Short-Term Suffering v. Long-Term Gain
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Feeling a need to quell an urge - immediately - can be overpowering.
If one is in true need of water, or of food, that is one thing.
But we don’t need alcohol to live. It does not, in any way, give sustenance.
In the Short term, turning away from a drink will feel rotten. It may drive you to distraction and steal your attention and feel painful and seem ridiculous and not make any sense.
However, if we continue to give in to that Short term impulse, we’ll never get past it to the rewards that come in the Long term.
That Long term may come fairly quickly, even in a few days or a week. Maybe longer, even much longer. But by not feeding the body and brain more alcohol, positive changes will result.
How can you stave off that impulse?
Strap in and know that it’s going to suck for a while.
Then, when it sucks, remember that that was the deal. “Oh yeah, I knew it would suck."
Sign on for one day - 24 hours - of not drinking. One day for an alcoholic is extraordinary. To not drink is unnatural for an alcoholic, but will eventually become second nature.
Expect nothing from yourself other than not drinking. That’s more than enough. All the projects you’d love to get to can wait. Stay sober, and you’ll get to them.
Video games, reading, walking, watching a whole series on Netflix, going to a movie theatre...whatever distractions you engage in can help.
If 24 hours is too much to cope with, hold on for 15 minutes. Then try a half hour. It’s only a half hour. Keep stringing them together. If you can do a half hour, you can do another half hour.
And if you can do one day, you can do another day. That’s all we have to do - not drink today.
Eat whatever you can. Protein will help. And sweets will help because we metabolize alcohol like sugar, so sweets will help with the urge to drink. Besides, they’ll taste good.
Speaking of asking for help - reach out to any support group that you want to try. They are there to help. Ask for advice regarding detoxification.
If necessary, reach out to a doctor or medical professional. The detoxification process can be harrowing, and potentially dangerous.
Remember - it’s going to SUCK. That’s okay, because drinking to oblivion also sucks. You’re used to things sucking. It’ll be a different kind of “this sucks!”
You will get better.
Let me say that again - you will get better.
Getting and staying sober is a bumpy road.
For me, once I discoverd that I have alcoholism, I saw that I had a choice between 2 very different roads.
I could say, well, I’m going to keep drinking and hope for the best. But in my heart I knew that this way would lead to disaster.
Or, I could choose a path of recovery.
Those are the only real choices for an alcoholic. There’s no bargaining, or going back, or wishing it away.
It’s real and it’s stark and when reality hit home, I was looking down into darkness.
I turned around and went the other way.
Did it suck for a while? YEP.
Does it suck now? NOPE. I love my life, and I have loved it for a few decades of sober living.
Try it. You can always go back to drinking. But if you work hard at recovery, you won’t want to. Or need to. That’s the amazing thing, to have that desire to drink removed.