What is your drinking telling you? (Usual Suspect #1)

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Are you drinking more than you like?

Is it hard to admit?

Join the club. So many of us drink at some time in our lives that it’s a common everyday habit (It’s actually legal to drink in all but a dozen nations in the world.)

On the problem side the Habit Continuum, I call drinking alcohol “Usual Suspect #1.” Liquor, beer and wine are just plain sneaky. It can take years for them to tell you the truth. The worst side of the drinking continuum, alcoholism, is called “Slow Suicide” because it lies to you about what it’s doing to you, while it cheats you of your health and steals your future.

No wonder denial about drinking is so rampant. Who would ever want to admit it’s a problem? Not drinking can even set you apart from family, friends, co-workers, or acquaintances in your neighborhood.

So, if you’ve ever said or thought, “I don’t have drinking problem,” you’re not alone!

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But maybe you’ve felt stuck in your life, caught in “paralysis of analysis,” where you’re trying to figure out how to juggle pressures at work or home, or feeling unfulfilled in your relationship or other interactions with people you care about. If alcohol is a part of “figuring it out,” that’s something to look at.

So instead of assuming that drinking is no big deal, consider the possibility that the alcohol itself is helping you stay stuck.  Here’s a first question to ask before you take that drink:

What’s really going on

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Be open to waiting for an answer to come to you.  It may be as simple as “I’m feeling tired right now.” It could relate to something that has happened, like “That driver cut me off on my way home” or perhaps something occurred at work that you’re mulling over.

Your answer may be, “I just want to have some fun.”  In this case, ask:

Is fun something I want routinely,

and is drinking usually a part

of what makes things fun

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A similar common answer is, “I like the taste.”  Then ask:

Do I like the results

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And be open to noticing the results — feeling sluggish the next morning or day, irritability or frustration, calling in sick, arguments with your spouse or other loved ones.

In these tempting moments, the alcohol is whispering, “I can help you relax, I can help you forget, to set it aside. I’ll make it okay.”

Drinking might sooth you in this moment, and the next.  But over time, alcohol’s lies could catch up to you.

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Asking these questions is only a start.  Get more personal and apply for one of this month’s no-cost Habit Breakthrough phone consultations. It’s first come, first served.  We’ll explore where you are now, where you want to be — and how to get from here to there.

 

Coming soon:  

What’s it doing to you if somebody else is doing the problem drinking? 

Michael Anne Conley
Michael Anne Conley
As a habit change expert, my approach to transforming habits is the result of 30 years experience serving clients who are dealing with all kinds of habits that create problems for themselves and others. (That includes the habit of worrying about someone else's habits!) As a holistic therapist, I've developed a step-by-step process that can help you stop feeling energetically drained, wondering what you're doing wrong or what's wrong with you, and start creating healthy habits that serve you in moving your life where you want to go.

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