Inspirational Song of the Day:
Atmosphere – Pour Me Another
“When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways–either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits, or by using the challenge to find our inner strength.”
– The 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso
Some people don’t have any problem staying away from alcohol. For them, it’s simply a choice. I am not built that way; it does not seem to be my nature- I like to drink, and no amount of convincing has persuaded me otherwise.
But- I simply have to get my habits under control. I have responsibilities. My family is dependant on me; we have property to protect. Practically speaking, I simply don’t have time to drink like I used to. I have to change, although I don’t want to. When the going gets tough, I bring out some painfully learned Truths and get to work.
Manage Your Perspective
- So much of what goes on with social drinking involves perceptions and expectations. Although your environment may not change, you can adjust your own reactions and respond better. It’s not natural, but the result is an appropriate response that maintains the goals you set for yourself.
- Do people know you are not drinking? Do they care? First of all, it is none of their business. Secondly, for the most part people don’t care, and if they do that is their problem not yours. Last, if you are holding a seltzer and lime (put some bitters in it!), a Virgin Mary, or an NA beer you look exactly the same as all the other people drinking around you.
- Is alcohol really that important? Are you bored or unsatisfied without it? Maybe this is simply a situation you do not have to be in right now.
- Life is long, and humans can change. At different times in our lives we are different people. Give yourself a break, and accept the time and space you need to change.
- Made a mistake? We are not machines. Learn from the experience, and try to do better the next time. You only fail when you stop trying.
Tricks and Tips
- I like to think about the experience I am planning with people who are drinking beforehand. I try to make plans about what I might drink, who I may see, what conversations we could have. Social events are so much smoother if I go in with a plan and a set of expectations for myself.
- Figure out what non-alcoholic (NA) beverages are available. Sometimes you can be surprised- Daiquiri mix, for example, can be tasty. I like very hot V8 juice with lots of tabasco. In a pinch, water (with a twist of lemon?) works just fine. And if you are in doubt, bring something- but expect the Sparkling Cider to disappear right away.
- Decide ahead of time how the evening will end. All things will end, but it really helps to plan ahead for when you must go.
Win and have a Great Tomorrow
Victories don’t have to be huge.
Sometimes the important successes can appear at first to be small. Celebrate your victories!
A pleasant evening out and a good night’s sleep.
Remembering everything and everyone you met.
Leaving without controversy and with a clear head.
Being safe, and respecting loved ones and friends.
This post was contributed by Kurt S.