You need to eat good food when you quit drinking because you’ll be helping your body overcome the damage you’ve caused. Your body will be better able to deal with any cravings if you provide it with a good supply of nutrients and vitamins. Chow down on lots of fruit, vegetables, lean meat, fish, and complex carbs – whole meal bread and pasta for instance.
I can’t think straight if I’m not properly watered!
Even though you might have a little trouble sleeping at first, you’ll still get a better sleep than when you were pickling your body every day. Your brain will take a little time to adjust to the new way of doing things – not being drunk at bed-time – but it’ll soon get used to it.
Have more time in bed, enjoy it. Take long hot baths with epsom salts before you retire for the night.
Your body needs exercise daily, or most days at least. Exercise will take your mind off the cravings.
As soon as you feel any cravings, try taking a walk. It’ll only take ten minutes, but it’ll pull your mind away from alcohol.
Rope in Some Good Buddies
Have a buddy that you can call or visit when you’re cravings are high. Just hearing an understanding friendly voice can be enough to pull yourself together.
Do New Stuff
Do something new in your life. Get a hobby, join a group, take a night-class, just get out there and enjoy life.
Distract yourself until the craving passes
It’s very easy to distract yourself. Don’t sit on the couch getting all soppy, thinking of the reasons you can’t do this, push the negative thoughts from your head, get up off your arse and do something.
Go for a walk, take a run, go for a bike ride, do the dishes, play a video game, play with yourself, listen to some rock and roll – dance, just get up and do!
Go into the bathroom and stand in front of the mirror. Lift your hand in front of your eyes… have a good look at it. Now I want you to bitch slap yourself across the face.
Tell yourself to wise-up. Get real and stop whining!
You’re not going to poison yourself any more… period!
Play your tape from beginning to end
Your tape is the story of your drinking, every detail from start to finish. Picture the whole thing playing out in your head, like a movie.
Begin with your craving.
What do you feel?
What do you see in your mind?
Are there any sounds?
See the movie in your mind.
Now what do you do?
Do you have drink in the house?
Do you normally go to the pub?
Do you go to the liquor store (off-licence in UK)?
See it in your head.
Walk with yourself to the pub.
See yourself ordering the first pint
…pick it up…
Now order another. See yourself drinking it!
Then order another. See yourself drinking it!
Do it again and again!
Watch the movie in your mind.
Play The Movie All The Way Through!
Feel yourself getting more pissed.
Hear yourself speaking, slurry, vulgar, not doing it very well.
Hear yourself saying something stupid, cretinous, then something else moronic.
Everything you’re saying sounds stupid.
See yourself walking to the toilet, staggering, burping and mumbling to yourself…
See yourself leaning against the wall in the toilet, pissed and pissing.
Move the time forward to leaving the pub pissed, last orders has been called ages ago, you’re told its time to go home.
You get home and try to get your key in the lock, scratching at the keyhole, eventually you get it in.
The front door opens.
You see the darkness.
You feel the coldness.
You hear the silence.
Be aware as the loneliness surrounds you… Feel it!
Watch yourself staggering to bed, pulling and wrenching your clothes off, scattering them around the bedroom floor, collapsing into the cold bed.
Your head spins.
You feel let down…
See yourself in the morning.
Watch the movie.
Play the tape.
Now hit the rewind button!
Flip it and Play it backwards.
See yourself going back to bed.
You go back to sleep and wake with your head spinning… it’s an odd feeling waking up pissed…
Get up and notice the loneliness, the cold, dark, and silent room.
Your clothes fly into your hands and you pull them on.
You stagger down the stairs, taking your keys… you leave, go out the door.
You have trouble pulling your keys away from the lock for a few moments.
You wobble up the road, back to the pub.
You’re not very welcome are you!
The barmaid hands you a near empty glass, it’s dirty!
You feel the beer rising from your belly, coming up your throat, into your mouth;
You put the glass to your mouth and spit the beer into it.
You gradually fill the glass and hand it to the barmaid.
She takes the drink and gives you money. She Gives You Money!
She puts the glass up to the tap and the beer is sucked up.
You take your wallet out and put the money in, you feel a little less drunk, a bit better.
The barmaid gives you another empty dirty glass and you slowly fill it in exchange for money.
