It's the first of January, so a perfect opportunity to quit the booze and get with the program. You're scared what might happen? Of course, you are, you wouldn't be you if you weren't scared. But think about this – what is the worst that can happen if you stop drinking? And what is the worst that can happen if you keep on drinking?
The problem isn't about how much you drink or how much you drink compared to others. The issue is how badly alcohol is affecting your life. That's all that matters. Stop comparing yourself to those around you who drink a lot more; they are all living in their own personal hell. They won't admit that they have no control over their drinking.
Ask yourself how much of your full potential you are living up to and how much alcohol is getting in the way of who and what you can be. Don't bother with the online questionnaires, stop overthinking this and ask yourself this simple question:
“Would my life be better if I didn't drink?”
It's not a case of “Am I an alcoholic or not” You don't need to be an alcoholic for the drink to affect your life adversely. Trying to define your drinking so that you can assure yourself you are not an alcoholic is delaying the inevitable. If you think you have a problem, if you are here reading this, then you have a problem.
Does The Thought Of No Alcohol Fill You With Dread?
If the thought of living a future life without alcohol is anathema to you, then you are going to have to rebuild your life in many different ways. You probably don't have any sober friends; your holidays revolve around drinking and days off are a perfect excuse to hit the bar and get drunk.
But you also know that alcohol is wrecking your looks, battering your self-esteem and destroying your mental health. With mental health so high up on the agenda these days you must know that alcohol is one of the most significant contributors to long-term depression. You won't know how badly you are depressed until you quit the booze and come out of the funk.
Have You Tried Moderating Your Alcohol Intake?
You so desperately want to be like “normal” people and drink two or three drinks before stopping that you obsessively plan your drinking and the amounts you can drink. The problem is it never works does it!
What I learnt when I gave up smoking was that cutting down was the worst possible form of self-torture through which you can put yourself. Inhaling the nicotine gives your body a temporary high which makes you feel better. The problem is that as the nicotine leaves the system, the body starts to demand more. The more you smoke, the more the body requires the addictive substance. The only way to quit this cycle is to stop. Once you smoke another cigarette, the addiction cycle starts all over again.
Just For Today Is Not Woo Woo Hippy Shit
If the thought of giving up drinking scares the hell out of you, then try stopping just for today. That's the axiom behind the twelve step program. Every day is a new day, and you get through that single day without drinking. The number of times I've tried and failed to stop drinking must be in the hundreds, but in the end, the sober stretches get longer, and you see that the benefits of staying sober outweigh all the adverse effects that alcohol causes.
Success is built on failure. You've seen all the memes that say “If you don't take the shot you'll never score” well attempting to get sober is the same. You have to try, and then eventually it will click into place for you.
So today, 1st January 2019, set the date on your sober App, say “white rabbit” and get to work getting sober.