Is giving up alcohol really worth feeling like my life is consumed with quitting drinking? Annie gives us reassurance and presents the question….if your house was burning down, wouldn’t you want to get out? It’s easy to lose sight of why we quit in the first place, but today’s podcast will bring you back to not wondering, but KNOWING that YES! It’s worth it!
Worth Giving Up Drinking
Is it worth giving up drinking and making this change? Change is hard. I could tell you a million reasons yes, yes, yes, yes, a million yeses. Yes, it’s worth it. And all sorts of reasons why, but actually I think it’s more beneficial today to kind of talk about why it’s so hard to change.
I think we often, more in the good old days, we didn’t think about every drink or not having every drink, we just did what we wanted to do, and that felt a lot like freedom. I’ll tell you also something. It always happens. It classically happens when you’ve stopped drinking for three or four months. The euphoria of the change, the hope kind of wears off, and a few months into not drinking, all the reasons you quit in the first place become less pronounced in your life.
Hard To Remember
So you’re feeling better, you don’t really remember what a hangover feels like. If you’re not physically ill, if you’re not puking, it’s hard to remember what nausea feels like, and then when you do have the flu, you’re like, “Oh.” It’s hard to remember what not being nauseous feels like. That same thing happens with hangovers, so you don’t really remember the horrors of drinking. You’ve probably lost some weight, you probably feel really good, and so you see it from the outside and you’re looking at it like something everybody does and you’re wondering, well, why not? So you look back at stuff through kind of rose-colored glasses.
It’s like me and stress, right? I get really stressed. My husband says, “Okay. You gotta try this meditation. Just meditate 10 minutes a day.” I do it 10 minutes a day for five days, I feel phenomenal, I’m like, what is this? This is amazing. I feel so good. Then I feel so good that I stop meditating, and I go right back to being stressed.
Often when we quit drinking, we forget the reasons we quit drinking in the first place. It can feel like work … like why are we doing this? We used to just be carefree. So I think that’s one important point. We miss the ignorance. Life is like that in all sorts of areas. We always miss something.
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There’s two important things to remember. First, despite the ignorance of your drinking, when you were drinking, drinking was taking its toll. And second, that ignorance is gone and as much as you miss it, you can’t get it back. You can’t become ignorant again of the fact that alcohol really did take its toll in your life, and you’re never going to be able to just pick up a drink without thinking about it again. It’s always going to be thoughts. And I know that doesn’t sound encouraging, but actually it is.
Let me explain what I mean. Imagine that you are asleep in a burning house and the burning is happening, the house is burning down even if you’re completely unaware of it and completely unconscious and you’re in your slumber and you’re just dreaming. You’re not aware of it, but the house is burning. It’s on fire. The damage to your body, to your soul, to your relationships, by letting alcohol have the upper hand in your life … that’s happening even when you’re ignorant of it. And that’s really important. You’re not always ignorant of it, because especially something happens even when you’re sleeping in a burning house, you start to smell the smoke. Some unpleasant things begin to happen to awaken you and the purpose of the unpleasantness is to awaken you from the disaster that you’re finding yourself in.
So alcohol is doing bad things to your body, it’s doing bad things to your relationships, and it’s becoming more than you can control and you need to be awakened somehow. So this happens … I mean, remember the early mornings when you woke up from the night before, you just looked around, felt completely like crap, and everything rushed back in and it just sucked. Those moments, when you were really clear on not actually being intoxicated, but actually feeling the pain of intoxication, that’s like smelling the smoke.
Something happens and that something is not necessarily painless, but that thing wakes you up. And awakening … It’s a process. It might be a painful process, but at times the process of awakening from alcohol consuming your life is so painful that we drink more to fall back asleep to become more ignorant of it, and that can, in fact, perpetuate the process. Sometimes it takes a really long time to wake up because we do this so many times, because we’re so unwilling to wake up to this burning house, to what’s around us, to the reality of the fact that alcohol is not the friend that we thought it was, that it can take us a really long time to wake up. We could be on the brink of disaster. Escape becomes more difficult.
Tune in to the complete podcast for more on why it is worth giving up drinking for an alcohol free life!
Special music thank you to the Kevin MacLeod Funkorama (incompetech.com)
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