Ever sit in a pub and try to observe how many drinks normal people have when they are imbibing. “Oh three…three is clearly the normal amount. I’ll just go copy them and it will be fine”
Because being a consummate mimic is the key to freeing ourselves from alcohol abuse. Apparently.
Copying another person’s actions is one of the least effective tools in trying to combat active alcohol abuse. Because from the outside it is impossible to deduce what another person’s motivation for drinking is.
You have to actually ask them.
Like that friend who takes a few sips from a glass of wine and then just leaves it on the table to go warm for the rest of the evening. You might have tried it, but you can’t do it. Understanding the feeling that goes with it will always help though. Asking them why they do it will bring surprising answers, usually to the tune of:
“I forget it’s there”
“I get bored of the taste”
“I’d rather talk than drink”
“I can take it or leave it”
Do any of these feel familiar? Course they bloody don’t. So why would we try and mimic these person’s actions? This bird is many wonderful things but she ain’t your motivational drinking twin.
How about the friend that drinks too much on a Saturday night and then doesn’t think about it the rest of the week? Did you ever ask them why? The answers are similarly revealing:
“It’s just something I’ve done since being a teenager”
“It’s what my friends do”
“I like having a laugh with them”
“I do other things the rest of the week”
Does that feel like you? Maybe in-denial version of you but definitely not truthful you. So the way this mate drinks is not any use to you. You don’t feel like her, so copying her actions in a bid to be her is about as effective as wearing her dresses. Still you. but in disguise.
What about your best drinking mate? You might like to think of her as your Twin Flame or Soul Mate. She’s not. Obviously. But you are drinking from the same bottle and singing from the same hymn sheet right now so it’s understandable why you’d mistake the connection for that. What’s her motivation for drinking?
“Because when I have one it creates the overwhelming physical craving for another”
“The more I drink the worse the thirst gets. Not physical thirst, bodily thirst”
“Because I will do whatever it takes to scratch this itch even though the more I scratch the worse it gets”
She sound familiar? That a motivation you can understand? Maybe? The last one is definitely a brief introduction to the drinking version of me. Those girls are my motivational drinking twins.
The difference is obvious, once it’s dissected and felt.
That’s why using other people’s drinking habits without getting to understand them is no use to you. Ever. Or why generic stop drinking programmes are similarly ineffective. If you get to the heart of what these people’s motivations are for drinking, then you can surmise whether they are tackling what you are tackling or not.
But so what? What’s the actual point of this?
If you are genuinely looking to stop drinking then you need to enlist the help or guidance of someone who has done it from the same motivational point as you. When someone speaks you language, Genuinely. Not as a chameleon who is generically trained to try and stop people drinking. Then and only then can they help you. Because really they are just showing you how they helped themselves.
Look around. Find the sober version of your motivational drinking twin. She is out there. Get her to teach you the tools that released her from her own motivations to drink. Read her blog. Find her email address. Follow her on social networking sites. If she gives coaching sessions or seminars? Attend them. If she is not your motivational drinking twin? Take everything she says with a pinch of salt.
Don’t settle for anything less.