By How do you know it’s time to stop drinking
If you’re even asking yourself if you’re drinking too much, you probably are.
Like anything else you do in life, ask yourself if it is interfering with the rest of your life. Because of drinking, are you:
- not turning up to work/events?
- consistently running late?
- constantly suffering from insomnia or you fall asleep ok but wake up in the early hours?
- always sick (tummy bugs, nausea, headaches)?
- argumentative –the least little thing sets you off?
- losing part or all of a weekend (black outs)?
If drinking is interfering with your life, then it’s time to have an open and honest conversation about it. It’s important to understand that there’s no shame in this. Being insightful, being honest and forthright are gifts. You are ahead of the rest who might be playing ostrich with their heads in the sand. Give yourself a pat on the back for wanting to be a better version of yourself.
Looking back, if there was one thing I could tell myself it would be “don’t drink when you’re stressed”. This became my “go to” coping skill and that flowed over to all areas of my life to the point where I ended up drinking to excess all the time. My “coping skill” developed to the point that I could not stop at one drink, ever.
But everyone is stressed, aren’t they. Why am I different? Why do I have to have this “conversation” and “Joe Bloggs” over there seems to be managing just fine.
Let me tell you, most are not “managing just fine”. Most people are not honest about their alcohol intake: not honest with themselves, with their partners, colleagues or even to their GP (especially to their GP!). Some think it’s just normal or they’re scared to question it because they don’t know what to do instead of using alcohol as a coping tool. “If I give up alcohol, I’ll be a mess.” Wrong, you will be your truest, best version of yourself. You just have to look at it a little differently.
It’s ok to question something you’ve always done. It’s ok to reinvent yourself. Nothing in life stays the same, including you. Change is inevitable.
It’s also important to understand that changes to lifestyle are not accomplished overnight so don’t be disappointed with yourself when you think you should be doing things better/faster/easier. It doesn’t work like that.
Changes to lifestyle are a process, one hour at a time, one day at a time. Whatever it takes. It’s very individual. You have to figure out what works for you because you are different to “Joe Bloggs”.
When you do discover new coping tools, new ways of looking at your life, it will be like a weight has lifted off of you. You will smile more, you will enjoy life more. You will be more present in your life. You will get more out of your relationships and you will be able to give more to them.
Worth fighting for? You bet!