This will be better if I have a drink…

You’re at a party. Everyone around you is having a blast but you’re just not feeling it. And when you look more closely you notice that some, if not most of them are drinking. So the thought enters your mind,

“This will be better if I have a drink…”

Or…

You’re at home. Your anxious mind is racing and you’re thinking about absolutely everything that is wrong in your life and you just want it to SHUT UP for a minute. You need some peace so the thought enters your mind,

“This will be better if I have a drink…”

Or perhaps,

You’re on holiday. You’re lying on a beach with the scorching sun beaming down onto your skin, and you’re right next to a bar, filled with beautiful people sipping fancy looking cocktails. Everything is perfect. Well, everything is almost perfect because the thought has just entered your mind,

“This will be better if I have a drink…”

Maybe the thought enters your mind when you get home from work. When you watch a footy match on tv. When you’ve put the kids to bed. Or when it’s the weekend, when it’s the good end of a Monday, when you’re out having a meal with your partner, when you’re happy, when you’re sad, when you’re tired, when you’re angry, when you want to celebrate, commiserate, smile, laugh, feel sexy, feel confident or just SCREAM!

“This will be better if I have a drink…”

But! You’ve made a commitment to stop drinking. You were worried because that thought popped into your head far too often. You’d read somewhere that drinking causes cancer. A friend told you that you were a bit of a dick when you’d had too much to drink and they were worried about you. Or you’d woken up too many times in the middle of the night racked with anxiety and you just knew deep down it was connected to alcohol, but you were too scared to say it out loud. Yet still the thought persists,

“This will be better if I have a drink…”

What do you do? Well, obviously you have two choices. You can take a drink, or you can ride it out. If you take a drink, and you have committed to staying sober, then you will then have to deal with all the guilt that will inevitably follow. And then go through it all again. And for what? So you can fit in at the party and lose your mind and your inhibitions? What about those people at the party who aren’t drinking? Why are they so relaxed? Because they are at peace with the decision they have made about not drinking to enjoy themselves, that’s how. They have seen through the bullshit that our society insists we believe. They know that they are immeasurably happier not being chained to booze and to this belief, and that the rewards of living a sober life far outweigh the momentary ‘benefit’ of taking a mind altering drug to let loose.

You could take a drink to calm your anxious mind at home if you so choose as well. Or you could come to the realisation that it is quite possibly the alcohol that is causing the anxiety in the first place, as your brain desperately tries to find balance after you introduced a depressant into your system. And if there is a deeper cause to your anxiety then drinking to self medicate will be about as effective as putting a sticking plaster onto a severed jugular vein. Additionally, any therapy or treatment you undergo for mental health issues will be completely undermined by alcohol.

And the only thing that alcohol will bring you in the hypothetical holiday scenario is less presence to enjoy the moment for what it is. The sun will still shine if you stay sober. The beach will still be there. And because alcohol increases your heart rate, taking a drink will make you feel less relaxed, not more, especially as it wears off.

As for all of the other situations I listed, if you feel like you need a drink for all of those then perhaps having a break is exactly what your body, mind and soul require at the moment.

To try to limit the amount of times that voice in your head tells you to take a drink it is important to remember that we have been conditioned in this society to believe it is all true. Since a very young age, we have had messages of “Alcohol is good!” thrust into our subconscious mind. From those around us in our family, to most of our friends, to articles we read in newspapers and magazines, to news reports on the tv, to television shows, radio shows, movies, novels and even healthcare professionals.

But the truth of the matter is, as more and more scientific studies are showing, alcohol is not good. At all. It is a poison. We dilute it down and sweeten the fuck out of it to make it palatable but the simple fact remains. It is a poisonous, addictive and deadly drug. It DOES cause cancer. It WILL kill you if you’re unlucky enough. It tears apart families. It puts an enormous strain on our health and emergency services. And life without it is just as fun and even more beautiful than you can imagine, if you let it be so. Don’t pine for your old life, commit to and embrace your new one.

If you have decided to stop drinking then well done. Perhaps you are doing Sober October and you can’t stop that voice chiming in as you navigate your way through life. Maybe even your friends or your family are echoing that voice. Don’t be surprised if they are, they have been programmed by our society in exactly the same way our own subconscious has after all. And don’t listen to them, or to that voice. Distract yourself if it persists because it will fade over time. Just remember, you can choose to get through this month, or the entire length of your sobriety even, by embracing the new life you have been given, the fresh mornings, the lack of hangovers, the reduced anxiety, the weight loss, the clearer skin, the increased drive (including sex), the increased bank balance, the happy liver, heart, kidneys, brain and guts. Or you can choose to feel like you are missing out. In spite of everything that you now know to be true. Or, God forbid, you could choose to listen to that voice. The one that says,

“This would be better if I had a drink…”

But you should remember…

That voice is a liar.

Thank you for reading, don’t forget to like and subscribe, and please share far and wide.

Much love 🙏❤️

4 thoughts on “This will be better if I have a drink…

  1. Well put my friend. That nagging voice telling me it would be better with a drink is there often. The tricky part is it often IS better with a drink, for a short while anyway, but then worse after. Almost always worse after!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello friend across the pond! For me it was better for such a brief moment, the fact it was so much worse afterwards far outweighed any small benefit I would get from drinking. Any time it came back when I finally stopped drinking for good, I would always play it forwards. It was difficult, often, and I would find myself having to really dig deep to get there. Reminding myself of everything that would follow that first drink. The chasing of that feeling by drinking more and more and never quite getting that feeling back. And then the god awful repercussions only a few hours later. Alcohol is a mind altering drug. And it helped for me to look at it that way. Categorising it in the same family as any other mind altering drug made me see how damaging it could potentially be. I had morphine for back pain before I stopped drinking and that made me feel pretty fucking amazing too, but the idea of that justifying me taking it seemed absurd. So I put alcohol in the same camp as that. And then I found ways to sit more comfortably with any uncomfortable feelings I experienced. And over time it quietened. That voice. The reason I wrote this particular blog was because it was whispering at me again the other night when I felt uncomfortable. But waking the next morning knowing that I had not listened to it filled me with a deep joy. So even after over 3 years sober, the voice can still be there. Very rarely, but still there. But, on the flip side, so can the jubilation I feel when I tell it to fuck off. You’ve just got to keep telling it to fuck off, and each time you do, it gets quieter, and you get stronger. Thanks for commenting, I hope you’re ok🤗🙏❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your thoughts echo so many I have read that assure me the voice will get quieter. It has gotten a teensy bit quieter, but I do still feed it often. I’m ok just making very slow progress!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Slow progress is okay! It’s better than no progress😁And referring to my previous reply…The reason that voice is even there in the first place with alcohol and not with morphine, for me at least, was that I was addicted to alcohol. Any addiction, or compulsive behaviour even, overrides logic. Literally. In our brains. Where our brain would logically say not to have morphine even though it makes us feel good, if we are addicted to something, or have compulsive behaviour towards it (like chocolate for example) that logic is overridden by the addiction or compulsion. Our prefrontal cortex shuts down. The logical decision making part of our brain. That’s why it’s so fucking difficult to stop. I’m no neurologist so the science there might not be 100 percent accurate but it’s close enough😉Just keep going. My dad just passed a year without smoking, and he DID NOT want to give up. That voice was sooo strong for him. But he fought through it. So you can too🙏

        Liked by 1 person

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