A lot of people could beat addiction if they stopped looking at alcohol as some kind of forbidden fruit. Psychology is simple: You want what you can’t have!!
But there’s a catch: You only want it if you assume, somewhere in your subconscious mind, there’s a major benefit to having it.
When you accept that alcohol is 1) a poison, and 2) an artificial form of euphoria, you don’t have to feel conflicted about the fact that it ruins your life while also making you feel great.
I’ve come across a lot of recovering alcoholics who think: Boo-hoo, some people can drink normally, but not me! Life is unfair!
This is a mental recipe for disaster.
Ask yourself what true euphoria should feel like. Guilty indulgence, or earned pride and a sense of conquering reality?
The best drug of all is conquering raw reality. Find your vision. Own it. Never give up. You'll forget the artificial highs even existed.
— Chris Scott (@FitandRecovered) April 26, 2016
A friend of mine, who has no history of addiction to alcohol or anything else, just took a 3 week (and continuing) break from alcohol. He’s under a lot of stress at work and is amazed at how much better he’s been able to handle it since he stopped going out on weekends.
Remember that he’s not an alcoholic, and he was only drinking twice per week.
There’s a myth that only alcoholics suffer the negative effects of alcohol. In reality, the substance is just not that desirable. I’m no prohibitionist – I think people should be allowed to do whatever they want, as long as they don’t hurt anyone else – but I see alcohol as a total scam. It gives you a temporary chemical euphoria, which you could have earned by working out or doing any number of physical things, in return for shitty sleep, a terrible next morning, missed deadlines, and maybe even a sense of impending doom.
When I drank, I often noticed that however great I felt while ingesting the stuff, it was never good ENOUGH to cancel out how miserable I felt the next day. The high did not justify the low. In the best case scenario, perhaps they were exactly even – until the inevitable withdrawals set in, maybe 48 hours later. Then I was back to square one, needing a drink to avoid the reality-consuming doom, and the vicious cycle continued.
It was a total nightmare. Maybe you can relate.
I’d rather be hung by my toes and beaten with a bat than have to start that vicious cycle again. There are a lot of things I don’t know in life, but I know two things for sure:
ALCOHOL IS POISON EUPHORIA,
FOR ME, DRINKING IS A VICIOUS CYCLE
I’ve tried hundreds of times to end this vicious cycle and only succeeded once – the one time that mattered, and I haven’t had a drop of alcohol since. It took a very expensive stint in rehab – with drugs, and forced AA meetings – to end the cycle. I endured months of psychological weakness and torture. What a terrible trade-off!
As long as I don’t drink, I’ll never have to go through that hell again.
You don’t need to go through what I did to conclude that your life would be better without alcohol.
You don’t even need to have a problem with alcohol to conclude that hangovers aren’t worth it and that elevated blood pressure, poor sleep quality, dehydration, and nervous mornings are not ideal situations on Saturday mornings.
Addiction experts often discuss something called “euphoric recall.” This phenomenon happens when a formerly addicted person, often well on his way to recovering, sees something that reminds him of his substance of choice. It could be a billboard with scantily clad models dancing in the sun and pouring tequila all over themselves. It could be a bar sign that suddenly lights up, as you drive home from work, suggesting the appealing mystery of an evening out in an unknown pub. Suddenly, you’re envisioning yourself as a free spirit who needs a little fun in life. Your program has been so strict, you think, and you deserve a good time…After all, you were born this way. Is that my old drinking song playing on the radio right now?
Don’t be fooled. You can be an independent and adventurous free spirit without drinking – trust me. It’s 100% better that way. You don’t need to become a monk or avoid social scenes.
You can also recover without going to AA for the rest of your life. But you have to be smart about it. Don’t stress about the emotions you can’t control. Focus on framing the thoughts that you can control.
One of those thoughts should be the way that you view alcohol.
Discover that alcohol is poison euphoria, and your life will become much, much easier.