Resisting the Urge
I’d never heard the terms ‘Wine O’Clock’ or ‘The Wine Witch’ until a few years ago. I didn’t realise the things that terrorised me, like getting through those certain tricky points in time, actually affected other people too. I had no idea that when I was struggling to avoid a drink, all over the world, other normal people were in a similar boat.
Alcohol is an addictive drug. It’s legal, so we assume it’s okay, but then if you’re unlucky, before you know it, you end up building a tolerance, drinking more and perhaps becoming dependent. At least, that’s what happened to me and when I realised what a pickled state I was in, it was too late to be able to stop easily.
Things are different for me now. I don’t drink, and haven’t in four years and eight months. Yes I do keep count because I am proud. It’s funny really, because if you talk to anyone in recovery, it’s one of the ways we seem to introduce ourselves, name and date of sobriety. It makes me smile, and it’s nice to have something in common, shared experiences draw us closer together. It reminds us we aren’t alone.
I remember times when I promised myself in the morning that I wouldn’t drink that night. I meant it too, but of course, as the day went on, my willpower dipped and I found reasons that ‘just one’ would be okay, although for me it was never one. It was always more.
If you’re feeling conflicted, try writing a list of all the positives of not drinking. Things that helped me was reminding myself that I’d have a clear head the next day, that I’d remember what I’d said or did, that I’d not have a fuzzy head or a hangover in the morning. When you really look, however much you feel you’re missing out in the beginning, there really are so many positives. Even down to being able to go out in the car whenever I want to, no matter how late. It’s so simple, but it gives me such freedom!
Drinking water helped me too, and I carried a bottle around all the time. In fact, I still do, but I found it really helped, whenever I had a craving, to drown it out. I found I also craved sugar, not that I would have known it at the time, but alcohol is full of sugar, when you cut it out, you’re also missing out on the sugar content. Treat yourself with something else sweet, because it’ll make things just a little easier in the early days.
Creating new routines is a great thing to do as well. If you just cut out alcohol, you’re not really addressing the problem. You need to dig a little deeper and work out what’s going on behind the scenes, but also change your habits so that you’re not falling into the same routines as usual. If you drink at home, go out for a walk, if you’re a social drinker, stay in. I bought nice teas, a new tea pot and bubble baths, things that I could use to make a new ritual if you like, in the evenings. I just needed to change what I’d always done to help myself not fall back into the same trap.
One of the biggest things for me is connection. When you’re struggling talk to people that ‘get it’. Find them online if not in person, there are so many support groups, chats and all kinds, you don’t have to meet anyone face to face, and the best thing with being online is that there’s nearly always someone, somewhere to talk to. As a Bee Sober Ambassador, I host a Tuesday morning drop in lounge, but there are loads of others on too. Check out the what’s on page to find something near you! https://www.beesoberofficial.com/whats-on/free-drop-in-support-lounges/
Most of all, where ever you are and whatever you’re doing, be kind to yourself.