Damned If You Do. Damned If You Don’t.
Do you want to quit and not want to quit drinking at the same time?
Everyone I speak with about taking control of their drinking deals with these conflicting desires at some level.
I went through it too.
Part of you believes quitting drinking is a great idea.
Quitting would bring tons of benefits like…
- No more hangovers
- Weight loss
- Better sleep
- Less irritability
- Fewer arguments
- Better relationships
- Better health
- More money in the bank
- More pride
- And higher self-esteem
But part of you believes something else.
You have a list of consequences you think you’ll have to deal with if you quit drinking.
These consequences usually present themselves in the form of worrisome thoughts like…
- I won’t be able to have fun anymore
- I won’t fit in
- I’ll lose my friends
- I won’t be able to relax
- I won’t be able to deal with the stress of my life, job, family, etc
- I’ll be bored or boring
- I’ll feel uncomfortable around other people that are drinking
- People will think I’m different, weak, undisciplined, out of control, or an addict
My biggest fear was I wouldn’t have alcohol to hide behind and protect me from all of my unwanted thoughts and feelings anymore.
If I quit, I’d be completely vulnerable to everything.
How would I protect myself?
I knew my “shield” was flawed.
But it worked well enough that the thought of losing it was terrifying.
If I looked at my beliefs about my “shield” logically and rationally, I’d see the harm using it far outweighed the benefits.
And there’s the problem.
We aren’t using reason or logic to evaluate the consequences we believe we’ll have to deal with if we quit.
Our list of consequences is based on emotion.
It’s fear based.
And not a single consequence is completely true when you take the time to examine it objectively.
This irrational, fear-based list comes from our primitive brain trying to protect us from the unknown.
Keeping you in your cave doing what you’ve always done is the best way to ensure your safety.
And one of the best ways to keep you from taking any new actions is to keep you in a state of confusion and conflict.
Your primitive brain loves this.
Just stay right where you are and don’t do anything scary and new.
Think about it for a minute.
Whenever you aren’t sure which choice is better, what do you do?
You don’t do anything, do you?
You don’t make any decisions.
Maybe you take some time to debate and evaluate your options.
But in the end, you stay right where you are.
If you want to change, you first need to be aware of what’s happening.
Understanding what’s happening and why is what empowers you to take control.
Knowing that it’s your primitive brain that is filling you with illogical, irrational thoughts and beliefs allows you to question yourself.
Is it logical to believe I won’t have fun anymore if I quit drinking?
Or will a whole new world of possibilities open up to me?
Is that thought more true, less true, or just as true?
If I quit drinking, will I not be able to protect myself from my unwanted thoughts and feelings anymore?
Or will I be better able to deal with my life because I’ll be clear-headed and sober?
If I quit drinking, will I have less unwanted thoughts and feelings to protect myself from or more?
Are those thoughts more true, less true, or just as true?
Which thoughts do I want to focus on?
And here’s the most important question…
Which thoughts produces the result I want?
Knowing what’s happening and why opens the door for you to question your thoughts.
Awareness is always the first step.
Next you can choose to evaluate, challenge, and maybe even change your thoughts and beliefs.
No thought you choose to believe is ever wrong.
The only thing that matters is whether or not the thoughts you are focusing on create the results you want.
That’s all that matters.
You can stay right where you are, if you want to.
Or you can decide to not let fear and indecision paralyze you and keep you stuck.
You can decide to evaluate your thoughts.
You can challenge and change them.
You can create a new results and a new life.
And you can always ask for help too.
If you want to quit but don’t quit drinking at the same time, click here and schedule a consultation call with me.
We’ll work through it together.
The choice you make will always be yours.
Let’s remove the conflict and fear and create the result you really want.