I wrote yesterday about how the end of January can be hard. And, I know from your comments and e-mails, that at least a few of you have slipped off the waggon.
If you have, then here's something for you:
I found another Anne Lamott quote, from her book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. Again, she's not talking about drinking, but it's so, so relevant:
Try looking at your mind as a wayward puppy that you are trying to paper train. You don't drop-kick a puppy into the neighbour's yard (she means GARDEN, English people) every time it piddles on the floor. You just keep bringing it back to the newspaper.
So, if you gave in to the evil wine witch, then don't beat up your inner puppy, just bring it back to the newspaper and keep on going.
There are, however, three thought processes to watch out for (I know this, because I've been through them all. Several times). They go like this:
(1) I only had one glass of wine, and - you know what - I didn't even like it that much! And I STOPPED! AFTER ONE! Halleluiah - I'm CURED!
You are not cured. You may be able to moderate for a while, weeks, maybe even months, BUT eventually you'll be back where you started. In fact, most people find that they end up WORSE than where they started, almost like our addict head is making up for lost time.
But you don't need me to tell you that, because you've tried moderation before, right? Lots of times. You know it doesn't work. Get back on the sober waggon - it's easier and you'll be happier. (See my post: Reasons to Quit Drinking: Because it's easier).
Here's the other one to look out for:
(2) I've blown it now. I may as well let rip. Really get it all out of my system. Then I can quit again. After all, I know I can do it now....
No, no, no. We've all been there. The 'letting rip' bit often ends up going on for months, and it's not easier next time. Actually it's harder, because the whole quitting thing isn't so new and shiny and exciting any more, and there's a little nagging voice in your head saying you flunked last time, and you'll flunk again.
Here's the third one:
(3) I'm weak. I'm bloody useless. I KNEW I couldn't do this, and it's true. My life is doomed, and the only way I can cope with all this terrible failure is to drink....
NO! You CAN do it! But you're human. It's difficult. Don't drop kick the puppy. Forgive it. Pat it on the head and try again. You know it'll learn eventually.
A while ago I wrote a post called 'Potholes in the Road' (click here). You haven't failed. It's just a pothole in the road. Next time you'll know it's there and you'll walk round it. Eventually, you'll find another street....
Keep on keeping on, people. We're all in it together.
Love SM x