Back when I was drinking too much, I couldn’t understand why it was so hard to change my relationship with alcohol.
I had my “Why” sorted: I wanted to be there for my family and I wanted to look after my health (ie no more hangovers and exhaustion!)
I had the “Where I wanted to go” sorted: I knew that I really wanted to stop, that moderation wasn’t working for me.
I had the “Who” sorted: there was only one person who had to wrestle back control of this pesky habit – me, myself and I.
I had the “When” sorted: soon as freaking possible! I was so tired of thinking about drinking.
I had the “What” sorted: what I wanted to be free of those impulses.
But dammit, I could NOT get a handle on this stopping thing. I kept getting a day or two under my belt of not drinking. Then by about Day Three my resolve would snap, I’d be overwhelmed by I JUST...
I was chatting to a woman recently on one of my free discovery calls. She’s a business coach with years of experience, and a lot of her work is done intuitively. She was interested in joining the January Reset, because she had found she was reaching for wine in the afternoon as a quick “go to” when she was feeling stressed. She said that it was starting to take a lot of energy to manage her drinking, and she was feeling very stuck.
However, she was feeling resistance to joining the course. As we talked, it became clear that her biggest feeling was fear. Fear of being judged by those around her. Fear of missing out on fun stuff with friends. And the biggest of all – fear of failure. She was in accustomed to nailing it. Getting things done. Kicking goals. What if she couldn’t “do” the Reset? What if she tried and had a drink before the end of the 21 days?
I used to have this love/hate thing going with Christmas. I really looked forward to it – but I also dreaded it because I knew that it would involve alcohol everywhere I turned. And I knew I’d be hungover and exhausted a lot of the time. To be honest, I sometimes found myself turning down invitations to go out, because I’d rather stay home and “avoid the craziness” ie have a bottle of wine to myself at home, where I could drink as much as I liked.
This is my fifth sober Christmas and I’m relaxed and full of happy anticipation about the next month. I’m not one of those “I miss drinking so much” people, because I’ve changed my beliefs about alcohol. I think I’m super lucky to not have to deal with hangovers and exhaustion any more. If you’d like to try an alcohol-free Christmas, here are my top 3 tips.
You choose: a night, a...
I get asked this quite a lot.
When I was drinking too much, I spent ages dithering between "I think I need to do something about my drinking" and "I’m over-reacting, everyone drinks, I'm fine".
Our culture tells us that drinking is a normal part of life (it’s not), it’s harmless (it’s not) and that there’s a specific line that you cross from “normal drinker” into “alcoholic” (not true).
Only you know if your drinking is ok or not.
For me, it was when I found myself hiding my empties from Matt – I just didn’t want to put them in the recycling! It looked too bad! I thought maybe I’d take them next time I went out and put them in a bin somewhere else … and I caught myself thinking that, and thought WHAT?
One of the tools we can use to escape from the alcohol trap is dopamine.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that most people think make us feel happy, but is actually associated with reward and motivation.
There are three ways that we can not only outsmart dopamine as it tries to encourage us to drink, but we can harness it to our advantage.
Start noticing when dopamine receptors are trying to make you push you towards believing something will make you feel good, but that will actually make you feel guilty, unhappy and just craving more.
So when you find yourself craving a drink so badly you can’t think of anything else, remind yourself what’s actually happening in your brain, and that dopamine just wants you to feel cravings, not satisfaction (that sneaky lizard brain).
And if you do give in and have that drink, and feel sick and furious after the first rush has...