What To Do When You Fall Off The Wagon
What To Do When You Fall Off The Wagon
As Mark Twain said, quitting drinking is easy, why I have done it a thousand times. The challenge is staying quit, and a lot of people get very anxious about what will happen to them if they ever fall off the wagon.
Problem drinkers struggle for a long time on their own before they wind up at my website. Everyone starts this journey the same way, firmly believing that if they really had to, they could stop drinking anytime they liked. Of course, they quickly discover that is not true.
Often people have battled for years or even decades to moderate or quit drinking before they try my approach. Because I don’t use willpower, they are often shocked how easy it is to get back in control of their drinking with my program. That’s wonderful, of course, but often success breeds’ failure.
The danger of relapse
A certain and specific danger comes with relapse or falling off the wagon. Folks who have had fantastic success and months or even years of sobriety thanks to my course suddenly lose faith. They panic because they thought they had found the silver bullet and it turned out to be just another failed attempt. This mindset comes from the incorrect assumption that problems with alcohol are like problems with a car. When your starter motor fails, the mechanic takes out the defective part and replaces it with a shiny new one.
When you quit drinking with my program, you are not guaranteeing that you will never have a problem again. The course uses logic, addiction psychology, and an NLP reframing technique to force your problem drinking into remission. This means if you keep applying the principles of the course, you will stay sober. This is a bit like a person with diabetes. As long as they are careful about their diet and inject the insulin, they can keep the disorder at bay for an entire lifetime.
Falling off the wagon always starts the same way.
The sober individual says or thinks the five most dangerous words on planet earth. ‘Just one drink won’t hurt,’ is the last thing you will hear before something awful happens. Nobody ever thinks ‘maybe I can down a bottle of vodka and get away with it.’ What usually happens is the sober man or women is at a wedding, and somebody pushes a free glass of champagne into their hand, and before you can stay Moet & Chandon they are uttering the five words.
Alcohol lied to you
‘Just one drink won’t hurt’ is the biggest lie you will tell yourself because it is highly unlikely to remain at a single drink. You will only get to choose about the first drink; every decision to drink after that point will be taken by the drug.
The morning after our wayward drinker not only has a terrible hangover to deal with but also they are depressed to hell because they failed and ergo my course must have failed. Thinking like that is a bit like an asthma sufferer branding his inhaler a failure and vowing never to use it again because he had an asthma attack.
There is no failure, only feedback.
Relapsing is very common, and quite logical when you think about it. Most people spent years, often decades training their brain to use alcohol as a panacea for life’s ups and downs. When times are hard, we believe alcohol helps us cope, when times are good we use alcohol to celebrate. This powerful drug has been tightly woven into the fabric of our life, is it any wonder that occasionally we revert to it?
So, what should you do when you fall off the wagon?
Simply, dust yourself down and quietly start again. I deliberately choose to use the word ‘quietly’ because I frequently see very noisy relapsing in the Stop Drinking Expert secret Facebook group. The standard post looks something like this:
‘Back to day one for me. I have had a terrible week, my dog died/my partner left me/the house burnt down, etc. So yes, I drank – this is so very hard.’
This sort of post is innocent enough, but it comes from a victim mentality that will not serve the person in question. Looking for social proof that it’s not your fault and that quitting drinking is painful and difficult will not get you anything worth having. Plus victim mode is contagious; it spreads through the group like a deadly virus. Within days half the members are complaining about how difficult it is.
Don’t do this!
Quietly start again and do everything you did the first time around without an excuse or justification. Remember, success is not about how hard you can hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. It is not about the one-off grand gestures in life; it is your repeated refusal to give in that gets you to where you want to be.
Quitting drinking is easy and so is staying sober but it’s not a case of reading a book once or doing my course once over and hey presto, lifelong sobriety. It’s about a daily commitment to doing things that serve you and keep you on this beautiful path. Abstinence is a bit like bathing; you don just do it once!
Ready to get back on the wagon?
Whether you have recently fallen off the wagon or this is your first proper attempt to dump the attractively packaged poison from your life. Why not join me for a free quit drinking webinar today?
At the end of the coaching, I will give you a download link to get my bestselling book Alcohol Lied To Me free of charge, as a thank you for showing up.