Now, if you have come to this website and are trying to give up drinking, one of the first pieces of advice I would have for you is DON’T GO TO THE PUB.
If you have decided that you want to cut down, reduce or eliminate your alcohol intake, then the simple first step is this – NO PUB
It seems simple. I know lots of people like me who think they need to change their alcohol habits, but who don’t believe they are alcoholics. My life gets messy with drinking, mistakes are made and I always regret things afterwards. I also get unfit and lazy. But, I don’t believe I am an alcoholic. Not in the terms the AA would have you believe.
But the first step I take is not to go to the pub. This is what anyone else who is reading this must do if you want to change your drinking habits.
So, you decide not to go to the pub for two weeks or a month. In this time off you have to build up the courage to go to the pub and drink soft drinks. Take a clean break from all alcohol consumption and link it with some sort of exercise. Join a club, gym, team or going training on your own if you know how. Getting fit gives you a great excuse when you meet people in the pub again for not drinking.
The pub or local bar is a necessary evil in this world. We all meet friends, family, clients and others in the local bar. You will need to be able to venture out once in a while and face the music here. When you do return to the pub after a few week absence, there will be a few eyebrows raised, especially when you order an OJ or a coke.
What will you say to these people? What will you tell the people who question your decisions? It is simple – you tell them you are on a fitness buzz. Tell them you have given up for a month or two as part of a programme and are training for whatever it is you are training for. The truth is that you are hoping to stay off the drink for much, much longer. But not everybody needs to know that. Break it down into simple little titbits for other people to digest. “I’m taking a little break from the booze to get fit” sounds a lot better than “I think I’m an alcoholic and need get my life in control”.
Giving up booze is probably one of the most difficult things you will ever do. It’s good to make it as easy on yourself as possible.
The second bit of advice I would have for you is that when you go to the pub, pick a time when there is something on which will serve as a distraction.
Go to the pub when there is live music on. Go when there is a big televised football game on. This serves two great purposes. It will distract those in your company from paying much attention to what you are doing. Your excuses will probably be unnecessary. It will also distract you from the general rubbish which is talked during the piss up. You will have something else to focus on and entertain you which doesn’t require constant consumption of alcohol (Although this does depend on the standard of match and music sometimes!)
So there you have it. Three steps.
- Don’t go to the pub if you want to stop drinking
- When you do return, drink soft drinks and tell people you are training to get fit and will be off the drink for a short while
- If you do go to the pub, go when there is an event, match or live music showing.
It almost seems too easy…..