One of the common things I've been asked this week is how to take the plunge, how to 'go sober' forever?
It's not easy. I'm not going to tell you it is for several reasons.
1. You will blame me when it's bloody hard
2. It is bloody hard
3. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it and be rich & healthy & happy
Sometimes, 'forever' is too huge to contemplate. We are told most things aren't forever anyway, so why should this be any different? Humans are stubborn creatures. Threaten to take something away and we want it more, gorge on it even. It's like when you go on a diet, you become more hungry right? Wrong. You just become obsessed with food and the problem escalates.
When I became sober, I set myself a challenge for a year. I based my idea on an article I read showing before and after photos and I was inspired. Whilst I didn't think I looked that bad facially, I knew I was massively overweight and that becoming sober would hopefully help with weight loss.
I then started to read articles written by people who had given up alcohol for a year. They advised to take things slowly, build up from a day to a week to a month to 90 days to 6 months to a year. This was the best piece of advice I was given. Small chunks were far more manageable. Plus I like a challenge and the joy as I reached each one gave me a far bigger high than a glass of Sauvignon.
If you take things slowly, you are also healing better. You can't keep picking the scab! Gross analogy but perfect in this instance! Let yourself heal slowly. Your body has been abused for most of your life .. it will take time to adjust.
Becoming sober is not just about swapping your drinks. It's about changing your lifestyle. You will go to bed earlier as your body will crave sleep to heal. You will then have more energy and need to exercise to expel it. This will change your food choices as you won't want to contaminate your temple. You will become thirstier for water as your body rehydrates and your skin will start to glow. You will feel better and become happier.
Everything is linked. Just by removing one component, your life will change in every way. Break the habit and take your time. Ride the cravings & emotions. Use your support network. Eat chocolate and drink fizzy drinks. Do things that make you happy and fill your time. You only get one life .. make sure you live it .. don't drown in it.