Whether you’re newly sober or have managed to stay that way for months, there are times when the urge to drink will sneak in. Knowing how to hold those urges at bay is one of the keys to sobriety. If you’re struggling with wanting a drink, some of these mantras will help remind you of how far you’ve come and encourage you to stick to your goals and resolutions.
When you want a drink, try telling yourself some of these things.
1. “Look at everything you’ve gained by choosing not to drink.”
Look around you. Even if it seems as though everything is falling apart, chances are, there are a lot of things you’ve gained by breaking the hold alcohol has on your life. List those benefits to yourself either in your head or out loud. You’re physically healthier; you’re improving relationships in your life; you feel more in control of your choices; you’ve got a great job. You don’t want to throw any of that away!
2. “This will pass.”
Sure, there’s a reason you want to drink. You’ll always be able to find a reason: a really bad day, a frustrating conversation with a friend or family member, a burning need for “just one drink.” When the urge hits hard, keep reminding yourself that it will pass. In another hour, another day, you’ll be glad that you didn’t give in to it.
3. “These are the reasons I’ve stopped drinking.”
You didn’t choose to walk away from that lifestyle just because you could. You have deeply felt reasons why you’ve chosen sobriety. Keeping those reasons close to you can make it easier to make the right choice when the urge to drink hits hard. Consider, for example, putting a laminated list in your wallet or carrying it in your pocket.
4. “It’s not just about me.”
There are people who care about you and who will be impacted by your decision to drink. It’s not just your future that you’re putting on the line; it’s theirs, too. Try carrying pictures of your loved ones with that list of reasons you stopped drinking to help you remember them when it gets hard to say no.
5. “Remember when…”
Chances are, there have been some memorable moments over the course of your drinking career. Most of the time, you push those memories out of mind and do your best to forget about them, and some of them you may never fully remember. When you’re fighting the urge to drink, however, it’s a great time to call up some of those memories and remember what it was like when you were drinking regularly. Those memories alone can be a great reminder of all the reasons you quit!
6. “I will regret this decision tomorrow.”
Sure, it would feel good to have a drink right now. You might even feel great in the moment. Tomorrow, however, you’re going to have some serious regrets—and it’s not just about the hangover. Try to step back from how you’re feeling right now and make a decision that will carry you through to tomorrow.
Sometimes, the difference between taking a drink and walking away is changing your thought patterns. Visual imagery can help: a giant stop sign thrown in your path, a loved one standing in your way, or whatever it takes to change your mental trajectory and send you down a better path.
8. “I’m not helpless.”
It’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling that, if addiction has its claws in you, there’s nothing you can do to stop it. That couldn’t be further from the truth! You have the power to make the right decision and retain all the good changes in your life that have come as a result of your sobriety.
They wouldn’t call it alcoholism if it were as easy as deciding to give it up and never having another craving. Thankfully, you’re not alone in your journey. If you’re looking for more tools to help you with a lifetime of sober living, contact us today to learn how we can help.