03. What Triggers you to Drink?
There’s a reason you got into the habit of drinking.
You drank because you were seeking comfort.
Through our experiences, popular culture and social reinforcement, we’ve been taught that drinking will help us relax after a busy day at the office, smooth over socially awkward situations, relieve the monotony of parenthood and connect with our partners.
We drink to celebrate, commiserate, relieve stress and boredom.
At the end of a busy day you want to relax, turn your mind off, fit in, feel less awkward, have more fun, do something for yourself, and [insert your reason here].
True self care isn't found in a bottle (Promise!).
Now that you want to stop drinking, you’re still going to need comfort in your life and you’ll still want to change the way you feel at times.
you’re going to feel frustrated, angry, resentful, bored, and a million other emotions you would rather push away.
You’re human. This is normal.
The problem we get into is using a drink (and then, more and more drinks) to solve any negative emotions that we feel. It’s a coping mechanism that isn’t working for us anymore.
One of the most important steps you can take to get out of the drinking cycle is to identify, name, (and actually solve for) the emotion you’re feeling.
The question to ask yourself when you hear yourself thinking “I need a drink. I want to drink. Drinking is going to make me feel better” is WHY do I want to drink?
- Am I tired? Overwhelmed? Do I just want to shut off my brain?
- Do I want to emotionally transition from work to home?
- Do I want to numb out from my kids?
- Am I resentful that I’m the only one that’s keeping all the balls in the air for my family?
- Is the house a mess and I can’t stand looking at it but I have no energy to deal with it?
- Am I anxious about a big work project?
- Am I feeling tension with my boss? My partner? My kids?
- Am I worried about my finances?
There is ALWAYS something behind your need to drink.
It's OK to rest, read, regroup, relax (and hide from your kids).
And the thing is, there is no doubt that in you’re life you’re dealing with real, legitimate problems that you need help with. That you need solutions for.
But it will help you to internalize this message…
Drinking just adds a problem to a problem.
When you feel like you NEED to drink, because you’re tired, overwhelmed, bored, frustrated, anxious, resentful, angry, you name it…and you drink, all you are doing is adding a hangover, a headache, regret, and another Day 1 to your existing problems.
You aren’t actually solving your problem.
You wake up the next day feeling MORE tired, MORE anxious, MORE depressed, and now you’re likely also beating yourself up for drinking.
So what I’d like you to do, is to start naming the feeling you’re experiencing behind your need to drink.
And try to actually solve for that emotion.
Your triggers are a signal that you need something you’re not getting.
Before you go I wanted to give you one more thought to consider….
By drinking as a coping mechanism, you’ve been taking a sledgehammer to every single issue in your life and beating yourself down to numb it out and make it go away.
When you wake up your problems still exist. You just turned off your brain for a while by rendering it unconscious.
And probably, you don’t even need a sledgehammer to solve your problems. It’s possible just a little oil and elbow grease (or sleep and conversations and fresh air) could be enough.
Drinking just adds a problem to an existing problem. You need real solutions.
If you’re interested in private coaching, I’d love to help you find them.
Casey McGuire Davidson - Certified Professional Coach
Thanks for reading and listening to this episode in the series of audio and written support messages for the Sobriety Starter Kit.
I’m Casey McGuire Davidson, a certified life coach who works with women who are re-evaluating their relationship with alcohol because drinking isn’t working for them anymore.
You can find more about my work and additional support resources about quitting drinking on my website: sobrietystarterkit.com. And you can find information about private coaching with me at hellosomedaycoaching.com