Saying sayonara to the booze is definitely no small feat, but it’s not just about quitting drinking. There is so much inner work that entails once you decide to put down the alcohol. And based on my own personal experience, that work will always be prevalent for both sobriety and self-growth. It’s about personal development and becoming the person you’re meant to be.
Quitting drinking requires inner-work
The inner work is critical for both our success in sobriety because when we effectively identify our triggers based on past experiences or even current circumstances that leave us wanting to reach for the bottle, it makes our willpower that much stronger. When we have the courage to say no to what is preventing us from moving forward, we have successfully taken control of our own lives instead of succumbing to temptations.
Even if any of us have a 50% genetic predisposition to alcoholism based on a parent suffering from the addiction, there’s still the other 50% that needs to be accounted for. That would be our psychological makeup and the WHY we felt so compelled to traverse down the rabbit hole of drinking. Once we can figure out the WHY, the need for drinking starts to cease.
Identify your triggers so you can remain sober
Delving within yourself doesn’t have to be diffcult, only as hard as you make it to be. But, it does require dedication and discipline. There were various factors that contributed to why I drowned my sorrows in booze so it may not be only one reason for you as well.
For example, I was bored, lonely, didn’t respect or love myself, was too scared to feel unpleasant emotions, didn’t know how to process my emo&ons when I was sober, had an immense amount of childhood trauma that I didn’t know how to cope with, was much too fearful to learn who I was, loved to be the victim of my own debauchery, and had an addiction to suffering. As you can see, I had an immense amount of work to do on myself for myself.
It may or not be the same list for yourself and it may or may not entail the same amount of work. That’s ok. We’re all different with individual reasons as to why we resorted to the booze in the first place.
Embark on a personal development journey while in sobriety
Once I quit, I sequestered myself from civilization so I could start developing routines and habits that would foster a relationship with myself. And you know what? I even started to enjoy my own company in the process. Through the depths of my despair, I found a way to become my own best friend.
How did it culminate?
It all starts within. Even your own sobriety. This can’t be for anyone but yourself. Even if you are married and have children, yes; stopping for the sake of a healthy relationship with your loved ones is a selfless good deed. But, you wont be happy in the long run.
You’ll come to despise and resent those around you. You’ll feel like you gave up the world for them. I know because I was there. I cannot begin to count how many times I attempted to quit based on others expectations of me and not myself. And that’s why I failed so many times before I successfully quit over three years ago.
When you stop sacrificing yourself for the sake of others, you’ll find the process of quitting drinking easier to navigate. I’m not by any means saying that you can’t be successful in your recovery journey based on your family, but in order to be truly happy, your sobriety has to start with yourself. Beginning with cultivating a lifelong healthy and loving relationship with yourself for yourself.
Your family can be one of the reasons that you get sober, but your main reason should be because you want it. When that desire starts with you, then your ability to move mountains will be magnified. Because you’re conquering your addiction for what you truly want in your life based on your terms.
Let’s get back to the inner work during your sobriety journey.
Your list can be shorter or longer than mine or have completely different reasons. And it’s ok. There’s no right or wrong. It’s about being humble enough to be honest with yourself for the modus operandi to your addiction.
Always strive for growth after quitting drinking
No one has to see your list or know your reasons for why you drank/drink. This is about you doing the work on yourself.
Why bother doing the work? Well, because you wouldn’t only put on one shoe before leaving the house. In other words, only quitting drinking without doing the inner work is only half of the solution. When we can identify the patterns for why we do what we do, we have the ability to nix the problem and mitigate it from becoming burdensome; like falling into a trap of alcoholism.
If you’re too fearful to start the personal development journey right after quitting drinking, that’s ok. This isn’t a race to the finish line. This is an ongoing journey so take all the time you need. But it is important that you at least start asking yourself the reasons why you felt so compelled to drink in the first place. The answers will come when you’re ready for them.
The psychological work gets dark. We see sides of ourselves that we’d rather not and that only enhances the level and amount of us drinking. But, without darkness, there can’t be light. After all, the stars shine in the darkness.
Getting into the abyss of your sorrows helps you to recognize where you’re falling short in your life. When you can see these traits of yourself, you don’t have to focus on them, but, rather acknowledge its presence. In fact, you shouldn’t place any credence on your fallacies. It’s there. Grow from it. Sulking over your weaknesses will only enable your drinking.
In discovering the less than admirable characteristics of yourself, you’re taking the power back in your life. And as a result, you’re now internalizing your power instead of externalizing it (through the drinking).
There you have it. Why sobriety is so much more than quitting drinking is because you now are on a recovery journey from both the booze and yourself. When you can heal from the coping mechanisms of why you drink, you’re well on your way to success with yourself.
You don’t have to keep failing yourself by succumbing to toxicity. You can do this.
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