the day. You can do this while sitting on the toilet, brushing your teeth or if you have time, in a quiet space as part of a meditation.
Close your eyes and make a promise. Offer your intention up to wherever feels right for you: the universe, God or just to yourself. Say something like:
Today I will not drink alcohol. I give myself over to life and whatever it brings. Thank you for this amazing opportunity to grow.
Breathe in the strength of that statement and smile to yourself. It’s just a lovely way to start the day.
One Trigger At A Time
This is your biggest challenge because really, it’s the triggers that you need to get through. Triggers are the moments that make you automatically think about drinking. These could be something like.
- Putting the kids to bed
- Cooking dinner
- Business lunch
- Dinner in a restaurant
- Receiving bad news
- A celebratory occasion
Identifying your triggers and planning for them will massively help you to beat them. Here are some alternatives you could plan to do in order to bypass the triggers.
- Do some exercise every day when you would normally have your first drink
- Stock up on alternatives such as alcohol free beer and flavoured tonic
- Be the designated driver at any social event
- Go for a brisk walk when stress comes your way
Just knowing what your triggers are will massively help you to avoid any slip ups.
Give Yourself A Pat On The Back At The End Of Each Day
Everyday you get into bed and you didn’t have a drink is a small miracle and major achievement. Especially on the days you really struggled. Don’t forget to congratulate yourself.
If you are a note keeping type of person than write a few lines at the end of each day. The realisations about your drinking should come thick and fast. Maybe not in the first week but once you get some distance between yourself and your old habit. Here are some things that might strike you at various stages throughout your first month or so:
- You don’t need alcohol to laugh
- Alcohol was making your memory worse
- A lot of people drink way too much
- Mornings are so much better without a hangover
- Alcohol is way more addictive than you realised
- You feel so much better without alcohol
- You have way more time on your hands now you don’t drink
Talk To Someone
You may find quitting alcohol easy because in fact, you didn’t drink that much in the first place. Or you might be about to embark on a white knuckle ride of craving and self doubt. If you fit into the latter category then join the club. BUT let me tell you, if you can see this through you are about to discover a world of enlightenment and freedom. I almost envy you that journey, rocky though it may be.
Whatever type of drinker you are, we all need someone to talk to. I always recommend AA because it was simply the most powerful tool I found. Meetings are happening every day, all over the world. They are genuinely anonymous, non-judgmental places where you can go and just listen to other people’s experiences if you don’t wish to share.
AA isn’t for everyone though. It’s a little religious in it’s vocabulary and refers to alcoholism as an allergy… But you take what you need and there’s no doubt it provides great support.
A partner, family member or close friend can also offer you immense encouragement and support. If you are lucky enough to have those sorts about you then fill them in on what you’re up to because that accountability can really help.
Keep Coming Back To Today
I repeat, it’s just for today. Don’t think about tomorrow or the next day or next week. Every time your mind wonders into the murky future, remind yourself that you are just doing today. It is the easiest way I know to achieve anything.
Now go, sober heroes and smash it. I salute you all!!
Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for daily tips, motivation and advice. @TheAlcoholSpell