Annie gets asked this question all the time. Did she go into this with the plan to quit forever or just to drink less? And does she consider herself someone who has quit drinking forever? Annie describes her intentions and the outcome of finding complete freedom in her relationship with alcohol. She also gives us some great advice on what kind of commitments we should be trying to make and how to approach those commitments.
Quitting Drinking Forever
Today I have a question from Angela. Angela says, “When you quit drinking, did you have it in your head that you were quitting drinking forever, or did you give yourself a goal or something of like one year? What do you think about having a goal?”
My Take On It
Neither, actually. When I quit drinking, I had done all the work that I outlined in my book “This Naked Mind” to really recondition my mind, all of it: my conscious, my unconscious, my internal desires around alcohol to the point where when I quit drinking, I walked out of my office after like a year-long research and I told my husband, “If you want to get drunk with me, tonight’s the last night because I’m not getting drunk after this.” It was just like a “I don’t want to do it.” I didn’t put a “quitting drinking forever” tag on it, and I know that’s probably not popular, like maybe I should be like, “Yes, forever, it’s forever.” Really in the moment, it was like, “I don’t ever want to do that.”
I didn’t have the desire to drink.
When I say, “Okay, I’ve quit something forever. I’m never, ever going to do that again,” that feels like something that I’m doing out of obligation or because I’ve made a commitment, or because there’s some sort of desire to do it.
One of the things that I like to say, “I drink whenever I want to drink. I just never want to drink.”
There’s never a time when I sit there and am like, “Oh, this would be a good idea,” and I do a lot of work to keep that true. I do a lot of reconditioning and reversing my thoughts, and going through the same process I did and being really mindful and observant of the alcohol saturated culture. I’m never going to want to smoke a cigarette. It’s the same thing, that I just don’t want to put that in my body.
I see it as poison, I see it as something that really held me back. I see it as something that makes all my nights monotonous.
I see it as something that stole from me precious, precious memories. Something also that stole from me just the beauty of falling asleep, which is a really incredible thing because I don’t remember falling asleep. I would just sort of pass out.
Am I Quitting Drinking Forever?
I guess if I have to say “I’m never going to drink again,” I’m comfortable with that, but that wasn’t in my mind specifically when I quit. It wasn’t as if I was making some commitment to the universe about my intention aout quitting drinking forever; it was more as if “oh, I don’t want that anymore,” and then that made it kind of really easy.” Now I will say that I think there’s the most freedom in that path.
Continue listening to the complete podcast to hear all Annie has to say on quitting drinking forever.
Special music thank you to the Kevin MacLeod Funkorama (incompetech.com)
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