In the UK in November it’s alcohol awareness week. I have participated in this for about 10 years in some way. Basically, it’s a good chance to raise awareness of different issues relating to alcohol.
This year is all about change.
So I thought I would ask the ladies in the amazing Women who dont drink Facebook group - "What is one thing you have changed, that helped you, to reduce, take a break or stop drinking?"
This is what they said:
I changed my mindset from, this is too big a challenge, I can’t do it, to: I am going to try, really try.
I can honestly say that the Women Who Don’t Drink group has helped me immensely. When I get a craving, I login to women who don't drink and read posts of ladies going through the same experience, encouraging one and other to stay focused as to why we chose to stay AF.
My mindset definitely but that only changed when I accepted that this was MY problem and took full responsibility instead of blaming life and circumstances.
For me, it was not leaving a vacuum. Fill your life with good things when you take alcohol away. Seeing the truth of what alcohol actually is.
Reading sober lit like Allen Carr, reading blogs and the Women Who Don’t Drink group - definitely a mix of supports, not just one thing.
Definitely my mindset and finding the Women Who Don’t Drink group and all its support is keeping me motivated.
Absolute fear was my main motivator, fear I would die in my bed. Too tragic. And then all the self-care baths, reading, sleep, eating well and coming on to groups. Reading other people’s stories, especially people who have had a drink again (thanks everyone for sharing) and then the simplest but possibly the most difficult, do not pick up a drink. Whatever it takes just don’t. Six months AF today.
When my 7yr old said "mummy why don't you pour yourself a Malbec as you are less stressy when you have had your wine" the Women Who Don’t Drink group and the sober diaries helped massively. Thank you all. It's only been 2 months, but I’m feeling stronger, more positive and determined that I can do this and lead a life without deprivation because what is there to be missed??? Nothing, except hangovers, anxiety and feeling like crap all of the time.
Reading This Naked Mind. Resulted in realisation that I actually wasn’t giving anything up I was gaining.
The biggest difference for me was to commit to not drinking “one day at a time”. A simple statement but it’s the one that worked!
De-arseholed my life ...
Groups and podcasts such as sober mind. They informed everyone else in the car too. Books and blogs.
I changed the way I thought about it all from: I've got to do something, I've got to stop drinking, to: I want to, and I will. I made it a choice rather than a necessity. I started to enjoy the process and stopped resenting it.
I started to ask myself before every drink 'what will this glass bring to the table? Why do I want it? What will be the benefits? I Just stopped drinking absentmindedly.
I immersed myself in sober lit, podcasts, the Women Who Don’t Drink Group...anything I could flood my mind with to help me realize this was the best choice I’ve ever made for ME!!
A big shift occurred for me when I truly understood what alcohol was doing to my body. I learned that alcohol is a poison that companies place in tasty beverages to get us to buy their product and drink more. What I thought was a treat is truly a bad thing for my body. I work hard to stay healthy and drinking alcohol was silently working against me.
I am also enjoying the process, if I want a drink, I will have one. The more drunken people I encounter the easier it seems to be. I have just cleaned my car for the first time since I bought it in March. All my ironing is done, and my house is spotless.
I’ve started to work on loving myself again. Putting me first with self-care.
I educated myself on alcohol and the effects. Physically and mentally. It helped a ton.
Mocktails - restaurants are starting to have mocktails menus and I can make fun drinks at home too that are AF.
I started to imagine how I would feel once I got “ buzzed “ . How I wouldn’t be able to read or watch a show or drive. So the time would then be wasted until the alcohol was out of my system and I wasn’t drunk .
Focusing on better health.
When I do partake, I put off the initial drink longer than before.
Focus on units and have I reduced?
Trying now to replace actions / habits so it’s more 2nd nature .
Starting a meditation class.
Started with Dry July, hit the quit lit as if I had never drunk alcohol before and investigated if it was a good thing to do for me, my body and my family. 63 days later I can't ever see myself going back. Evidence suggests that alcohol isn’t a sane choice. It is now an opportunity and not a loss.
They have great new books out there, YouTube videos and social media groups like my fav.... WWDD........ I've learnt the science in alcohol & what it does to Our BODIES... Minds & SOULS.
Alcohol is poison and needs to carry warning labels like cigarettes. When I was young, I thought it's only a hangover it will pass...not once considering the long-term damage that we are all starting to realise. I've lost friends who drank heavily, dying far too young.
I became bored of my no. One excuse of not moving in my life being alcohol. It was keeping me stationary, not quite a prisoner but it was getting that way - almost like I was in an open prison. Letting go of it has helped me begin to enjoy my freedom.
Communication. Telling others I have a problem with drink.
What’s the one thing you can do that will make the biggest difference to your health?
If you are interested in making changes to your drinking check out the Stephanie’s website for access to the Women Who Don’t Drink Group, eBook, free videos and blogs.
For more practical tips and motivation check out the book There is no Magic Button