What to expect when you decide to quit drinking:
So you decide to quit drinking and then you have to deal with the alcohol flooded real world again.
It’s 5 pm on a Friday and a department e-mail is doing the rounds asking everybody down to the bar after work. The majority of us understand this situation, and a lot of us will find it difficult to hold off on the tempting invite.
In the United Kingdom, approximately 29 million men and women consume alcohol. Shockingly, nearly 8 million of those individuals have confessed to binging on alcohol on a regular basis, according to the UK Office of National Statistics.
It’s for that reason little surprise that alcohol education initiatives, like Sober for October, have been so trendy recently. Undoubtedly, this year’s campaign will no question see lots more sign-up.
If you are serious about this, stopping for a month is not going to cut it. When you decide to quit drinking get the tools that will take all the willpower out of the process. We learned a long time ago that willpower and toughing it out have a 95% chance of failure.
What is Sober October?
Sober for October urges men and women to go for 31 days free from drinking a drop of booze. This is to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Help, the UK charitable organization supplying health care and financial backing to people struggling with many forms of cancer.
If ever there was a great justification to do without drinking, raising cash for Macmillan’s is undoubtedly it. But there are, certainly, health and wellness advantages to quitting too.
Drinking should not be the default
As Dr. Fiona Sim, a retired General Practitioner and health care consultant to Drinkaware, discusses: “Consuming alcohol raises the danger of health complications like heart and liver disorders. Not to mention many forms of cancer”
“Alcoholic beverages also contain a great deal more calories than we comprehend, so consuming less might be a genuinely effective way to reduce weight.”
If you’re thinking about going sober for October but have no idea where to begin (or ways to break the news to your drinking friends), below are a few of Dr. Sim’s best hints:
Is it best to go cold turkey or gradually lower drink?
While it might feel manageable to refrain from drinking alcohol entirely, Dr. Sim recommends that this isn’t typically achievable, or even risk-free.
“If you’re a problem drinker, you must take care regarding going cold turkey,” she states.
“Due to the fact that your body has been used to having a great deal of alcohol, you might experience some extremely unpleasant adverse effects including tremoring hands, migraines and lack of desire for food.
There is no need to suffer
“The same can apply even when you’re a modest drinker, even though the adverse effects have the tendency to more mental, like becoming easily irritated and substandard concentration.
“So except if you have to quit drinking immediately, you will most likely find it preferable to cut back more gradually and progressively by having a few drink-free days weekly.”
How do I tell people when you decide to quit drinking alcohol?
“Advise the folks closest to you what you are doing. Because they’ll want to know why you have started turning down a drink of an evening, something you might not have done for quite some time.
” A few individuals may even join you in quitting or cutting back their own alcohol consumption once they listen to your experience.
” Likewise reminding yourself of the good reason you’re doing this can assist keep you on the right track.”
How should I respond when I get given a drink at a party?
With those Saturday or Sunday night shindigs and after-work drinks frequently focused on alcohol, it may be difficult to withstand peer pressure.
In this particular scenario, Dr. Sim claims that it’s “actually advisable to inform the individual offering you a drink that you aren’t drinking and give them the honest explanation.”
What happens if I relapse?
“If you prepare your strategy and choose to cut back with a buddy or 2, then there is no need to consider a fall from the wagon.
“But if you do give in, do not despair.
“If that occurs, it’s worth standing back and considering what your individual triggers are to consume alcohol. Perhaps it’s the draw of visiting bars and clubs or getting to that glass of red or white wine after putting the children to bed.
“Once you’ve done that, it’s about steering clear of those triggers. Do not keep your preferred booze in the home, for instance.
“To help keep track of what amount you’re consuming, you can also download and install lots of quit drinking apps.”
Can pubs and nightclubs be enjoyable if you’re not drinking?
“Ask any one of the young men and women who routinely visit pubs and clubs (and do not drink), if they have a good time and you will know for sure!
“There are lots of fantastic non-alcoholic cocktails nowadays and unless you actually would like to get ‘tanked up,’ it’s a far better experience to remain sober and 100% in control of yourself while kicking back or hanging out with friends.
“Many men and women do not consume alcohol these days so bars, nightclubs, and lounges are used to offering mocktails or other sodas.”
Is it even feasible to go sober if all my buddies and family members are huge drinkers?
How do I withstand the peer pressure?
“If people around you are problem drinkers, it will undoubtedly be a harder test for you to go sober.
“But the fantastic aspect of international initiatives like Sober October and Drink Free Days is that they are for everybody, so you may be able to get other members of your household involved.
“Try assigning a couple of days each week when you do not consume alcohol. This way, your loved ones will see you consuming alcohol occasionally, but not others.
“More significantly, ensure your family and friends recognize that being on the wagon is normal.”
What if I get judged if I decide to quit drinking?
“Just like everything else in life, it is essential constantly to be yourself and not be sucked in by other individuals condemning you or by assuming they are judging you.
“So please keep in mind that if you assume folks are planning to judge you severely for drinking less, it is those individuals who have the issue, not you.”
Escaping the bubble
In the western world, we live in a bubble of unreality around this drug. A drug that we don’t even like to call ‘a drug’.
There is no debate left to be had about this. Alcohol is exceptionally bad for you and according to the World Health Organization, it kills over 3,000,000 people every year.
Yet, despite this shocking stat – it is the people who don’t drink who are considered ‘strange’.
Ignore the insanity and decide to quit drinking.
Going sober is a sensible and laudable decision, own it and be proud of it.
You are not the one with a problem, ignore the bullying and peer pressure. Follow your gut for once, decide to quit drinking and stick to it.
If you need any extra help in dealing with your family or drinking buddies, click here to find out more about the Stop Drinking Expert program.
Or click here to come to a live Quit Drinking Bootcamp.