How To Cut Back On Drinking… Really?
I know you are looking for advice on how to cut back on drinking but that might not be such a good idea. Let me explain why.
Many people with a drinking problem come to me for help. However, the first thing they make clear is that they don’t want to stop, they only want to know how to cut back on drinking. Sometimes they add that they really do enjoy alcohol and don’t want to lose that pleasure.
After I have finished slapping myself about the head a little, I get busy explaining why that might not be such a good idea. I understand where this desire is coming from.
You’ve decided to control your drinking. Perhaps you awoke with a killer hangover and made a decision you never want to feel that way again. Possibly you made an embarrassing telephone call to an old flame when you were tanked up? So, you’ve drawn a line in the sand and said you will never get that carried away again.
Perhaps you skipped a day of work, drove a vehicle drunk, had an anxiety attack, or felt incredibly run down after drinking alcohol. You’ve made a decision that now is the moment… to get back in control and drink less. Certainly not quit drinking – that would be crazy, right?
Moderation is the secret.
We hear tons of beneficial reasons why learning how to cut back on drinking is the way forward! Modest alcohol consumption can help in reducing intoxication, those terrible decisions to text and ex and heck it can even reduce your risk of many forms of cancer, and other health-related conditions.
Controlled alcohol consumption may actually benefit us, particularly in red wine right? Small amounts will be a lot better than not having to quit drinking completely because only problem drinkers really have to quit drinking 100%.
So, you started to moderate your drinking. However, what does ‘moderate drinking’ mean precisely? Does it indicate a specific quantity you are allowed every day?
Perhaps you’re out with colleagues and you make up your mind that you will drink water in between alcoholic beverages. Does that count as moderation?
You choose to separate the six-pack and leave 3 in your home and put only 3 in the refrigerator for your trip. Perhaps you choose not to consume alcohol during the week and only on special occasions, or only on Saturdays. Or, you attempt just one glass of wine with your evening meal.
What constitutes a ‘special occasion’, does the dog’s birthday count?
Initially, it works!
After a while, you begin feeling a tad better. It’s doing the job, mainly, besides that one evening recently when you had a whole bottle of wine instead of a couple of glasses. Oh, and the Saturday before that where you drank that additional gin and tonic with the evening meal, but general things are far better.
No horrible mornings after, no strange SMS messages in your sent folder, life is feeling great for the most part. You continue to have stress and anxiety and you wish that you didn’t have to have this fixation with how much you’re drinking. You would prefer to not need to feel bad when you go over your designated number of drinks and you truly wish that you didn’t feel frustrated when you reached your final cocktail and you still want more.
You find that you feel really exhausted now because once you reduce your alcohol consumption, drinking just makes you foggy. Drinking feels a bit taxing because you’re constantly asking yourself what is the allowed amount you can drink. But, it’s better than having to go 100% sober, right?
This is the question I get the most. Folks ask me constantly how I feel about drinking in moderation. The above experience is how things played out for me for a number of years. Moderation sounds like it should be better than quitting, but the truth is, it’s hell on earth!
Moderation Is Hell On Earth
At the height of my drinking career, I spent years not trying to stop but finding more and more ridiculous ways to attempt to force moderation upon myself. I searched everywhere for the secrets of how to cut back on drinking but got nowhere.
I refer to alcohol as The Evil Clown because it helps people understand that booze is not their best friend, it is not even an ambivalent bystander. Alcohol is your worst enemy, and he doesn’t have any intention of playing fair. This drug kills over 3,000,000 people every year, and it wants you to be the next.
Why cut back on drinking diluted poison and not quit completely with this knowledge?
‘Just One Drink Won’t Hurt’
I tell my clients that these are the most dangerous five words they will ever say or think. The reason is the first drink is the only drink that will be your choice. Alcohol is such a devious drug because the first thing it does in the mind of the addict is cue up the desire for the second drink.
Next, it disables the parts of the mind responsible for making logical decisions and also interferes with our ability to feel pain and other life-saving warning systems of the human body. This is why before the days of modern anaesthetics, someone undergoing an operation was liberally plied with generous measures of Rum.
Alcohol is a poor quality anaesthetic buy why is that so dangerous for the alcohol addicted individual?
How to cut back on drinking and save your fantastic machine
The human body is a fantastic machine. It has evolved over millions of years by always following the prime directive, which is to stay alive at all costs. For example, if you ingest rotten food or poison, the body can detect these substances and then force you to respond in a way that is most likely to save your life.
If you drink poison, you will very quickly feel extremely ill; this is your central nervous system telling you in no uncertain terms that we have an emergency to deal with. Next, you will start vomiting, your conscious views on whether this is a good idea or not are never saught.
The subconscious mind goes into full evacuation mode whether you like it or not.
Make no mistake about it; Alcohol is a poison.
So why don’t we feel instantly ill and start vomiting as soon as we start drinking it? It’s a good question, and the deviousness of the Evil Clown here may even impress you.
The truth is your body is trying to tell you that you have just swallowed poison but alcohol has anaesthetized the part of your brain responsible for carrying this message to you. It has also paralyzed the section of your mind responsible for inducing vomiting.
Pure Genius / Pure Evil
This is pure genius, and at the same time, it is pure evil. Alcohol is like a serial killer that knocks you out first, so you don’t make any noise while he steals your life.
So if you are thinking of trying to cut back on drinking, then I would advise you to consider that you are not playing with a friend who has your back. The deck is stacked, and you are trying to make a deal with the devil all the while hoping that he won’t lie to you.
The reality is that even if you achieve your goal to cut back on drinking it will make you more miserable than you dreamed possible. Drinking in moderation is recommended by the drinks manufacturers because they know full well that it is practically impossible for someone who is already addicted to alcohol.
I can show you how to cut back on drinking, but you won’t like the end result!
The first drink will relieve the cravings you have for a drink. However, because you have been drinking for many years, perhaps even decades. One drink is nowhere near enough to deliver the effect you desperately need.
So, all that first drink is going to do is pacify you for a few minutes (no more than that) and then amplify the craving that was there in the first place.
Now you want to drink even more than you did before but you are using willpower to try and force yourself to avoid the thing you want more than oxygen.
Freedom Is A Choice
Drinking in moderation isn’t freedom, it is pure hell on earth. Whether you attend one of my live quit drinking seminars or join the complete online program, the message is always the same – stop asking how to cut back on drinking and consider quitting completely. I understand that will sound a terrifying prospect to many, but it doesn’t have to be painful or unpleasant.
My method works so well because I make it enjoyable not to drink.
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