You become more and more sober.
Your wallet gets more and more fuller.
Eventually you leave the pub, the barmaid gives you a lovely goodbye, and you feel great.
See it all in your mind.
Play the tape.
Watch the movie.
Each pint goes back into the barrel.
Each barrel is carefully carried out of the pub to a waiting lorry.
The truck goes around all day collecting the poisonous contents from all the bars in town.
All the barrels of beer are taken back to the brewery where they’re put into vast tanks where they go through a process of de-alcoholization.
The end product is clean water, sugar, barley, and hops.
It’s a great movie… a blockbuster!
Take out your “reasons for not drinking” list
Some people have flash cards, I had a list.
On the list were all the reasons that I was quitting alcohol.
Each of my reasons has emotional baggage.
I could see him in my head. I saw the way he looks at me when I’m drunk. Anger in his eyes! They say “you’re not supposed to be doing this!” “You’re my Dad – you shouldn’t be acting this way!”
I see her feelings being hurt, it’s written all over her face, my bad drunken words… putting the world to rights, telling it how it is, ‘Plain Spoken Kev’ telling it like it is… Asshole me!
I feel my heart thumping in my chest at two o’clock in the morning. I feel frightened and weak. Am I going to have a heart attack right here in the bed, in the dark, on my own? How many nights did I have to get up so I could calm myself? What kind of life is that?
Don’t try not to think about it…ride it out.
You must not try not to think about drinking.
Play your tape.
Acknowledge your feelings.
Understand the cravings.
See the drink golem and know that it is dying, you’re killing it, but it’s not going to go without a fight.
Fight the little fucker!
You’ve got to strangle the life out of it!
What I Did
One of the things that really helped me to overcome my urges was joining a yoga class…Kundalini yoga. Practicing yoga helps to focus my mind, helps me to relax my body and has taught me how to sit quietly and meditate – to be in the moment.
When I was in school, one of the things I frequently had to do was write punishment lines on the blackboard… you know like Bart at the beginning of every Simpsons episode….
“I must not burp in class”…
“I must not draw naked ladies in class”…
“Garlic gum is not funny”…
“I will finish what I sta “…
This is a great trick for cementing non-drinking values.
I still do my lines every morning – positive affirmations. I have fifteen sentences altogether.
“I am in control of alcohol, not the other way round!”
“I really enjoy being free of alcohol, I feel better and better every day!”
“I never use substitutes!”
I started out by writing each of them once and repeating them two or three times in my head.
I did that until I could repeat them without looking at the list.
Now I say them in my head every morning while I’m waiting for the kettle to boil.
Another thing I do is picture my son and the kind of life he’ll have if he decides that following in my footsteps down the alcohol road is a good idea. I picture him as a middle aged bald wreck, without a job and arguing with an alcoholic wife. His house is a mess, his life is a mess, and his head is a mess.
There’s whole movie that I play in my head.
A real scary fucking movie!
I can see it on a one hundred foot screen, surround sound.
I see myself in front of the screen with a flame thrower, one of those you see in the old war movies, and I spray that screen from one side to the other with liquid fire, and I watch it burn real quick!
As the screen burns and parts of it fall away, I can see that there’s another movie playing behind it, on a screen that’s even bigger than the first, moving towards me, getting bigger and bigger.
Filling the screen is my son laughing his head off. He looks really healthy and happy. He’s there with a beautiful wife and children playing on a lawn. He has a good career and a wonderful life.
I see my influence there. I see that when I gave up drinking it changed the way he saw me, changed the way he saw life, his life!
I’m Only Interested In What Works
I know some of the ideas in this post are a little out there, they seem that way to me when I’m writing them down.
The point is they work.
And if they work that’s the war won.
The mind is a powerful tool, probably the most powerful tool on the planet. With your mind, I believe you get what you ask for in this life.
If you tell yourself you’re not going to be able to quit, you won’t quit, how can you? Your wish is Your command!
You can use your mind to do anything you want, including giving up alcohol.
You don’t need it.
You need water.
You need air.
You need people.
You don’t need alcohol.
Use whatever works for you… and good travels!
Leave a message below if I can offer any help at all in your fight with alcohol.
Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards…