The Rules for Moderation, after a break.
Maybe you have taken a break. Stopped for a while. Done dry January or even given up for a year. It’s been great, interesting, you have learnt a lot and you feel healthier and happier. However, now you want to have a drink, just the one. “Ones ok, right?”
I get asked this question a lot. People can take a break or give up. They can change their lives so things are working. But then what?
Do you start drinking again?
Is it ok to drink again?
Hopefully you know by now I am not the fun police. I am all about helping you to live a life that works for you. Its cheesy but true – live the life of your dreams. And we all know if you are drinking or using drugs that’s not really going to work.
You don’t have to be abstinent forever unless you want to. Or it would cause significant problems if you started drinking or partying again. Some people just choose to be abstinent forever because that’s what they want to do as a lifestyle choice.
The thing is its up to you. It’s your life, weigh up the pros and cons.
Are you someone that can’t stop at 1? If this is you be honest with yourself.
What most people find is they take a break, however long and then they just want to try a drink, or whatever your poison is.
There are some things I would like you to think about. Here are some tips that hopefully will help:
· Just have 1: Whatever you decide to do, just have 1. Then stop. Then don’t have another one for a while, at least a week. Remember the habit thing.
· Pay attention to people: Who you are with makes a difference. As you know by now there are some people who support you to make healthier choices and others that hinder you. If you are going to have a drink for the first time, pick someone who is going to support you with just having 1.
· Environment: It’s important where you are. Some places are easier than others. Choose somewhere you know that will be easy and comfortable for you.
· Don’t be fuelled by emotions: If you are in a bad mood, craving alcohol, wanting to use something to change how you feel or you want to celebrate, the list goes on.: Don’t have a drink. Its harder to stick to the plan when you are in a heightened emotional state. One of my rules now is if I want a drink, I don’t have one. Like the bad day at work “I need a drink” scenario.
· Why?: Have a good think about why you want to have 1, whatever it is, be clear about why you are doing it. Make sure it isn’t any of the things above: life is difficult, someone else wants you to etc.
· Plan: So you have checked all the above and you are clear about why you are doing it. Plan it: Where, when, with whom, what and just the 1. Then if you have 1 and it was ok, then remember only occasionally. All substances are different, some are more addictive and habit forming than others and will create different problems for different people. What is clear is that if you do something regularly you are going to build up tolerance and start creating a habit. Then you can easily be back to square 1.
Stephanie Chivers is a Habit and Addiction Specialist. If you want to know more check out her facebook and twitter pages. Also you can sign up for free videos on everything you need to know about alcohol and holistic coaching programmes on the front page of the site.