Today, I want to talk about what part of drinking you find the most difficulty with.
For a start, I’d love to hear your comments down below.
Leave your comments wherever you’re watching this, on YouTube or the website.
Most people’s problems come from the cravings, the urges to drink, from sleeping.
They can’t get to sleep, they don’t know how to relax, they can’t socialise.
You’re gonna have two sets of different areas where your body is affected, your mind is affected. One is the physical element, the physical withdrawal from the drug itself.
You’ve got a certain amount of that.
It’s not as big as most people make out.
Then you’ve got the psychological elements of it.
As I say, all this depends on the amount of alcohol you’ve been consuming in the past.
How much have you actually drank in the past?
These are all things that are going to affect how long it will take you to get through this.
Your state of mind is going to be another one.
Your overall confidence in yourself and your ability to do things, that’s another factor.
No two people are going to be the same or have the same difficulties in quitting.
Some people say it was really easy because they sort of made mountains of mole hills in the beginning and they saw their expectations were wild.
They thought things were going to be harder, and then they actually stopped and found that thing were much easier.
Once the truth comes out, eh?
The proof of the pudding is always in the eating.
That’s what happens here.
The proof of what I’m saying, that most people won’t go through anywhere near as large difficulties or cravings or withdrawals as they think, as people make them out to be. Once they stop drinking themselves they realise this.
They think ‘I’m getting the cravings.
I only got a bit of sleep last night, but it’s not as bad as I thought’.
So one of the first things I’ll say to you is not to worry about those cravings or any other symptoms you’re going through.
They’re only temporary and are going to diminish as you get into it.
So, as you get into it more and more, first week, second week, first month, second month, six months, a year…these are going to disappear gradually.
Once you get to 6 months, you should have very little left.
3 1/2 years later, I still get the odd twinge, and it’s not for the alcohol itself, it’s always for what I associated it with in my own mind.
So, going out and just letting my hair down – probably not a great analogy- but I miss that.
But I have alternatives to that now.
I can get out and we’ve got some fantastic mountains around here that I can go and climb.
It burns out the frustration.
That’s what happens with me.
When I want to do something like this, I have an intensity and an anxiety inside of me that needs to be released.
I’m getting back into yoga a lot more, and I’m finding that the tension is being released instead of building up. I get this from walking as well.
You can get it from whatever exercises you’re doing.
But I find yoga to be particularly more exciting because it feeds my mind and it releases that energy, not only in my physical self but in my body as well.
I’ll give you a few tips on how to reduce these cravings as much as possible, or to reduce the difficulties you have.
One of the firs things is to remember that the urges for alcohol, they’re going to come and go.
It’s not as if you’re there in the first moment and you get an urge to quit and it just stays with you and sticks with your mind and stays there with you all day long.
If you dwell on it, possibly, but in the general flow of things, you’re going to get this open-down sort of feeling.
The urge will come at a peak and then diminish.
One of the ways to help yourself is to try and divert your attention away.
There are a lot of things you can do.
Each of this depends on the individual.
For one person, distracting their mind might be going for a walk around the block.
That’s my thing.
For another person, it might be knitting the back of a jumper.
It depends on the individual.
Write down a list of things you know will distract you, things that you know you like, and then when you feel the urge coming on, take out the list, look at it and say ‘this is what I fancy now’, and once you dwell on this, your mind can’t dwell on two things at once.
It’s just going to distract your mind until the next peak again.
Once you get to the next peak, do it again.
Another thing is to take out your list of motivations for quitting.
Everyone should have this, start out your journey with a list of motivations.
Everyone’s got their reasons.
No two people’s reasons are going to be the same.
One of my big reasons was my son, another was my health, another was the fact that I really wasn’t making any progress in my business.
It was one step forward and two back, and it had been happening throughout my life.
Those were some of my personal reasons.
Before you start this one, write down your motivations on a piece of paper.
As you hit the peak of your cravings, take out the list of reasons why you’re quitting, maybe while walking.
You’re distracting your mind and reading your list of reasons.
These are powerful reminders of exactly why you’re doing this and putting yourself through this, because at the end of the day, that can be one of the big things.
You saying to yourself ‘if I have one drink now, I’d feel better and I wouldn’t have to go through this. One drink isn’t going to harm you.
You’re going to die from something, so why not be alcohol?’
These are all excuses your mind will come up with.
These are all ways we talk ourselves into giving up what’s good for us and going back to what’s bad for us.
You have to listen to those rationalisations.
