How Some People Make Ditching Alcohol Look Easy.
By Lewis David.
Sometimes the solution to a life problem can be shockingly obvious when it reveals itself. Often it has been there in plain sight all along, waiting for you to notice it. Giving up drinking can be like that. You struggle for ages, then suddenly the solution pops up and says ‘hello’.
Can it really be that simple? You might be skeptical if you are among the many millions who have tried unsuccessfully to control or stop drinking. Surely, you cannot break that hold in a flash? I understand your skepticism. I was like that, too. But not anymore.
Over time, I have received vast feedback from therapy clients and readers, which has shown me what really goes on out there, the truth about what happens when people address their difficulties with alcohol. I have worked with so many people who struggled and often needed numerous attempts to get it right.
If that describes you, don’t worry. I have enormous good news.
That’s because I have also met and worked with another group of drinkers. I call them the champions. These ex-drinkers make sobriety look like a breeze, a joy, the stuff of life. They don’t miss alcohol at all. Their drinking histories vary. Some drank for decades, others only a few years. Some drank so much that they almost died. Others drank less, but alcohol still nearly wrecked their lives. Some wanted to quit for life, while others sought a sober break. But the champions all have one thing in common:
They had a ‘hello’ moment.
A hello moment is a major insight that changes everything. It silences the negative chatter in your head that has held you back. It’s your road to Damascus moment in the journey to beat alcohol, a revelation so clear you cannot ignore it. When the champions got their hello moment, their lives changed right there and then. The struggle with alcohol was over.
As a counsellor, I saw this happen many times, and I wanted to write a book on the subject to share this wonderful news with drinkers. However, I faced one problem writing that book: not everyone has the same hello moment. If there were a straightforward insight that could solve problematic drinking for everyone, we would not have a drinking problem in our culture. But what works for one person will not necessarily work for everyone.
As I have often written in my books, there is no simple one-size-fits-all solution to alcohol issues, because we are all different and experience dependence on alcohol in varying ways. Consequently, many insights work, but not equally for everyone.
That’s where most programs or books for alcohol reduction or cessation fall down: they have only one solution, and if that solution isn’t right for you, the program will not work for you. Something like that will likely have happened to most people reading this.
You might have previously read a book or attended a program that seemed to offer the remedy to your alcohol issue and thought you had the answer. But when it didn’t work, you thought you had failed. You might even have beaten yourself up, thinking you lacked willpower or commitment. But in truth, it wasn’t that you had failed, but the program had failed you – not necessarily because it was wrong, but because it simply wasn’t suitable for you.
In treatment services, we knew this. So we didn’t just offer one program. We introduced clients to many options so they could find the one that suited them. The clients that became champions didn’t follow the same program. They followed the one where they had experienced that hello moment.
I have heard champions say that when they experienced that magic moment, they felt light-headed, or a cold shiver went down their spine when they realized the significance. But for other people, it might be more subtle and take time to see what has happened. You might find that the importance suddenly hits you hours later or gradually dawns on you over time.
So, when I wrote “Alcohol and You”, I created a book that presented a different insight in each chapter. These were the breakthroughs that inspired the champions. I intended that each chapter would inspire readers and be a potential hello moment.
Many people reading this blog will already have a copy of “Alcohol and You”. If you have read it and haven’t experienced that moment, I would urge you to read it again. The insight you need could have been staring you in the face, but you hadn’t fully appreciated its significance at the time. Maybe try a different format, so if you read the paperback last time, try the audiobook, or vice-versa.
Maybe your ego got in the way, which was one of the most common blocks to hello moments that I found clients faced in treatment services. Clients would understand an important insight, but their egos told them that it didn’t apply to them, although it did. Your ego likes to do that. It tells you that you are too clever and special for simple solutions to work for you. If that happens to you, realizing that you need to ignore your ego is in itself a hello moment that will put you on the fast track to resolving your alcohol issues.
You might find that one insight is all you need, but many champions find several equally important. However, you don’t have to gain something from every chapter (although I hope you will). If a chapter does not resonate with you, that’s fine. Move on to the next. The same goes for all my books.
But whatever way you read my books, remember one thing: knowledge without action is pointless. My books will only help if you put at least one of the insights into practice.
I have worked with clients who knew almost as much about alcohol recovery as me, yet they stayed in alcohol’s grip year after year. Why? Because when they left the therapy center, they didn’t use what they knew. They could talk a good recovery, but they didn’t do it.
Don’t be one of them.
Equally, however, I have met clients who hardly knew anything about alcohol recovery but committed to living by what they knew and had spectacular, fast results. They were the champions.
Be one of them.
Further Reading: Alcohol and You