The Aftermath of Quitting Booze

If I had one line, to sum up dealing with the aftermath of quitting booze; I would use the 5 P’s (my favourite variation):

Planning & Preparation Prevents Poor Performance

Let’s face it, many of us have and will go into a sobriety attempt underestimating how difficult it may be.

For some, maybe they can just do it but for most people, they will not realize how addictive and how impressed on our everyday life alcohol is and has become.

For this reason, we need to be prepared for what the first few days, weeks, months, or even years will throw at you.

Whilst everyone’s journey, whether a hardcore “Binge Drinker” or “Now and Againer” is different, you will most certainly experience some of the following.

My hardest time was definitely the first 30 days but honestly, the first 3 months were tough with feelings of elation because of what I had achieved, followed by scary thoughts of “how did it get to this” and “I am missing out”, but trust me, you most definitely do not have to miss out and will be rewarded with a better life.

By thinking about the 5 P’s in the context of the expectations below, and following my advice you will have the best chance of success, and because you will recognise in advance, you will be able to deal with whatever is thrown at you:

What you may Experience

Dealing with the Expected Aftermath

       Sugar Cravings

I am sure I have mentioned that sugar is a sly one, but with quitting booze as your top priority, if you need something then (controversially) just go for it in the early days. However, be mindful, and if possible opt for a chocolate bar or fizzy drinks that are sugar-free, bizarrely this works.

Thoughts of Moderation

Self-talk is the key here. Remind yourself of the times you may have tried this and failed. Even if you can moderate at first, eventually you will be back wanting to stop altogether. If you seriously want to quit altogether then a daily affirmation of “I don’t drink alcohol anymore” will get you believing in yourself.

Coming up with excuses to avoid events

So what! Quite frankly, I would recommend coming up with excuses why you can’t go to a party or hit the town in the early days. If you need to avoid situations to maintain focus and you do not feel comfortable telling people, then get your list ready in advance. Those who care will understand.

Short tempered & Not being bothered

Your body is craving alcohol and letting your brain know about not getting a fix. This is normal and you are likely to be a bit fiery! Normally, you might have had alcohol but now what do you do? What you do, is find somewhere where you can let rip, shout, swear and release all that tension out of you and take some deep breaths. Also, make sure those closest to you also expect this because if your walking around like a bear with a sore head constantly they are likely to get annoyed and are more likely to help if they understand and expect your miserable self for a few weeks / Months. Don’t be too hard on yourself, its expected and calmness follows (cliche).

Thoughts of alcohol constantly

So, you can’t concentrate because you are trying so hard not to think about alcohol but all you can think about is alcohol. Again, normal. Instead of glamorising alcohol, see it for what it is, poison that has had a negative effect on your life. Quite simply, it is a Devious Demon and when it pops in your mind just keep calm and politely tell it to Get lost!

How did it get to this and feeling sorry for yourself?

This is a more difficult one to understand because we are all different. There are techniques that you can use such as writing a personal inventory to discover hidden emotions but whilst this is something I would recommend you do; it is a big subject and will be part of another post. Try to focus on the future and not dwell on the past, which I know is easier said than done but the bottom line is, you are where you are and if you nail stopping drinking, the future is bright.

Losing / Gaining Weight

Far too much emphasis on this for my liking. Do what you must to stop drinking alcohol and when your head is in the right place to start worrying about your weight then re-visit. Until then focus on the job in hand, hence the sugar fix…. Its not ideal but if it keeps you off the sauce then fine. I gained weight, but I am fine with this, I like to think its my ideal fighting weight to keep booze at bay!

Worries of future life and socialising

Life will change but this should be for the better and you should start thinking about things to do that don’t involve drinking. Start getting used to the realisation that your outlook on socialising will likely change. For example, you may still go to bars and restaurants, but let’s say you are meeting friends for a drink, once the alcohol starts flowing you will find yourself becoming bored or annoyed and cut it short. However, this is a positive, because you will get a great night’s sleep and not feel like a bag of spanners the next day. Also, it makes much better for family life.

Thinking maybe you could moderate

Self-talk…. Remember! Pops in your mind a lot this one.

Noticing alcohol is “in your face” everywhere you go

No hiding this one, it just is! I found that from day one there seemed to be more adverts, more events and more alcohol on sale in shops than ever before. The truth is, that alcohol is so ingrained in our society it is only when you step back that you notice the extent. It’s quite sad actually and the perception of our socialising necessities in this country must change…… difficult though.

Resenting people who can moderate

Remember everyone is different and you are just envious of them. Give it time and the resentment will stop as you become more confident and focus on the benefits that quitting alcohol is giving to your own life.

Apprehension of what people might think

This comes down to self esteem and inner value. Its difficult to hold the idea that “who cares what people think” because it goes against our social instinct of fitting in. However, in general, honesty is appreciated and if you are honest with yourself in the first place and try to “own” why you are quitting alcohol, the people that care about you will think better of you not worse. Those who don’t…. You can probably guess what I think?

More thoughts of moderation

Oh no not again

Am I boring now

You are not boring, you are Sober!!!!!

 

In summary ………. PLANNING & PREPARATION PREVENTS A POOR PERFORMANCE!! ………..

Whether you have already quit or thought of quitting alcohol, always keep the 5 P’s in mind and take experiences from others and you won’t go far wrong.

What you are doing is difficult and when the chips are down just remember you are not alone in this, just ride out the storm and it will pass, leaving you refreshed, revitalised and ready for the best life.

All the best…. Darren

Don’t Wait Any Longer. Start Forging Your Own Path Today!

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