That’s another tip: as you feel these rationalisations coming up, write them down on a piece of paper so you don’t forget them.
As you’re going through this you can say ‘here is another rationalisation.
This is one more excuse I’m giving myself to stop doing what I’m doing and go back on what is good for me’.
We rationalise with ourselves all the time about the most stupid stuff and feeding ourselves with these instant gratifications instead of thinking about the long term.
It’s easier to put things off.
Let the guy that’s going to come a week later deal with the problems.
You’re shirking your responsibilities now – I’ll talk about this in another video.
It’s important to take a piece of paper and write down these things, and then you’ve got a whole list of rationalisations and say ‘this is an excuse I’m making now. This is one I made last week’.
Another tip is to make sure you keep your thirst at bay.
Drink plenty of water.
Not only does this quench your thirst, but a lot of the cravings are thirst related.
I found this out when I started thinking about my drinking a long time afterwards, when I was thinking about being back in Ireland and working in forestry and doing physical jobs, I’d starve myself of fluids during the day so that by the time I finished at night, I’d be gasping for thirst, and that would draw me to the pub and the first pint would taste absolutely delicious.
That was just adding to my own rationalizations about why I was drinking, because it was quenching my thirst.
It was adding to the story I was telling myself and the way I was building up alcohol unto a pedestal. Alcohol was a necessary part of my life, but it really wasn’t.
I was doing this to myself.
Another reason to drink a lot is just because people function better when they’re hydrated.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you can fill your stomach a lot more with water. Drink plenty of water.
Another tip is to take your mind off the problem and come back to it later.
Whatever it is that you wouldn’t normally do when you were drinking, just do something different.
Just focus your mind on other things.
If you’re in the middle of a craving, it’s basically feeling sorry for yourself.
Whatever you’re saying in your head is not positive.
You have to try and change the negativity of the urge and push it towards positivity.
You can do this through affirmations, a list of different things you say to yourself. For me, one of them was ‘alcohol is my enemy.
I can’t wait till the alcohol has completely left my body’.
I thought about alcohol thing being Gollum from Lord of the Rings, just this snivelling little beast that was in the back of my head.
This was the alcohol voice that was trying to convince me that drinking as a good thing and it would relieve the pressure.
Then we’ll go back to it tomorrow.
Tomorrow never comes, that’s what I’ve been saying to myself.
It’s all these affirmations, and have 1-3 that you say to yourself over and over again, and while you’re saying this, whether it is ‘this alcohol bastard has got to die’ or ‘I can’t wait to see this fucker die because he’s been taking over my life for years’, whatever it is, short sentences.
Another thing is to change everything you can about your daily living.
A lot of this is to do with habit.
Just the basics of habit.
One thing follows another, you’ve got the trigger, the sequence, the behaviour.
This is a long term thing, going through the weeks and months, your habits are going to change, your daily routines will change into not drinking.
So, as you’re going through your life, you’ve got these habits you’d normally be drinking.
Take for instance getting home from work or going to the pub or whatever it is.
There is a routine that builds up to this, and a routine you go through as your start drinking and a routine you go through when you stop.
You have to deliberately change those routines.
Change everything means that you don’t follow those routines.
Coming home from work and going into your normal routine, you do something different. Instead of going to the pub, you do something different.
Whatever, just change the whole thing.
The final thing is just don’t be afraid to ask for help.
There are plenty of places you can ask.
They’re the people that should be there for you. Enlist their help and tell them what you’re going to do. Not only does that give you good leverage on yourself, saying you’re not drinking anymore and then drinking, you’re going to look like a fool to these people.
So, go to your family and friends, and when you’re at the height of your cravings, you should be able to talk to these people.
Go to your doctor.
Some people suggest going to the doctor.
I can’t see that one myself because it’s not medical issue.
If you have a medical problem, go to your doctor.
If you’re feeling physical symptoms that you can explain.
If you’re feeling wrong, you need to go to your doctor to get it sorted out to be on the safe side. We’ve got a great form on Facebook.
It’s a secret group.
You can get into that group by signing up for our newsletter.
It’s a great place.
We’ve got almost 500 people there that are posting daily and reinforcing each other and giving each other courage and motivation.
There are plenty of other forms as well out there.
Watch the daily videos.
If you sign up to the newsletter, you’ll get a daily reminder in your email.
It’s a great thing to keep watching either my videos or someone else’s videos, just keep watching positive and motivational videos.
Things that are going to drag you forwards and stamp that positivity in your brain. You want to eventually have yourself be your own best influencer.
