Many of us who quit drinking attempt to quit in many different ways, and more than likely failed more than once. We struggle with the idea of quitting all the while trying to come to grips and the realization, to accept that yes I do indeed have a problem. Remember this can be any substance, or even a behavior, such as gambling, or porn.
Somewhere or somehow along the way the idea that you may have a problem came up. Maybe it was the last OWI, or last Friday night which you can’t really remember. Perhaps it was the fight that took place. Was alcohol a factor? Were you the life of the party, or did you think you were? Did you miss a family function? Again. Maybe some of these things start happening a bit more frequently or someone says something, and it sorta starts to click. Could they be right, do I have an issue with alcohol? You don’t want to be “one of those people” so you rationalize it away.
Then.. you have a great idea! I’ll show them and myself that I don’t have a problem. I’ll quit drinking for 30 days! Because after all if I can quit for 30 days it proves that I don’t have a problem, right!? You ponder on how to approach this challenge. “This should be easy”, you say and pick the day on the calendar. I have great will power; I’m strong, I got this… because only people with a drinking problem will have a tough go of it. But, what will the guys think? Will they call me weak? Will I be judged? How can I be around them and not drink. It’s what we do. I’m sure they will give me a hard time about it. I’ll have to come up with something clever to tell them, yup that will do it. I know I will make my spouse happy. I’ll show them all I don’t have a problem. I quit!…for 30 days.
What’s really going on here? You can look at this several different ways. What brought on this idea of “the challenge?” Was there an event, has this type of event repeated itself, is it happening more often? Is that little voice in your head trying to tell you something? However, is what it’s telling you something you just don’t want to hear and that scares you? After all I quit for 30 days no problem here!
What’s going to happen on day 31? Are you going to go out and “celebrate” how you overcame and beat “the challenge”? Think about this, you may go out and celebrate your 30 days of sobriety by drinking. So day 31 is about drinking again? You tell yourself “see I don’t have a problem I can quit whenever I want too”. You tell yourself that wasn’t hard at all. How honest are you being with yourself? What did you learn about yourself? Your habits, your reasons for drinking, how often you drink, how much you drink, and can you stay in control when you drink? How hard was it not to drink for the challenge period? How often did you find yourself thinking about drinking? Is this the only time you’ve taken the challenge? Did you plan to drink on day 31?
Being in denial or rationalizing it away is completely normal. Coming to understand can be a very scary thing. Ask anyone who has quit anything and they will tell you they went through this process. One of the hardest things to do is finally say this substance has control over me. It controls my thoughts, actions, activities. I look for and find any way I can to tie it into whatever I’m doing. First be honest, next seek help.
Give me a call I won’t judge, I’ve been there! It starts with a call, and can lead to so many other good things so let’s get started today.
Recovery Coach Steve