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 many 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 at 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 particular 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 panicked because they thought they had found the silver bullet, and it was 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 removes the defective part and replaces it with a shiny new one.

When you quit drinking with my program, you are not guaranteed that you will never have a problem again. The course uses logic, addiction psychology, and an NLP reframing technique to force your drinking problem 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. If they are careful about their diet and inject insulin, they can keep the disorder at bay for an entire lifetime.

staying sober this summer
staying sober this summer

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 thinks, ‘maybe I can down a bottle of vodka and get away with it.’ What usually happens is the sober man or woman is at a wedding, and somebody pushes a complimentary glass of champagne into their hand. 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 doubtful to remain at a single drink. You will only get to choose the first drink; the drug will take every decision to drink after that point.

The morning after, our wayward drinker not only has a terrible hangover to deal with but also is 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 brains 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?

stopping drinking
stopping drinking

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 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; your repeated refusal to give in brings 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 do it once!

when you fell off the wagon
when you fell off the wagon

Ready to get back on the wagon?

Whether you have recently fallen off the wagon or this is your first 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.