Awareness was the key to me catching my addiction to alcohol early. I cannot begin to change something that I am not aware of. It wasn’t easy, because this toxic relationship tip-toed its way in. I would still be unaware of it, unless it came with a voice. Yes, my addiction came with a voice of its own that very, very slowly made its way onto a comfy barstool in my brain over years of drinking. It literally slid in there and became a regular without even asking me. So rude and just like a drunk at a bar, it was quiet at first and over time became loud, annoying and unmanageable.
Very confusing, the voice had two sides that didn’t make sense because they liked to talk over each other. One side came from the conscious side of my brain and was intentional and rational. It told me that the way I was drinking was not good. It told me that I would be happier and healthier if I didn’t drink so much. It told me that I really shouldn’t drink today. It tried very hard to control my drinking and steer me in the right direction away from alcohol.
At the very same time it spoke to me from my hardwired belief system about alcohol. Over my lifetime, I had been conditioned to believe that in order to have fun and relax I need to drink. TV, Internet, billboards, movies, song lyrics, Mommy Needs Wine memes validated this message for me every day. This side told me that successful people drink, cool people drink alcohol, sexy people drink alcohol, everyone drinks alcohol, I can’t have any friends or any fun if I don’t drink alcohol. Life will be boring if I don’t drink. This side said, common, it’s just ONE drink. You earned it. You deserve it.
I would assure myself in the morning most every day that I wouldn’t drink and by 5pm I was drinking every day. What???? Am I insane? Then….I would wake up and do it again! And again! And again! The two sides were constantly battling each other. It was like an exhausting, never-ending game of tug of war.
I first became aware that people who don’t drink or don’t have an issue with alcohol will have absolutely no idea what I am talking about. People who are in a healthy relationship with alcohol don’t think about drinking, think about not drinking or trying to control their drinking. I had a toxic relationship with alcohol and the fight between these two sides became so loud, so interfering there was only ONE thing that I could do to stop it….pour another drink.
Becoming aware that this war going on inside me was an early sign of addiction, was key to catching it. There is NO shame in awareness there is only POWER to change.
For more, visit my Un-Rock Bottom Blog.