I have a long relationship with alcohol. I can remember many good times and many bad times. Most times, I can hardly remember anything...
Lately, I was drinking almost every night, telling myself it’s ok to have one drink per night. (This was an improvement from two years ago as during my separation, I drank to pass out).
Last month I had pneumonia, and this means I had four weeks of abstinence. It gave me a chance to re-examine my relationship with alcohol.
At first, I did think of quitting, or at least taking a long break. I’ve done it before. But instead, I chose to re-examine my relationship with alcohol so I can be more mindful of it.
Being mindful of alcohol, is a way for me to gain control. It’s a way for me to understand the relationship and make it a relationship that works for me. A relationship I can grow from.
My relationship with alcohol is evident by the language I use to describe it:
1. “I need/can use a drink” – I’m bored and use a drink as a reward.
2. “I had such a long day. I deserve a drink to wind down” – I use a drink as a reward + feeling sorry for myself.
3. “Let’s go out/catch up for a drink”- I’m saying the drink as the main reason to go out for. It’s not the conversation, company, or enjoying being social.
4. “Come over for a drink” – I use the drink as an excuse to entice someone to come over.
5. “My shout” OR “I’ll get the next round” – I’m using the drink as social currency. Making sure that person sticks around.
What do all these have in common?
They are all about the drink!
Think about it this way, if this was a script, the drink will be the main character.
Everything evolves around it. The scene, the location, other characters. Alcohol is the main driver of the plot.
Is this the movie I’d like to be in?
The answer is no. I would like to be the hero of my own movie.
Whenever the drink is the hero, I’m not in control.
Whenever I drink unaware, the drink is driving the plot, not me.
From now on, I drive the plot. How do I do this?
By being mindful of the language and my intention when I want a drink. Change it from “need” to “want”. Demoting it from a hero to a prop.
This is what a drink is, a prop.
A prop is something that is used in the background. This is how I want alcohol to be in my movie.
I will still drink. But it’s going to be mindful. Elegant. With my director hat on. With the intention of: This drink can add to the scene but will not take over the screen.
What’s your relationship with alcohol?
What is your intention when you drink?
Do you like it, or would you like to flip the script?