I Don’t Have A Problem.
“You do not have to have a problem with alcohol for alcohol to be a problem.”
November 30, 2017 I made the decision to not drink for the entire year of 2018. (I started one month early to be an overachiever.)
The decision was made for many reasons. I wanted to better myself. To learn and grow. To try something new. To face a challenge head on. Why was this a “challenge?” Alcohol is everywhere and all the cool kids are doing it.
I read a post the other day that said “Alcohol is the only drug in the world that you have to justify why you are not taking it, instead of justifying why you do.” (Instagram: @Healthy_Discoveries.)
I attend many social gatherings and events and more often than not, there is a glass of wine in hand by almost all attendees. Happy hours are a thing. Sunday brunch with mimosas. Mom clubs and their Pinot Grigo. Everywhere you look, drinking is encouraged, celebrated, glamorized.
I wondered what would happen when I didn’t partake in the universal hobby. I also wondered if I would be missing out.
Well, I am here to tell you, only once can I think of being asked why I wasn’t drinking and I absolutely love not acting ridiculous while under the influence. For those who think they are going to be pointed out for not taking part in this societal norm, the pressure is self-inflicted. Hardly anyone cares or even notices. For those who think they will be missing out. The only thing you will be missing out on is nursing a hangover with your friends.
It’s Not Wrong If It’s Alright.
There is nothing wrong with alcohol. Many can drink responsibility. For those that are responsible, they might not fully understand the struggle others have with the substance. It’s also not their job to. Carry on.
For those who see it as a challenge, I get it. I get that it might be used as a coping mechanism, a way to escape. This is a temporary mask that can be a dangerous cycle. And often it isn’t viewed as dangerous because reality is, alcohol is a legal substance readily available and highly endorsed. So what’s the big deal?
What’s The Big Deal?
As mentioned earlier, for some, there is no big deal.
And for some, it is a very, very big deal.
- You can’t have fun without drinking
- You can’t go to a social event without drinking
- Every major holiday involves excessive alcohol use
- You are known as the heavy drinker
- You repeatedly make poor decisions while under the influence
- Your loved ones make comments about your consumption
- You are unable to stop
So What Now?
Ok, so what now? There is a problem, but how do you just all of a sudden fix it? Addiction is a real issue that can be very difficult to overcome, but, it is possible. Everyone is different and every situation is different. There is no snap of the fingers fix. It requires an effort.
You are the way you are because that’s how you want you to be. If you really wanted to be anything different, you would be in the process of changing right now. -John C. Maxwell
We all know the 12 step program, and there is no doubt truth in it. Thousands of success stories. I am not here to nay-say that. I am here to simply offer a few tips that I myself and others close to me have found helpful. If you have ones that have worked, or want to reach out, I would love to hear from you!
Here are a few tips from me to you:
- Let others in. You do not have to face it alone. There is strength in numbers. Reach out to those you trust and who are supportive. Those who have your best interest at hand.
- Don’t tempt yourself. Don’t want to be tempted? Don’t go to the bar. Politely decline the happy hour invite. Bring your own non alcoholic beverage to the event. Put yourself in healthy situations and environments.
- Refocus. Can’t stop thinking about it? Fill your mind with something else. Do some yoga. Read a book. Call a friend. Refocus your attention.
- Fill your hand. Need something to drink? Need something in your hand? Find a suitable replacement. I personally like Perrier or Kombucha. Treat yourself to a special sparkling beverage in an elegant glass. You can be fancy too without drinking alcohol.
- Celebrate the mile stones. Set goals and celebrate once they are achieved. Go one week without drinking and buy yourself something fun. Eat a piece of cake. Call your friends to share your success.
You can do this! You are not alone. I have your back!
Need to talk or just share? Contact me at Nikiclark9@gmail.com.