What is the simplest truth behind any quitting alcohol?
How’re you doing? I’m Kevin O’Hara for alcoholmastery.com.
Today, I want to talk about the surprisingly simple truth about quitting drinking alcohol.
You might have heard me say this before, but the actual process of quitting is really simple; you don’t put the alcohol into your mouth.
I say this at the end of almost every video I’ve done in the last year at least.
Don’t put the alcohol in, and you’ve quit.
Stay safe, keep the alcohol out of our mouth, onwards and upwards.
That’s all there is to the process.
Don’t put it in.
You’re the one at the end of the day that has to physically lift the glass up to your mouth.
You have to physically go down and buy it first, then bring it home, and then unpack it.
You have to settle down, get yourself in a position where you can drink, open the bottle, pour it out, and while this can be done by someone else, the fact is that in order for you to drink, you alone have to physically lift the glass.
I mean even that could be done by someone else, but you have to allow each drop into your mouth, and you have to swallow each mouthful.
Everything else can be done by someone else if you’re super rich.
But, you have to swallow each drop.
Most of us are not rich so we have to do all of it ourselves.
All the time it takes us to do that, that takes us to think about what we’re going to drink, go down and buy it, there’s a process between you thinking it and you putting it in your mouth.
In order for you to have a problem with this, you have to do this over and over again.
The only way you’re going to stop doing this is to stop putting the alcohol in.
I know that’s a daunting idea, but when you look at it, it’s exactly the same way as you developed your alcohol taste in the first place.
You did it one drink at a time.
You drank a mouthful, and another. Even one drink at a time is one mouthful at a time.
So, the only secret, the only real simple truth to quitting drinking, is you do not put anymore into your mouth.
It can’t be simpler than that.
So, why do people not do this?
Why do they insist on continuously putting it in regardless of what’s happening to them physically, regardless of what’s happening to their minds, relationships, jobs.
They can see it happening, but they continue doing what they know is hurting not only them but other people as well.
One of the biggest problems people face when they quit drinking is they focus their minds on the alcohol instead of on something else.
They focus on how much they love to drink, how much alcohol drinking is a part of their lifestyle, how much this habit has become a part of them over the years, how much it’s become a part of who they think they are personally or within their community.
They mourn the loss.
They look at the loss of alcohol as something bad, sad, and something they think about consistently and continuously.
This creates a big barrier because what you focus on is what you get.
If you focus on alcohol, then that’s what you’re going to get.
If you don’t ever drink, if you leave it for a month or two, it’s one of the things that create the perception in people’s minds that moderation is okay, that it’s okay to go back and moderate and they can handle things now because they’re in this new frame of mind.
They know they’re feeling good, their relationships are better, they’re physically able to do more things because of more time and more money.
From that place where they’re feeling better, then they’ve forgotten about what happened two months ago.
They’ve forgotten the reason they started out on this whole process, and they no longer see the pain, the misery, and they start to think: I’ve got a handle on myself now. I have control over it now. So maybe I can go back and I can have a drink. I feel like I can do that. I can go back and have one or two drinks, and that’s it.
A lot of people do go back to that.
But they last only a short time, because that two or three drinks…when you start out, you’re trying to prove something to yourself, that you can do this.
You haven’t had any alcohol in a long time, and you take the first couple of drinks.
But once you start to get back into the routine again, and the rituals again, it doesn’t take your mind very long to come back into the behaviour.
The rituals come back, the behaviours start to creep back in, and the habit is just there waiting to come back in.
All the wiring inside your mind is already there.
What I’m saying is when a lot of people look at their future, they spend too much time looking at their past for a guide of where they want to go.
If you look behind you, let’s say you’re drawing your own picture.
If you face backwards into your life that’s gone, you have very little space to learn new things because you’re always looking for your past for guidance.
You have very little room to manoeuvre.
But if you turn around and forget the past, and focus on the future, you’ve got a blank canvas.
You’re not relying on the past for guidance.
You’re relying on what you see in your brain, what you understand about your life now, and hat it’s driving you to achieve.
You have no barriers, no obstacles in your way.
You have a blank canvas that you can put anything on.
