We all remember our first love or first crush, even though it may be many years ago, it created within us such strong emotions that they will be embedded into our memory store forever. We may not think about the person every day or we may only have a rare thought that takes us back to the past, but all the feelings and associated emotions are still there and still as strong.
Just like that first taste of alcohol, whatever age you were when you took that first sip, you will have felt the difference in how it feels as the chemicals hit your brain and made you feel more relaxed, maybe more sociable you may even have started to talk more, and suddenly life just felt so much easier to handle. Here at last was the perfect solution to all your shyness and social awkwardness. Suddenly you could party without fear of saying or doing the wrong thing, suddenly you fitted in with the crowd, here was the answer to all life’s problems.
Unless you were one of the lucky ones and that first human love became your life partner you will have pushed down the memories to be taken out once in a while to have a quick reminisce about what might have been before being pushed back down again, hidden from view.
As you travel through life you never lose that memory of how it felt to take that first drink of alcohol, you may not be aware consciously, but your unconscious mind will remember. Whether you were able to control your drinking and managed to live your life with rules e.g. never before 5pm or never on school nights or it led you on a path down to drinking greater and greater amounts, drinking every night or drinking to get drunk as quickly as possible until finally, you knew that enough was enough, the hangover pain was too great, the impact it had on your relationships, work, finances were all negative and you knew it was time to get it back under control.
Unfortunately, like that old love affair, the memory never goes away it stays buried deep inside ready for the flame to be rekindled when the right circumstances come along. That memory of the effects of your first drink, the memory that seduces you to return again and again seeking, if only for a moment that feeling of relaxation.
It is one of the reasons giving up alcohol is not easy; it is like knowing that you could have the person of your dreams but need to keep walking away. You know that you can have alcohol, it is a legal and socially acceptable drug, but you need to keep saying no, time and time again. And just like the end of that love affair, it can all feel so difficult and lonely.
Just as you cannot spend the rest of your life pining after your one true love, well you can, but you are not going to be very happy, you cannot spend the rest of your life pinning after alcohol so how do we put alcohol where it belongs, in your past. The only safe place for alcohol is in a hospital used to sterilise medical equipment or under your sink along with your other cleaning products.
- Take the time to discover who you want to be now that the alcohol has gone. Find a life for yourself that you want to live. you cannot live the same life you had before but just without the alcohol. Why torture yourself night after night, doing what did before but just without the alcohol.
- Stop the self-talk that tells you, you are miserable without your alcohol and start telling yourself how lucky you are to be free of the toxin. Tell yourself how good it feels not to be poisoning yourself every day.
- Get healthy, it is normal to start taking an interest in yourself and your health once the alcohol has gone, you will naturally lose weight and have more energy. Alcohol has a lot of calories and poisons the body, so decide in advance what you will do with all the new energy you have.
- Plan a future filled with 250 things you want to do now the alcohol has gone, Yes I know 250 is a lot, but you have a lifetime of all this extra time that needs to be filled. So go ahead and lock yourself in a room with a packet of post notes and a cup of tea and get creative. Find 250 things you have never done before, places to be discovered, books to be ready, all the box sets you never had time for, holidays to new destinations, walks to take, mountains to climb, new sports, new hobbies all the things you have dreamed about but never had the time to do.
It’s time to treat alcohol the same way you treat that old love affair, something in your past that you can bring out now and again, have a little look at and put away as you know that neither the lover nor the alcohol is what you want in your new life.