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Preparing to Quit Drinking Alcohol|You Have to Replace What You Lose

by | Stop Drinking Alcohol | 6 comments

When you’re preparing to quit drinking alcohol, one of the best things that you can do is to think about what you’re going to replace what you’ve lost.

What are you going to use to replace those benefits once you’ve stopped drinking?

Today I wanted to talk about replacing what you’ve lost once you’ve stopped drinking, or once you quit any bad habit.

Once you stop using alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, what are you going to replace it with?

For instance, with quitting alcohol, if you’re using alcohol to relax, what are you going to replace that with? How are you going to relax once you’ve stopped drinking?

When you’re preparing to quit this is something that you have to spend some time thinking about because if you don’t replace the benefit that you get out of quitting drinking, then you’ll find it more difficult than you would’ve otherwise.

There’s a habit sequence in any habit, and in drinking that’s your trigger.

What sparks off the habit to kick off the behaviour itself, and the reward.

It’s this reward itself, the benefit that you derive from the behaviour that you’ve got to replace.

Before I start to talk about the things that I replaced, it’s well worth it to sit down and take half an hour and just think about your own habits.

Run through it and think about your reasons for starting drinking and why you drink.

I know it’s going to be difficult, it’s difficult when you’ve been drinking for a long time.

Some of the reasons might be well hidden.

A lot of these things we do unconsciously.

Motivations are unconscious.

It’s something that you personally have to think about.

Some of the things that I used to do, the reasons for me drinking was to relax in the evenings to destress.

I used to drink for the buzz, because I was bored.

I drank basically because that was what I did in the evenings.

That was part of my ritual.

I also drank for the thirst.

Boredom is an easy one.

I was bored most of the time because I was drinking, it wasn’t the other way around.

The drinking was causing me to be bored, to be boring.

This was all I did.

Go to work, eat food, drink alcohol and sit on my arse.

You can’t drink alcohol and be active.

You might do it for a while but you won’t do it long term.

Fair enough you can drink alcohol and be in a place where you’re dancing, I’m not talking about that activity.

I’m talking about getting outside and seeing the world and doing things.

Trying to be somebody, trying to broaden your horizons and increase your knowledge.

I don’t think you’re going to have any problems with boredom once you quit drinking if you think about it.

If you put in the work and the effort in your preparation before you stop.

I’m often asked about how to reduce the symptoms, side effects and cravings of alcohol.

How do you reduce that?

I’ll tell you one of the best things you can do is quit drinking.

Spend a lot of time before quitting thinking about what you’re going to do after you quit.

You’ll get great benefits from this because you’ve set your mind in the right framework.

It’s a bit like getting your GPS out and putting in the right coordinated from the start.

But if you don’t know where you’re going or how to get there, then the journey is going to be a fucking hell of a lot longer, a lot harder and more frustrating.

So, to avoid a lot of the frustration, you can spend some time preparing beforehand.

Write down your list of benefits, think about these things.

Getting back to my own list, there were only a few benefits that I used to get.

Boredom was one.

Another one was the buzz.

I can’t replicate that alcohol drunkenness but I don’t want to anymore.

I’d wanna get out of my face and smashed and whatever you want to call it.

Locked out of my head as we used to say in Ireland.

Because I was bored, because my life sucked big time.

When you’re a drinker and you drink all the time and that’s what you do for pleasure, it’s like, eventually you stop getting pleasure out of it for a start.

The pleasure disappears.

It’s like everything revolves around alcohol and you become more isolated.

You lose interest in other people, not being around other people.

A drinker always likes company but it’s not the same company as when you’re fully in your own mind and fully attentive to what’s going on around you because drinkers are not that way at all.

When you’re in company when you’re drinking, you’re locked up in your own brain.

You’re having fun with others because for whatever reason…that kind of thing might seem a lot more fun when you’re younger, but when you get older, there’s no fun in it anymore.

A lot of my drinking, 60-65% was isolation.

It was on my own.

It was sort of sitting there and watching boring TV, doing something boring on the computer and waiting for that time to come when I just got drunk enough to not care anymore, to go to bed and not think about it anymore.

That was my life.

I know that’s the way many people’s alcohol drinking goes, too.

It’s the same as if you’re doing heroin, if you’re a smoker.

Tell me a smoker that enjoy the habit.

They say they do, but not really.

It’s just one cigarette after another cigarette.

These days it’s usually rushed cigarette outside an office building or outside your home when you’re not allowed to smoke anymore.

So, the buzz, I can get a much better buzz doing the things that I’m doing now, getting up in the morning and knowing I’m not going to have a hangover.

I’m used to that now.

I was getting a great buzz out of it in the beginning.

