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Sobriety Myth #3: Quitting drinking is hard

That is dealcoholized wine, by the way.

That is dealcoholized wine, by the way

Now that you have recognized there may be a problem with your relationship with alcohol and you have acknowledged that you do have the ability to quit drinking, it is time to get down and dirty and go to work. They don't call it work for nothing, it is definitely a verb and a verb that requires prolonged action on your part to affect any positive change. But, here is the thing; is all work created equally? Does all work have to be hard or difficult? Let's take a look at a couple of examples.

At the age of 45, I decided it was a good idea to take up the sport of snowboard. Thankfully, I had an amazing coach, my wife, who knew how to teach the sport, but at that age, it was maybe not my smartest venture. Nevertheless, my ten-year-old son and I strapped on our boards and begin the work of trying to learn snowboarding. While we both took to it relatively quickly, it was a lot of work learning the technique, taking the inevitable falls, negotiating moguls, learning how to deal with ice, etc... There was a lot involved, but now in year three, I have no problem stating that I can snowboard at the expert level. There are very few terrains I am uncomfortable attempting on my snowboard. What does this have to do with quitting drinking? Everything!

Sobriety Myth #3: Quitting drinking is hard

As hard as the year or two of learning how to properly snowboard was, it was some of the most fun I have had in my life. I went home bruised, exhausted, I got stuck in forests and had to hike myself out, swearing the entire time, I took falls that should have broken something, etc... but it was a blast. How can something so difficult and physically exhausting be so much fun? Mindset. I believed that snowboarding was something I wanted to do and that it was fun. Even when it wasn't, in my mind I had decided it was still fun, so it was. That is the bottom line. I made it fun, so the hard work didn't seem like hard work. It seemed like fun.

I recently wrote a novel and I had set a deadline to complete for my birthday (yesterday). It was a lofty goal for several reasons, but I had made up my mind that I wanted a completed novel for my birthday. I took the number of words that usually make up a full-length novel, divided it by the number of days I had to complete it, and came up with a number of words I had to write each day. It was a lot when you take into consideration that I had also decided to write a daily sober blog too, and I began writing articles for an online writing company. I slated time to write in my novel every day, and I completed my goal. There were days when I didn't want to write, I was tired, or I had too many other things to do. There were days when I didn't think I had enough to say about the storyline. There were days when I just didn't feel like working towards my goal. But I did it because I decided that it was something I wanted to do and you know what? It was fun. I had a blast writing my novel, being creative, and seeing how much I can do if I put my mind to it. Most people would say that trying to write a full-length novel in less than three months is crazy, and it was, but I did it. Do I look back my experience and think about how hard it was? No, I think back and feel proud and excited for what I have accomplished.

Sobriety Truth #3: Quitting drinking can be easy

Are these perfect analogies for quitting drinking? Probably not, but did I get my point across? I hope so. The point is this; if you truly want to do something, you will do it and it will not feel like work because you are not thinking about the process; you are thinking about the product. In this case, the product is life, a better and more fulfilling life. The process may be a little uncomfortable at times, but it is nowhere near the discomfort you feel while using on a daily basis. The reason you are here is because of the pain and discomfort you have endured for years and you finally made the decision to let all of that go. The trick is to believe and trust in yourself.

The first thing you can do to help in this process is to stop listening to the myriad of discourse available that states how difficult quitting alcohol is. Yes, it can be and many people are struggling to find and maintain their paths. I truly applaud and respect every single person who is strong enough to maintain conviction in such tumultuous times. However, if you believe it is going to be hard, I promise you it will be. Start looking for the literature that states it doesn't have to be difficult. Listen to people's stories, like mine, who say that they had a different experience. Search out and find substantiating evidence that backs what you want your experience to be. When you find it, you will believe it, and it will be true for you as well.

Perception really is the answer to many questions. How you view your relationship with alcohol is the truth. It doesn't matter what it is. If you believe alcohol to be your friend, then it is. If you believe alcohol to be your enemy, then it is. If you believe you no longer want or need alcohol in your life, then you don't. I don't know how to make this any more simple. What you believe to be true, is true.

Believe that alcohol is poison. Believe that you can quit drinking. Believe that you are strong. Believe that quitting drinking is easy. And, it will be.

Come back tomorrow when we discuss Sobriety Myth #4:

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