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What Story Do You Tell Yourself About Your Alcohol Drinking?

by | Stop Drinking Alcohol | 6 comments

Today I want to talk about the stories that you tell yourself.

If you change that story, then you’re going to change your life.

Before I stopped drinking, the story I told myself was that I was a drinker.

I was Irish, so, don’t all Irish people drink? I told myself that I was a Guinness drinker, that I enjoyed my drinking and I was never going to give it up, and it wasn’t really doing me any harm.

I understood over the years that cigarettes would do me harm, that’s why after so many tons and tons and tons of attempts to quit, I did quit eventually, because I knew that it was just not good for me.

I always told myself the story that I was a healthy eater, I as getting enough exercise doing the job that I did, and that I didn’t really need to change that.

That was my story.

Then, a few things happened in my life, and it sort of broke apart the story a little bit, and I had to make some changes.

One of those changes was to stop drinking alcohol. After a lot of attempts to moderate my alcohol, y’all know the story.

It just…it didn’t work.

I gave up for ten months at one stage and then went back on the alcohol on probably the most important day of my brother’s life, when he got married to his wife, and I was the best man.

There was no big drama story behind it, but it wasn’t great.

My best man speech after a few pints when I hadn’t drunk in months was hilarious, to say the least.

But anyway that’s a different story.

For all those years, I told myself that I was a drinker, and it was just bullshit.

For all those years I told myself that I was an Irishman, and all Irish people drink was some stereotypical, racist bullshit.

There’s a big organisation in Ireland called the Pioneers, and these people pride themselves on not drinking, I think to sort of stem the flow of that ridiculous notion that a lot of Irish people drink.

I’ve lived in many different countries and I’ve met lots of people, and there’s drinking in all cultures, even cultures that are not traditional heavy drinkers.

I’ve seen heavy drinkers in all cultures.

It’s not such a generalised thing.

People like to generalise because it’s an easy thing to do.

What I’m really saying is this: when you’re trying to make these changes in your life, whether that being quitting the alcohol or cigarettes, or whatever it is that you want to do, and you don’t do that, what kind of stories do you tell yourself about these things?

Do you tell yourself ‘’I’m strong enough to do this’’ or ‘’I’m not very strong enough at all’’?

Imagine some of the world’s best stories of our time.

Imagine Gone with the Wind, where Rett Butler said at the end of the film ‘’ I don’t give a damn’’…well really, he did give a damn, you know?

Or imagine if Harry Potter had said ‘’I don’t really want to fight with Voldemort, I don’t care if I’m the chosen one’’

Think about some of the big stories in our time, think about The Matrix.

If Neo had swallowed the other pill and gone ‘’I don’t really want to know about that’’, that would have been a shit story.

Think about Frodo Baggins and Bilbo Baggins, if he’d said ‘’I don’t want the ring, you can take it and do what you want with it, it’s my life and if the world goes to shit, I don’t care. I just like living here and I like my food’’; another shit story.

Well, that’s wat we do to ourselves every day, we make up these excuses not to do things.

We have the identity of ourselves at the core, and if it goes against our identity then the whole thing is wrong.

When I first wanted to go out and do yoga, I told myself that my idea of yoga was that it was something that women do, like Pilates or childbearing, I don’t know.

It was something that women did, and real men didn’t do that kind of stuff.

I got into it because somebody who I respect as a man was talking about yoga from a perspective of ‘this is something that will make you strong’, he was talking about it from the postures and stuff, and that fair play to women doing it, because it requires a lot of basal physical strength in order to hold some of these poses.

So, that sort of cracked open the door a little bit and got me thinking, and I looked on the internet and I read about it.

And the more I read about it, the more I realised that a lot of women do it…but there are some men that do it as well.

There are a lot of men that do it, a lot of men who swear by it, same with meditation and all these other spiritual aspects of life that men from my background don’t want to look at.

They don’t want to see themselves doing it because they don’t see it as being manly.

It’s just a way of thinking, it’s a bullshit way of thinking, it’s just one of those imprisoning mental jails that we put ourselves into all the time,

that we stop ourselves from doing the things that we want to do because of the stories that we tell ourselves.

‘’I can’t do this because that’s a woman’s thing’’, ‘’I can’t give up drinking because that’s part of who I am, what am I going to do if I stop drinking? What am I going to use to socialize, this is all part of my personality, it’s a part of my identity. I’d be lost, I wouldn’t be me’’

Well of course you won’t be you!

That’s what change is all about, it’s you becoming not you, because the you that you are now is not working.

When I stopped drinking, the me that was me at that stage, 46 years of age, that was the person that brought me to the stage I am now, when all I wanted to do at night was sit around and get piss drunk.

I didn’t want to be that person anymore.
That means change, and not only change in what you’re actually physically doing.

You have to change your thinking.

If you don’t change your thinking, then nothing else changes.

Because, you’ve got a big roadblock beside you all the time.

You’ve got a big roadblock to your progress, and that’s your mind.

If your mind is not up for it then your body is not going to give a shit.

Your body only follows what your mind says.

If my mind keeps saying ‘’Now at this moment, I want to keep going backwards, I want to go back that way’’, and it keeps saying it, then eventually I am going to go back that way. Actually I am going to go back now.

I think I’ve got a bit of a sunburn, it’s really hot today.

Anyway, you have to change the stories that you tell yourself.

If you don’t change these stories, then nothing else is going to change.

You’re going to carry on doing the same things that you’re always doing.

Change means changing who you are as a person, changing that core identity and changing it gradually over a period of time.

Change is good.

Change happens anyway, whether you want the change to happen or not.

Things change, the environment changes, the world changes, people change, people around you are going to change, the body changes.

The whole thing is to lead the direction of that change, to direct that change.

Anyway, enough rambling.

Change your story, and you will change your life.

Change what you’re telling yourself, stories that you’re telling yourself about your life, about your intelligence, about your abilities, about your drinking or not drinking…

Change your story and you will change your life.

It’s as simple as that.

So, if you have any questions, any comments, leave a comment down below. If you want to come over to the website, the audio for this and all the other videos are available.

You can also get the transcripts there.

There’s also a free video course on hang loose without booze, all 87 videos.

That took about 8 hours of filming.

I’ll give you the link to that, you have to sign up for the newsletter…

That’s it for today. I hope you have a great day, don’t get sunburned. Stay happy, stay safe, keep the alcohol out of your mouth.


Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!

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  1. Kevin Dolan

    Great info. Could you do a talk on how meditation and yoga have helped you in your journey?

  2. Michele

    Loved the analogies to the movies… I certainly don’t want to cast myself in a “shit story”.

    And the yoga comment.. something that women do, “like Pilates, or childbirth”. LOL

    Thanks for the good insight and occasional laugh as usual.

  3. Pierre LeBlanc

    Spot on Kevin if we don’t change our thinking then nothing will change. That goes for anything in life. Wear some sunscreen mate Irish are fare skinned.


    • Kevin O'Hara

      I’m not too big on the sunscreen… I read a lot of stuff about skin cancer rates skyrocketing around the same time that people started using some cream… I tend to wear a hat… No chemicals 🙂


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