If you face backwards, you’re restricted on what you did in the past. So, that’s what you’re stuck with, altering the past in different ways to try and look into the future.
If you look at the future as a blank canvas, you’ve got no such restrictions.
You can do whatever you want.
It’s open to your own interpretations, dreams, future reality and not the past reality.
When you’re trying to build your new life, and get rid of alcohol, don’t focus on the alcohol.
It’s like the car getting you from A to B.
You can get into your car or someone else’s and take the same journey.
The way that you get there can be anything.
So alcohol can get you from A to B, and it’s only the tool that you’ve used in the past to get you from A to B.
Think about where you really want to be, and why you’re drinking alcohol.
Look for alternative ways of getting you to that end destination.
When you quit drinking alcohol, the behaviour, and the rituals and the thinking, and the actual habit…when you look at the habit as a whole, it takes up so much real estate within your mind.
It takes so much time and energy from your life.
It takes a lot of your decisions, and a lot of the things you do daily.
So once you pull the alcohol out of that, you stop doing the drinking, then you have gaps that you have to fill.
You have gaps in your thinking, gaps that used to be alcohol rituals, gas that were the individual behaviours.
So, each of these individual behaviours all fit into that habit and leave gaps.
You have to think about how to fill those gaps.
That’s going to be tough, but fight with the drinking.
It’s a gradual process.
It’s not anything that can be done in one fell swoop.
You can’t give up drinking forever.
You have to give it up right now.
If you focus on the alcohol, and keep no focusing on it, then you’re going to have to keep quitting every fucking single day for the rest of your life.
That’s what happens when people go to the AA and they stand up and say to people over and over again, ‘I’m an alcoholic. I have a problem with alcohol. I give away my power to something outside of me’.
That’s what happens.
It lodges inside your mind that the problem of alcohol is in your head.
It’s not a part of you, it’s a behaviour just like any other, like biting your fingernails.
It might be more dangerous, I mean you can jeep biting your nails and the only thing you’re going to destroy are your fingertips.
It might affect you when you’re doing your job, if you have a job that requires dexterity.
Alcohol on the other hand is going to affect so much more about your life, but it’s the same thing.
It’s a habit.
You have to accept that it’s a part of the behaviour, and that only you have got the power to change that behaviour.
You’re sitting there and hoping some deity is going to help you, that’s ludicrous.
You’re living in cloud coo-coo land if you’re thinking that.
No matter what help you get, you have to physically do this yourself even if you go to AA.
You have to wake up every day and make sure you don’t drink.
You can’t expect anyone else to do that, and they wont do it for you.
If you focus your mind away form alcohol and on to your future, then eventually, you will find- even though it might take a month or two-that you will get up, and you will go about your day, do all other things you need to do; socialise, sleep, commiserate, do everything you need to do and you won’t think about alcohol.
It won’t be in your head because you’re not focusing on it.
That’s the simple truth.
The alcohol is just a means to an end, a tool that got you from A to B, from not being able to sleep to being able to sleep, from not being able to socialise to being able to socialise.
The B is your journey.
The destination is what you want to achieve; the reason you want to do it.
The in between is your behaviour.
I’m going on a bit about this.
It all boils down to the same thing.
You can only do this bit by bit, but if you don’t focus away from alcohol, you’re always going to be hooked.
If you focus elsewhere on what you can do without alcohol, you start to prove it to yourself over and over again.
Every day you get up, you prove that you don’t need alcohol.
After a month you’ll find that you can sleep without it
That’s what I’m going to say today.
Focus on where you want to go rather than where you’ve been.
Focus, and you will convince yourself that quitting alcohol is good for you.
I’m going to leave it there.
If you have any question, give us a shout on the website. We also have the Quit Alcohol starter pack.
There are a lot of courses on it as well.
There’s one called Steps to Quitting alcohol.
There are 5 parts to that, and each one comes with a different book. Another one is how to relax and de-stress when quitting.
It’s all free.
Until next time, take care of yourself, keep the alcohol out of your mouth, focus on the future and not on the past.
STARVE YOUR DISTRACTIONS. FEED YOUR FOCUS.
Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!