If you can influence yourself in a positive way daily, then you can influence your thoughts.
If you can change your negative thoughts into positive thoughts, the more you do this with yourself, the easier it’s going to be. I’m going to stop here and carry on my walk.
Until next time, stay safe and keep the alcohol out of your mouth. Sign up for the newsletter.
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There are a lot of videos I put out every month so that would be greatly appreciated.
KEEP MOVING FORWARD. IT’S THE WAY TO LIVE LIFE.
Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!
The hard part is that time when all the work and responsible jobs are done for the day and it seems a great idea to crack open a beer and wind down. It really helps to watch your videos and hear that it’s tough for you too, your honesty and straight talking really helps.
Wine is really the only alcohol that I miss. Wine with dinner, parties, listening to music, the whole process of selecting the wine for the wine refrigerator etc. I have had to get it in my head that I don’t drink. So when offered a glass of wine my response is I don’t drink. The same way as when offered I cigarette, no thanks, don’t smoke. With that said still triggered while at dinner with the wife, because what will one glass do? To counteract that I do not get involved in her selection, what wine goes with what, what is good. I don’t look at the wine list nor do I offer any advice. Same with buying alcohol for parties or gifts. I have no involvement what so ever. I will not even pickup a bottle as a favor for her or someone else on my way home. My wife, siblings and friends all understand and accept this. And if they don’t, well tough shit.
The hardest thing for me was learning how to deal with normal life stresses without using the crutch of alcohol. I needed to recognize that some level of stress in life is inevitable and while alcohol is an effective tool for masking our feelings of stress, being drunk actually makes it harder to resolve those issues effectively.
Hi Peter K yes you are so right I’m still struggling with anxiety without the alcohol
thank God for Kevin cheers Julie hope this finds you well.
Miy problem is dealing with pain, and I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve had a hell of a lot on my life. Every time I think this has got to be my lot now, then something else happens, I can’t cope and have to numb out. It never goes away. Also a constant feeling of overwhelm and inadequacy on my part that I can’t cope with life. Not in a good place at all.
What’s holding me back from totally quitting is mostly habit, having a partner who drinks, and me not having anything or anyone else to fill the time with. I drink much less than I used to, and your videos have been a great help. I ‘m also subconsciously waiting for some sort of big event coming up to set my quit date, such as New Year’s Day. That way I can put it off. There’s no reason not to stop now, but I just put it off and put it off. I feel like I need that major event to really set the quit date in stone once and for all. The good news is that I’m working on getting back into some artistic pursuits and exercise habits to fill the time and improve my mental state. I just need to set that quit date! Thank you again for your efforts. They are truly helpful.
I hesitated to answer this, but in reality, it is the numbness and passing out for a day or two that I miss
as my thoughts race continually to this day.
Physically there’s no comparison between now & then but no mental relief.
As for social drinking, never did it as as I was a lone drinker so I think that is even worse.
I am coping but still never feel happy even though I am thankful for not drinking. Hoping time lessens the intensity.
Kevin, thanks for your help, it does help! Julie
My issue is that I always think I don’t really have an issue because my problem is milder than most folks who want to do something in recovery. So, after a few days, I am like, I am not an alcoholic, so what is the big deal? I then go to moderation until I have a big night. I feel like if I was downing 8 or 10 drinks a night it would be easier for me to latch onto reasons why to quit.
After 30 years of heavy drinking whith which literally my first thought every morning when I woke up was wanting to kill myself, after stumbling apon your podcasts via a podcast player suggestion,finally thanks to you your online advice and help was able to finally quit for good. Im 130 (ish) days into it now and ‘bit by bit’ the pieces of my life are now falling into shape for the better.
The times that I’ve missed drink have to be honest few and far between because the pain it caused is still fresh in my memory,however Saturday nights when I don’t need to be up early were difficult at first but the thought of how bad I was mentally after drinking quickly removed the Gollum from my mind. Also Christmas Day was pretty difficult as I had a little routine where I would toast my months of hard work leading up to it with a glass (bottle) of Bailys and it was the only time of the year when I would allow myself to switch off and give myself a pat on the back.
I now give myself a pat on the back every morning, waking up fresh and afrer a wonderful nights sleep with dreams (dreaming is something I hadnt done for years, my subconscious mind quickly became alive again), ready to take on the day with a clear head and with a renewed confidence habitually drinking alcohol for years had completely destroyed, and onwards to another day on the the road to finding out who I REALLY AM after 30 years of heavy alcohol abuse.
I will forever be in your debt Kevin.