How to not drink…

10 Aug

8:04 pm

It’s a question I’ve been asking myself since I quit…nearly 60 days ago. Yup, true story! Woot woot. GO, ME.

How do I not drink? Well, I’ve come up with a variety of ways to — as I still see it, rather bitterly — trick myself into thinking and actually believing that drinking four Diet Cokes a day is better than drinking red, glorious red wine. Here’s my running list:

1. Stay busy. Real busy. I’ve realized that the more I do, the less I want to drink, have time to drink, and think about my “need” to drink. I try not to let myself get bored or allow myself too much time to spiral from “thinking” to “thinkin’ and drinkin’.” There’ll be plenty of time to think and ponder, and sometimes, you just have to Turn It Off.

2. Turn it off. Your computer, your work, your TV, your friends, your emails and Facebooks and Twitters and all the fucking rest. Turn it off. You can allow yourself to do that. You NEED to. What do they say in AA? Don’t get too tired, too hungry, etc.? Well, don’t get too thoughtful, basically. Unless, of course, it’s good thoughtful, and not bad thoughtful…

2. Surround yourself with nondrinkers. YAWNS…But, it’s true. Luckily, I have a very supportive boyfriend (Hi!) who happens to not drink, but who also realizes the benefits to me of his choosing not to drink around me. I’ve sort of “abandoned” friends who just want to get drunk…not like I’ve got a huge circle anywhere at this point and anyway, most of my besties are mid-to-late-30s, and we’re all sort of over the shenanigans and blackouts and hangovers.

3. Eat chocolate. And ice cream. Doesn’t matter if you put it on your list or not, you’re gonna end up doing it! Cravings for sugar, HELLO?

4. Remember the aforementioned shenanigans, blackouts, and hangovers. Remember them very clearly and, however painful, try to keep them accessible if not at the forefront of your mind. (One of these posts, I’ll include a list of “shit I’ve done” in order to have it written out, for you and for me, to refer back to whenever the urge to drink hits.) Like, I know this is cheesy, but as Candy Finnigan said on an episode of Intervention when one of the weepy victims asked her how she quit drinkin’, she said simply, “Well, I had had enough.” I’ve had enough. And I sure as hell don’t want to black out and do or say something that, once again, I can’t take back. So over it. So, SO over it.

5. Remember that:
a. Drinkin’ doesn’t make a problem go away, it’s just a vacation from it. BUT:
b. Drinkin’ is NOT a vacation. Bummer.
c. Drinkin’ is NOT a reward, it is a punishment — mentally, emotionally, spiritually, not to mention, physically. You’re awesome and you deserve BETTER.
d. You will black out, and you will be hung over. (And if you’re not, then it’ll be the first time in like, EVER. Accept that the experiment has failed and your experience has succeeded…in allowing you to see this pattern rationally, from an objective standpoint. You’d get an “F” in Statistics if you actually drink after tallying all this data up!)

6. Find something to distract you from the craving, and then convince yourself that it’ll be better, way more of a sustained (longer and more nourishing) buzz than drinking. Read. Watch a movie. Walk. Run. Write. Paint. Look at the sun or the clouds or the moon or the myriad of life and animals and plants around you — just look, they’re pretty distracting. Do yoga. Meditate. Whatever takes you out of your head, even for a minute, is another step toward re-building your mind, toward *practicing sobriety.*

At the same time, I can hear the call of red wine, even as I type this. So, once again, I have to check in with myself. Seems like I spend SO much time going back and forth in my mind, mainly cuz I guess I still haven’t accepted that I cannot drink. Le sigh.

5 Responses to “How to not drink…”

  1. soberistas August 11, 2012 at 7:08 am #

    You’re doing great, 60 days is brilliant! You sound like you’re in the same place as me a lot of the time…it’s a battle isn’t it?! Keep going and stay strong. Loved reading your blog.

  2. Belle (Tired2012) August 11, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    Thanks for this, i’m just finding you today (thanks for following what i’m doing). i really needed this post today.

  3. Imogen August 11, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

    Congratulations on 60 days. That’s a wonderful achievement. I like your point about booze-poison not being a reward. I can’t believe i used to think it was, and still struggle a little with that view of it. How could drinking poison possibly be a reward? You’re doing so well, remain focused in your goal and you’ll get to the next one, feeling better and better each day. x

  4. Chicago August 11, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

    This. This list is fantastic and I’m adding it to my own list of “why I don’t drink”. Adding to my list is: “when I’m out with my drankin’ friends and they tell me I’m ‘fine’ and am not ‘that bad’, I need to remember that their voices are just as nutty as my own evil-twin voice that tells me the same shit when I let it.”. So there. To answer your question, I’m on day 13 (wooooot!). Went out w/two friends I’ve known since I was a kid, told them both I’m off the moonshine, and both proceeded to ge shithoused times Infiniti. Not much support there, obviously.

    Hey, one more thing we have in common- BFs who don’t drink. Thank God (or whomever) for that. Mine can drink a beer and stop, which is endlessly fascinating to me. He has also taken the very compassionate stance of laying off the sauce while i get my bearings. Of course, now my friends are trying to convince me that the problem is his problem w/my drinking, not my actual drinking. Makes my head spin. Anyway, this is your blog, not mine. I am loving checking in here.. Feels good to know other people get it when most around me don’t. Also think it might be time to find some sober friends!

    Hope you have a great weekend! How totally boss was it to wake up early on a Sat morning with zero hangover?

  5. OuttaHerBottle August 12, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

    Congratulations on your 60 days! Every day sober is an accomplishment, and it sounds like you are setting up a great program of successful recovery for yourself.Thanks for sharing your tips and your process!

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