There is so much more work that will need to be done.
“You can look in the mirror and find a million things wrong with yourself. Or you can look in the mirror and think, ‘I feel good, I have my health, and I’m so blessed.’ That’s the way I choose to look at it.” — Isla Fisher
For some, the positive effects of giving up drinking are recognized immediately, as it appears EVERYTHING gets better.
You are able to exercise more consistently, sleep better at night, and find yourself doing better at work than you may have done in the past.
The initial bump of giving up alcohol is impressive in that, besides the occasional craving and need to find something else to do with your time other than sit in bars all day, there seems to be little to no negative effects of making the decision.
However, as time progresses, individuals start to realize that quitting drinking isn’t the all-encompassing answer to all of their life’s questions that they thought it was. This can cause some people to get a little discouraged and could even lead to some individuals deciding to go back to drinking.
Of course, this would be a terrible decision, but one has to realize this by knowing ahead of time drinking does NOT solve ALL of our problems.
There are a few reasons why this is the case.
The people around you don’t change because you’ve changed.
This first one is pretty apparent, as we sometimes forget that just because we decided to make a change in our lives that doesn’t mean those around us will be positively affected by this change.
As a matter of fact, some individuals may even have a negative reaction to your decision to give up drinking, as it could negatively impact their life in some way.
If you were their main drinking buddy and/or source of funds when they were out drinking on the town, this could have a direct impact on their ability to do so in the future.
If they were someone who mistreated you or took advantage of you in some way, this most likely won’t change just because you no longer drink.
As shared, you will also lose different friends who just don’t see you as the same person anymore since drinking is no longer a choice for you.
Therefore, you have to understand that you will still have to figure out how to deal with these people in some shape, form, or fashion, and the fact that you don’t drink alcohol will probably make this more difficult than less.
Therefore, this is something you must be prepared for and ready to face when a situation may arise.
You still have to fight procrastination and lack of motivation
Now, don’t get me wrong.
Not drinking alcohol makes it tremendously easier to get up in the morning and hit the gym or sit down on a Friday night to work on that 20-page essay that is due in two months.
However, as human beings, we still have a natural tendency to want to do the things that we enjoy doing as opposed to what we SHOULD do, and having the strength to fight against that is something that we will still need even when we stop drinking.
Even though for many, alcohol is at the base of their Inverted Triangle, it doesn’t mean everything is going to be “easy” to overcome.
When that alarm clock goes off in the morning and that sleep is so good, just because you didn’t drink the night before doesn’t mean it won’t still be challenging for you to get out of bed and get your day started as you said you would.
Even though you’re not going to go out and drink with your boys on a Friday night like you used to, that doesn’t mean that you still won’t be tempted to watch a Friday night NBA game or go down the YouTube rabbit hole for two hours instead of working on your paper.
The reality of having to still find motivation and fight procrastination will always be there, and you must do the things to put yourself in the best position to not allow it to take hold and derail you from your goals.
Not drinking alcohol will help in some way, but it won’t make it go away completely. You still have to do the work to fight it if you are ultimately going to be successful.
Alcohol was a crutch that didn’t make you deal with your true problems
And lastly, this is the reason why some people find themselves thinking that their lives were better with alcohol versus without it after the initial honeymoon phase wears off and the reality that they still have problems sinks in.
In the past, when something would cause anxiety or angst, there is a good chance you used to just grab a drink to not think about it and worry about it tomorrow. Now, you no longer have that option to mask what is going on in life and will be forced to truly face it.
For some people, this can be a bit much, as drinking has the ability to allow us to exist in some pretty bad situations over a long course of time.
When this no longer becomes an option, the initial shock of realizing how terrible of a situation one may be in without realizing it may be too much for some to bear.
As shared, this actually drives some people to go back to drinking, as they figure they would prefer the pain of that vice than to face a world in which they are constantly unhappy and have nothing to look forward to.
For many, alcohol was the one seemingly bright spot in a life of despair and sadness and with that taken away, they then ask whether or not their lives are truly better.
And while I admit it may be easier said than done, the unequivocal answer is that YES, your life is better without alcohol than with it
And if you are able to hang on and begin to do the tough work of continuing to work on who you are and build the best version of yourself possible, this will become evident.
It may not happen tomorrow, but if you stay the course and not give up, your future self will thank you.