How to avoid annoying backslides

“You’re at your most vulnerable right after you score a goal”


When I heard this, something clicked for me.


I’d been trying to stop drinking for ages.  I knew I was drinking too much, and I knew that moderation was waaayyy too hard for me, so I was aiming to stop completely.


I would set a date, read all the quit lit, psych myself up and – stop! Yay. 


Day 1: This is hard but I am determined.

Day 2: I can do this!

Day 3: I don’t know why I was so worried.  It’s hard but not THAT hard.

Day 4: This is so easy, I think I can probably have just one ….

Day 5: Oh shit.  What was I thinking??!! Waaah! I’m stuck again.


Then I read the quote “You’re at your most vulnerable right after you score a goal” and I realised what was happening. 


The hard bit wasn’t Day 1.  I had to keep my guard up the whole time.  For days and weeks and months, until not-drinking was as normal for me as drinking used to be.


I started again. 


And this time, I guarded my precious not-drinking like the riches it was.  My not-drinking became more precious than rubies.


As I became less tired, as my sleep improved, as my face lost it’s puffiness, as my worries about morning-driving fell away, as the constant push-pull about wine in my head became a distant memory, I realised that I was doing it.  And doing it, and keeping going, was a million times easier than still drinking and stressing about it the whole time.


The balance tipped.  It was like waking up from a bad dream.


There are many steps on the path to not drinking.  Realising that drinking is no longer the solution, but the problem, is the first step.


Doing something about it is the second step.


Realising that you own your wins and you have to guard against anyone – including yourself – from trying to lure you back into a twisted version of reality (ie that drinking is fun) is an important step.


I built myself a Sober Toolbox when I was starting on my journey, and this bit of knowledge was key in turning a never-ending stream of exhausting Day 1s into five happy years of no longer thinking or worrying about booze.


Have you tried to stop?  Have you had more than one Day 1?  Do you think this might help?


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