Trying to imagine life without alcohol when you’ve been drinking for most of the last 20 years can be almost impossible to imagine. I know I put off giving up for years because I just couldn’t imagine how I would spend my evenings if I wasn’t watching my favourite movies for the 5th time with one eye closed.
I know that might sound like no life at all but I think the routine made me feel safe and comfortable, and even on the 5th time of watching I was always able to see something new in my favourite stories, mostly because I drunkenly missed them the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th time round.
Of course, now that I have given up I can’t think of anything worse. I still love watching movies in the evening but I love being able to fully concentrate on a story all the way through and know for sure whether I enjoyed it. It’s a bit of a revelation!
I know from the wonderful women I have worked with over the years is that one of the biggest barriers that you might have to overcome is not having a clear vision of what your future might look like.
It’s hard to know in advance which of your friends will still be around or whether you will be able to go into a pub and confidently order an alcohol-free drink.
It can also be really scary to wonder about what kind of person you will be. Will you be able to cope with all of the emotions that you drink to avoid?
Will you be able to save your failing marriage or will you find out that your relationship was so centred around alcohol that without it you fear there will be no relationship to save?
There are so many unknowns in your alcohol-free future, and while you’re drinking you can never get the clarity you need to make an informed choice. It can feel like staring into a void.
When you are drinking the future can feel it has no detail, no potential, no hope.
One of the most rewarding aspects of coaching Sobersistas for me is seeing women who were desperate and despairing begin to make declarations of joy at their latest achievements – even if it’s just getting up and going for a walk instead of staying on the sofa and drinking. It’s like watching butterflies wriggle their way out of their cocoons. It’s truly beautiful to witness.
I had a conversation with a Sobersista recently who couldn’t stop drinking because she couldn’t see what life would be without it. When I asked her what she most wanted in life, apart from being able to give up, she said she wanted to be happily married. I then asked her; will you ever meet that man of your dreams if keep on drinking? At that moment, she had found a vision for her future worth giving up alcohol for.
But what about you? If you are still drinking and you can’t see what your sober life might be like, what can you do?
I have learned over the years that the 10 points below are the most important ones you need to consider if you are still drinking and struggling to give up. If you can make progress in these areas you will be giving yourself the best chance of success.
1. Acknowledge That You Have Already Decided
The fact that you are searching for information about giving up or are on my mailing list means that your heart already knows what it wants. It’s only your habitual brain that is keeping you drinking and that is something you can change. Ignoring what your heart wants is only going to create more stress within you and lead to more drinking. Making the decision to stop and commit to it will set you free.
2. Research The Detox
It might surprise you to learn that it’s physically easier to give up than you think. I have been working with women since 2017 and the majority of Sobersistas who were drinking, on average, a bottle of wine a night have been able to give up with a minimum of disruption. It takes about 7-10 days for you to feel better and the symptoms are manageable. Obviously, you should speak to your doctor to ensure you can give up safely.
3. Understand WHY You Want To Stop
Uncovering a clear reason for why you want to stop can be a great motivator. Obviously, you will be healthier, have better skin, sleep better and lose some weight but what are the WHY that would keep you motivated?
Why do you want to stop? Is it to find love, to get a promotion, to find a better home, to find the strength and determination to leave your current relationship?
4. Understand Why You Drink
Very often Sobersistas believe that the reason they are drinking is simply out of habit. Of course, for some this is true. However, very often there are complex and long-standing reasons sitting behind alcohol that are keeping you drinking. It may be past trauma, anxiety and/or depression (which is often caused by alcohol), toxic relationships etc. Making sure that you understand why you drink will be an enormous aid in helping you stop because you will know what it is that you need to tackle.
5. Get Comfortable With Falling Off The Wagon
Failure is a part of success because every time you fail you have a chance to learn from what happened. When you drink after a spell of sobriety it’s critical that you take a moment to learn from what happened. Asking yourself – who was I with, what was I doing, how was I feeling – will allow you to keep building your knowledge bank of the reasons you drink.
Knowledge is power and once you know you can’t unknow and whilst it might take a little while to have your last day one, eventually you will get tired and irritated of making the same mistakes and not doing anything about it.
Failure is a learning process so don’t beat yourself up. Learn, learn, learn and you will automatically move in the right direction.
6. Get New, Lovely Habits
One of the most successful ways to change your drinking habit is to replace it with a better one. What would you love to do instead of drinking? Do you want to try a new exercise class, revive an old hobby, start a side hustle business that you’ve been thinking about for years?
Doing something that fills you up spiritually or that makes you feel nourished and nurtured would be a great way to replace alcohol.
7. Recognise That The Anxiety You Feel May Not Be Real
A little while ago I conducted a poll in my group and asked newly sober women about their experiences with anxiety. The results were astonishing!
- 70% reported that their anxiety had massively reduced.
- 17% reported that their anxiety had completely disappeared.
- 12% reported that they had either reduced or come off anxiety medication.
- 1% reported no change.
This means that a huge 99% of women who gave up drinking no longer had severe issues with anxiety! That’s crazy if you think about it. The likelihood is that you are one of the 99% – what would it feel like to live without the anxiety you’re experiencing right now?
8. Decide HOW You Will Get Sober
It’s important to understand your feelings about change and how you approach it. Are you a fast decision-maker or do you need to do a lot of research before you take action? Think back to a time when you initiated change for yourself and think about how you went about it. There will be some clues in there that will help lead you in the right direction.
9. Change Your Mindset
Having worked with women since 2017 I know that the most challenging part of giving up alcohol is staying sober in the long term. Changing how you view alcohol, how you view yourself as a sober woman, how you live life without that crutch – these are the real challenges in giving up. Your aim should be to get to the point of not caring about alcohol one way or the other. That kind of thinking takes a mindset change that often comes with support and time.
10. Be Clear About Your Legacy
Given that you are already thinking about giving up alcohol, is this what you want to be thinking when you get to your last days on the planet? Is this what you want to continue to be ‘working on’? Or, would you rather stop for good and be able to look back at your life from today and say “That was an amazing adventure!” and be surrounded by those that love you, knowing that they are so proud of the choice you are about to make?
It might sound a bit gruesome but thinking about how you would like to be remembered can be a huge motivator in stopping now.
To help you get to the truth and clarity you need I have created a free printable called “Give Up For Good : The Only 10 Things You Need To Know”. This is for you if you’re struggling to find that last day one, you want to know the best way to stop drinking and you dream of life without numbing out, hangovers and living life in a way that is less than you deserve. CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR FREE COPY
With love, Jules xx
P.S. If you are newly sober and are excited about your future but feel that you need some clear direction for your new sober life I have created a free 30 minute Big Why Booster session which will show you how to get 100% clear on what is going to truly motivate you to change your life so you never need to think about alcohol again.
At the end of your 30 minutes, you will be excited about your future and be clear on the next steps you need to take toward success. BOOK IN HERE