The problem with “I’ll start tomorrow” is that tomorrow comes and then tomorrow goes.
Have you found yourself saying any of the following statements:
"I will start reducing or eliminating alcohol (and/or drugs) tomorrow.."
"I will start after the next holiday/birthday/anniversary/event.."
"I will start once my relationship improves.."
"I will start when work starts getting easier or the work load becomes more manageable.."
"I will start once the kids start school and I feel like I can catch a break.."
"Maybe I’ll start to only ‘party’ once a month" (and continue to do so every weekend or everyday..)
I could add many things to this list, as I’m sure you can.. but I think you catch my drift.
The thing is, feeling ready to give up a habit that is addictive (yes alcohol is addictive, I’m not stating this based on an opinion, it is a fact) and socially encouraged, that has been formed over YEARS of use is not necessarily easy but that does not mean it is impossible. Far from it actually.
I remember constantly saying I wanted to change, but I would have a list of reasons why the time “wasn’t right.”
Disclaimer: the time is always right, the best time is always now.
My moms health was failing, I was in an unhealthy toxic relationship, I was lying to everyone around me, I was isolating myself from my family and friends (dating a narcissist has that affect on a person unfortunately,) I was distancing myself from everyone else and I kept thinking “when things start to improve, I’m quitting drinking and drugs and I’m going to become a better version of myself.” In reality, quitting drugs and alcohol would be the gateway to everything improving. Not the other way around.
We are so good at saying “we will quit after XYZ” because we’ve created a belief that we NEED alcohol (or drugs) and we simply can’t fathom moving forward without them.
They are NOT your identity.
Alcohol and drugs are addictive substances. Again, not a statement of opinion but a fact. Alcohol is a class 1 carcinogen. It is the same category as cigarettes, caffeine, heroin, and the list goes on. I state that it is an addictive substance and that anyone can get addicted, it doesn’t mean everyone will and I am well aware of that too!
Just because you’ve been the “party guy/party girl” doesn’t mean that is who you have to be. Just because there haven’t been consequences before doesn’t mean there won’t be consequences in the future.
If you have FOMO in the context of the social scene, wrap your head around the FOMO you’ll feel if you aren’t able to be a present parent/spouse/friend/coworker.. there is a lot more to worry about missing than a few parties or events you may or may not recall. Just saying.
Just a reminder you are completely whole WITHOUT them.
Also drinking/using drugs is a progressive destructive habit, it often gets worse before it gets better.
Anyone can become addicted to a substance over a prolonged period of time and the amount you drink (use) may increase the speed at which addiction/dependence occurs. Just because your parents or family members never suffered from alcohol use disorder or substance abuse doesn’t mean it can’t happen to you. That is entirely false.
If you keep waiting to reduce or quit drinking (doing drugs) what does that look like for you? Are you missing moments with your kids because you are fixated on when you can have your next drink?
Are you the one at social gatherings who doesn’t have an “off switch?” (Do you think social gatherings are an excuse to drink excessively because “everyone is doing it?” Because I always believed that, until I started showing up sober and realized a vast majority of people are only actually consuming 1-2 and everyone, was in fact, not “doing it.”)
Will your kids not want to have friends over because mom/dad starts to “act funny” at night and they are embarrassed?
Will your kids ask you to stop drinking because it makes them feel sad, unsafe, unhappy and they do not like who you become when you are intoxicated (under the influence?)
Sure it may not be impacting your job right now but if the habit continues to progress, will it affect your job performance in the future?
What about your relationship? Is it causing fights or a strain because you tend to overindulge or become a different version of yourself?
I read a quote once that said “if you are trying to control alcohol, it is already controlling you.”
The point of my coaching is to help people who are struggling to find the freedom they seek. With that being said, there are early signs and warnings that people tend to ignore because ego says “I will get it under control,” when in fact the substance is already controlling you. So for people who aren't ready to talk to someone but feel like there are some red flags going off, I suggest picking up “This Naked Mind” by Annie Grace, "Alcohol Explained" by William Porter or “Quit Like a Woman” by Holly Whitaker, because it never hurts to listen to your intuition that maybe you have started to overdo it and perhaps dialling it back or getting sober curious wouldn’t be the worst idea you’ve ever had.