Stop Drinking Alcohol 61 – What Do You Expect To Get From Not Drinking? (Transcript)
This is stop drinking alcohol 61.
I wanted to talk about getting your expectations right for when you quit drinking. What do you expect to get out of it?
Questions About The Forum
But first, on the site this week I just put out a call for any other questions. I have a few questions in already, just about the forums… If you’re having any difficulties or problems, send me your email [to firstname.lastname@example.org].
Also this week, I’m going to put out the progress chart. It was very graciously made for us by one of the Alcohol Mastery members. It will be out in a couple of days.
You’ll find the download link in the sidebar.
What Are Your Expectations?
What do you expect, once you’ve stopped, once you’ve quit drinking?
When it comes to stopping, it’s a short term goal at best. And there’s a couple of reasons for that.
The first one is you just don’t have a target to aim at by just stopping drinking, it’s just such a final thing. So, except for doing nothing, you’ve got nothing to aim for.
And the second reason is that in the long run, sooner rather than later, you need to close the door on alcohol. I’m not talking about forgetting that you had a drinking problem, it’s good to remember that. You need to give yourself closure. You need to close one door to open up the other for the rest of your life.
It’s important to establish your expectations, not just before you quit, but in the first few days. You need to figure out where you want to go and how you’re going to get there.
External vs Internal
I think one of the processes that we all go through when we quit drinking is to match the external conditions with the internal goals. Maybe one of your internal goals is to strive to be a better parent. Quitting alcohol is definitely a step in the right direction. It gives you much more opportunity, head space, and freedom to do the things that are necessary to do that.
Another way we can do this is to modify the internal expectations. Going back to the good parent scenario, what are your expectations of a good parent? Are they realistic expectations or are they based around what you think after you’ve been drinking for so long? Are they based on your internal guilt?
Changing My Expectations
One of the reasons I’m using the parenting expectations example is because it was a big thing for me once I quit. I thought that once I stopped drinking, I could make up for lost time, becoming a better parent with my son.
Since I’ve quit, I’ve changed my expectations. A: there is no lost time to make up for. I always had good times with my son, a good relationship, drunk or sober. The main difference now is that I remember all the times I’m spending with him. And B: I wasn’t the bad father that I was painting myself to be. It was a whole load of guilty feelings that I was shouldering. When you see the amount of people who are drinking in this world, just the natural normal feeling that you have about drinking in this culture, you’re not fully to blame for it. I know that at the end of the day, you are responsible for putting the drink into your own mouth, it’s only when you start getting difficulties that you realise just how abnormal drinking really is.
Once you stop drinking, once your mind becomes a bit clearer, you can reevaluate and reexamine your expectations about life, and your expectations about yourself and other people. You will come to realise that you were being a lot harsher on yourself than was really justifiable.
Once you are free of the drug, you should really see the cloud, feel the cloud, lifting. It allows you to see things from a different and more positive perspective. It’s a much better place to view and perhaps modify your expectations of the future.