When is a Good Time to Quit Drinking?

When is a Good Time to Quit Drinking?

The short answer is never. There is never going to be the perfect time. You will always make up excuses like, there’s too many nights out in the calendar, there’s a wedding at the end of the month, my holiday is already booked or what about that work thing?… the list goes on.

I lost count of the amount of times I said this was my last drink; that I would quit tomorrow or Monday morning. Until tomorrow or Monday came and I had a hundred reasons why giving up that day was a bad idea. I kept pushing the date further and further away.

If you are reading this, then there is a really good chance you are not happy with the amount you drink and you’re looking for the ‘right’ time to quit.

The thing about alcohol is that it is addictive

Our brains tell us that we want a drink even though we do not like the consequences. That’s addiction talking. I wanted so badly to believe I wasn’t addicted to alcohol but I could not deny the fact that I would have a drink even after I swore, I wouldn’t have any more.

Many people are too busy waiting for the right time or for things to improve before they stop drinking but that’s not the way it works. There is no ‘right’ time. There is only ‘right’ now. Things will only improve after you stop drinking. The one important thing you have to know is that as long as you keep drinking, nothing is going to get better. So, the sooner you start the better.

Let go of the idea that happiness comes in a bottle.

Happiness definitely does not come in a bottle. How many times have you had a drink to celebrate, only to end up feeling like crap the next day, with the hangover from hell? That’s not happiness. My hangovers were miserable. It wasn’t just coping with a bad head, nausea and dizziness. Next came the shame and self-loathing and then you realise you’re wishing your life away, one hangover day at a time.

I heard a saying once.

Alcohol doesn’t make you happy, it only steals tomorrows happiness…

You don’t have to hit ‘Rock Bottom’

You don’t have to lose everything before you quit. You do not need to hit ‘rock bottom’ before you tackle your drinking. I used to constantly question if I was ‘bad enough’ to quit drinking. I would compare myself to others who had lost their job or got a DUI and think, I’m not as bad as them! But I was still drinking more than I wanted and couldn’t stop.

Thank god I didn’t wait until things got so bad that I lost my job or my husband. Because believe me that’s where you’re heading. You cannot rely on other people to save you, stopping drinking now, today, means you save yourself years of misery.

Moderation Sucks

Chances are you have already tried moderation and that hasn’t worked out. If you’re not sure, ask yourself.

  • Have you ever planned to have just one drink and then drank way more?
  • Have you let a friend persuade you have a drink when you said you wouldn’t?
  • Have you ever said you won’t drink through the week only to have a drink on Thursday, because “hey its nearly the weekend”?
  • Have you ever said you’re not drinking tonight only to stop by the wine/beer store on your way home from work?
  • Have you ever persuaded a friend to have a drink so you can justify having one too?

Well, that’s you failing at moderation!!!

Moderation does not work for me because moderation means feeding myself just enough alcohol to continually crave it. It entails giving myself the very thing I am addicted too, then expect to feel okay when I don’t have it.

However, the good news is. The longer you go without alcohol the less you will crave it. Yes, it’s hard to start with but it does get easier, I promise.

Moderation, however, is like repeating the hard bit over and over again.

Sober Toolbox

Getting sober is not just a case of not drinking alcohol – Wouldn’t that be easy eh! You will have to learn to live again. For example. If you always drank to relax after a stressful day at work, you need to learn a different way to relax.

It’s not willpower alone that will get you through this, It’s trying different things. Try reading a book, eat some cake, play computer games, even go to bed! Whatever works until the craving passes. Which it will.

You have to build up a toolbox of support to help you through the times you want a drink. You have to try a variety of things to find out which work for you. Don’t keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results – that’s insane! {Albert Einstein}

Start Today

The only way to feel better is to stop drinking. The right time to stop is today. We know there is no reason or benefit in waiting. So, no more excuses. Stop drinking today and start building your sober toolbox.

The sooner you start the sooner you will feel better. Stop waiting for things to improve in your life before you tackle this. Things will not improve until you stop drinking. Take a leap of faith and find out what you are capable of, because guess what? You deserve better.

Mrs Mac

Photo Credit:  Aron Visuals on Unsplash.  Austin Chan on Unsplash

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