It’s everywhere, alcohol, isn’t it? But what do you do if you want to stop drinking, or you’ve committed to sobriety, and yet booze is all around you?
Maybe your friends and family are still drinking, your partner drinks a lot, or your job involves a lot of boozy events and receptions. Does that mean that you can’t stop drinking, or that your efforts to quit drinking will be in vain, or perhaps that you will have to become a hermit for the rest of your life, just to avoid alcohol?
Well no. If you’re stuck in a situation where alcohol is inescapable, the best thing to do is to separate your own drinking habits from those of everyone else. So what if the world is filled with bars, pubs and off licences and hoards of binge drinkers out on a Friday night? That is not your problem. Your issue is you, and your own relationship to alcohol, and that is what you should focus on. After all, you can not change other people or what the rest of the world does.
You can get sober and be happy about it, no matter what your environment is like, and no matter what anyone else around you is doing. At my age, a lot of birthdays are celebrated in bars, and social events are ‘naturally’ accompanied by alcohol. I can’t just avoid them all. In fact I first got long-term sober while living with a partner who drank alcohol every day. I thought this was fairly unhealthy, but when it came down to it, it didn’t tempt me to drink.
That’s because I realise that ‘alcohol and me’ is my problem, not alcohol and anyone else. Other people’s relationships with drink or drugs are not my issue. My focus is always on my own recovery. You can not change anyone or anything else – you can only change yourself.
So, stay focused on your recovery, be grateful for being sober and safe, for not having hangovers, withdrawals and all the other nasty things that come with drinking alcohol. Whatever being sober is currently like for you, it’s got to be better than the pain, shame, guilt and frustration of being dependent on alcohol.
Focus on the great life you can create for yourself now that you are free of the bottle. Be grateful for the opportunity to clean up and change your life. Find new ways to enjoy yourself without alcohol. Above all, remember what the issue is. It’s not about anyone else. It’s about you and your recovery.
Very kindly written by Beth Burgess @ smyls.co.uk