Getting a great buzz just looking over the view. I moved here before I stopped drinking, it’s just a great feeling.

So, the other 3, the thirst, relaxation and destressing.

I mean the thirst is an obvious one.

I can cure it better with water much better than I did with alcohol.

Alcohol doesn’t cure thirst.

I was totally cutting myself that alcohol came anywhere near curing my thirst.

It was just something that I had in my head as an excuse to drink.

An excuse to get down to the pub.

I was thirsty and needed a few pints.

Not that I needed an excuse.

Relaxation, destressing – those are other things that are in the mind.

I sort of do similar things that I used to do.

I like sitting down, relaxing, watching a TV programme, that kind of stuff.

I like getting out with other people, having a laugh.

I still do those things, I just take alcohol out of the equation.

We equate alcohol with whatever it is we’re doing.

But if you take the alcohol out and give it a little bit of time, change your attitude, then you’ll see that the 2 don’t have to go together.

You’ll see that you can have more fun than you ever did with alcohol.

Because you’re there in the moment, you’re with yourself and other people.

You can pay more attention if you’re just watching TV.

I’ve said this before about alcohol, that your body will never relax with alcohol in it.

Because once you’re presuming that you’re relaxing and you’re in that relaxing atmosphere that you’ve constructed for yourself – and it takes a lot of effort to build this, whether you’re in your own home and you’ve gone to all the trouble of building this place for yourself, nice comfy chair, put your feet up, big TV, and then you put alcohol into the equation and you presume that it is adding to the equation because that’s what we’re told.

Because when you’re presuming to relax, your body is underneath, on red alert, trying to fight to keep you alive, so how is that relaxation?

There are plenty of ways to relax, and destress.

Alcohol puts you out the game for a while, but so does sleep.

Good rest is a better destresser and relaxant than anything else.

You never get that when you’re drunk because your body just can’t sleep.

You’re unconscious, but that’s not the same as proper recuperative sleep.

Just think about those things.

This is all about thinking about the benefits you get from alcohol.

First of all looking at if they are actually benefits, if these things are real or you’re just kidding yourself.

And secondly, to figure out which benefits are replaceable.

How you will get good sleep, how you’re going to relax, destress and stop yourself from getting bored.

How you’re going to get that buzz in your life.

I guarantee that if you put a lot of effort into doing these things before you even stop drinking, in the preparation stage, then you will find it a lot easier to deal with these problems as they come up.

You’ll know what you’re going to do.

Lay out your road map before you need it.

Lay it out from the beginning.

That’s it for today.

If you have any comments, leave them down below.

Come over to the website and sign up for the free newsletter and the free course on how to relax and destress yourself.

I’ve also got a new course out now which is all about getting prepared if you haven’t quit drinking yet.

I’ve tried to design this course to give you the least amount of hassle, to get yourself prepared, your mind and your body, the people around you prepared for the life you’re about to take.

I think it’s a good course.

I spent a lot of time doing it.

You’ll find it on the website and I’ll send you the link.

If you want to get the course at 40% off, you can click the link down below.

Just go to the link, press the button and you’ll get 40%.

Until next time, stay safe, keep the alcohol out of your mouth and stay stress free.


Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!

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  1. Tony Ball

    Hi Kevin my 14th day today with no grog feeling much better already been sleeping a lot Im eating well and taking multi vits and god liver oil drinking water a lot I enjoy watching your shows get a lot of help from them I feel that I can beat this silly habit that as had me bound most of my life been cooking and cleaning my house and feel well just more positive in myself thanks buddy Tony B

  2. Rochelle

    Hi Kevin,
    I don’t send you comments often.I am still here.
    I’m glad you’re doing the 365 day challenge. Although, I find it hard to keep up with them, LOL! I’m way behind but that’s okay. I read the titles that are most pertinent, and hopefully I can catch up with all of them.
    Just ? for this one and I couldn’t agree more with the reasons you listed of how alcohol becomes pretty negative when used on a regular basis.
    I’ve found good quality sleep is only acquired for me when I don’t even drink one beer in the evening. It’s so very important for making that next day of work a quality day!
    Thanks for being out there!

    • Kevin O'Hara

      Good to hear from you Rochelle and glad you’re watching some of the vids. 🙂

  3. Skip

    I am getting ready to stop drinking and this has been the best advice and help I could have asked for.

  4. Anonymous

    I am trying to escape alcoholism at the moment. This article really resonates with my experience. I’ve made progress but I haven’t figured out what to replace it with. I am going in circles of sobriety and binging.

    I have saved the content of this article and I am going to read it again when i am sober and try my best to take the advice.

    Thank you for publishing this. I wish I’d have understood these things a long time before now.


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