How to Control Drinking

You are aware that your drinking has become way too excessive, but you don't want to give up booze for the rest of your life. Here are some thoughts on how to cut back your consumption.


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    Realize that social drinking can weaken your resolve. For many people, social drinking can lead to excessive drinking, and at some point, we face the realization that our quality of life has sunk to a very low point. However, we still want to be able to have drinks at a wedding, a super bowl party, a Halloween party, etc.
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    Understand that it can be difficult to accept that your drinking has become out out control. We don't view ourselves as alcoholics, and we don't have any interest in the mind washing that treatment programs such as AA offer. The first, and most important thing, is getting our heads into a place to accept our weakness. Once we accept that we want to make a change - now it's time to move forward!
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    If you take nothing else from this writing, remember this quote. "The next drink will always come." There will always be an opportunity to relax with a cold beer. Knowing this is hugely important. We are not looking to never have a drink again in our lives - we simply want to cut down our drinking drastically. If we can keep in mind that there will be an opportunity to indulge again, it makes things so much easier.
    • As an example, you're at work on a random Tuesday afternoon. You start thinking about hitting the scotch when you go home. However, what is the purpose for drinking on this Tuesday evening? Isn't it possible that you could be a good dad, a good husband, a good friend, etc. who stays sober on this evening? Do you really need to drink? How about skipping this Tuesday and going to the bar on Wednesday to watch a ball game? Even better, how 'bout taking two days off and going on Thursday to watch that game? Remember - the next drink will always come, so just put if off for a couple of days, it will taste that much better.
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    Create diversions. Diversions are the most important thing you can do to cut back on drinking. If you are cognizant that you are too weak to sit at home and not hit the bottle, find something else to do to distract you.
    • Go see a movie, go shopping, take a walk, go to the gym, etc. We need to stay active to avoid the pratfall of pouring the first drink. And know this, the first drink will always lead to many more on that given night.
    • Keep telling yourself, I don't need a drink tonight, because on "this day", however far down the road it may be, I'm going to have a few, and they will be delicious.
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    Work more. Simple as it may sound, what better way to ween yourself off the bottle? Most of us who drink too much are functional alcoholics. We don't drink when we work. So isn't it ridiculously simple? Get a part time job on the side. Not only will you earn extra money to help yourself or your family, you've found the best distraction that you can possibly have to keep yourself off the sauce.
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    Think about how you'll feel in the morning. For those of us who drink too much, our normal is being hung over. We feel like crap, and wait until we can drink again so we'll feel better. And on those rare days when we didn't drink the previous night, we feel great. Invigorated. Before you toss down that first beer, remember the last time you woke up with no booze in your system. You felt really good. Think of that as your high.
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    Think about your friends and family, or even celebrities if you have to, that don't have drinking problems. Picture how their quality of life is. Pick up a magazine and read about a family who spent their day at an amusement park. Call your brother or sister and have them tell you about the innocuous things their family did today that didn't involve booze. Realize that everything doesn't have to be centered around alcohol.
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    Focus on your children. If you don't have children, focus on what your imaginary children would think about you in your present state. We have an obligation as parents to be the best mentors and influences as we can be. Are we, as heavy drinkers, doing our jobs? Were our parents heavy drinkers? For some of us, no, so why are we? For others, yes, so do we want to be the embarrassment our parents were? Embarrassment. That's the key word. Remember that moment when our child first came into the world? We would do anything for that kid. Think about how our excessive drinking might embarrass our child or children at some point? Or even worse - think about how our excessive drinking might make us inattentive parents and lead to an injury or worse for our child or children.
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    Finally, let's get back to where we started. We have a choice to make, as excessive drinkers. Do we want to go the point of no return, where we have to go into rehab, or do we want to control our indulgences and become a better person? If you're reading this, I expect you are thinking about control. We all have the opportunity to get our lives back together, while still keeping our dignity. We don't have to walk around proclaiming "I'm an alcoholic and I'm sixty days sober". We all have the potential to cut back on our drinking, while still not becoming a teetotaler. These tips make it easy, because I truly believe that thought of never having a drink again is what keeps most alcoholics from seeking help. With my program, this isn't part of the equation. It's a simple, gradual move from the addiction of the bottle, to the enjoyment of the bottle.

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Categories: Alcohol Consumption