Because of all the work I do with overeating and Self Coaching, I get many emails on drinking alcohol. I don't work directly with alcohol addiction, but I do have some experience with alcoholics: my father died from alcoholism, my brother died from a cocaine overdose, and my best friend is a recovered alcoholic. I have been to my fair share of AA and Al-Anon meetings over the years.
I usually tell anyone who is seeking help with drugs or alcohol to find someone directly trained in this area to help them; but I also tell them that I believe EVERYTHING we do, including ingesting too much alcohol, is a result of our thinking.
I found an ex-drinker who agrees with me. I read his website and really loved what he wrote. It is very in line with my philosophy for overcoming overeating. He talks about destroying the desire to drink-instead of just struggling against it. He talks about being your own witness and not a judgmental berater as you go through the process of quiting drinking. I invite you to check it out if you have a problem with alcohol; but even if you don't, the information can be applied to any "urge" you might be struggling to change.
Here is a glimpse of Joe Plummer's writing with the link to his site at the end:
When I first started trying to stop drinking, I’d
“struggle” and “fight” urges (not really sure of what was causing them)
and then I’d eventually throw my hands up in the air and just go full
throttle in the opposite direction. “Ah, FUCK IT!…I’m going to get FUCKED UP tonight!!!”
This of course was counterproductive on a number of levels. One, it
made me totally reckless about how I approached the drinking, and it
also had an underlying connotation that carried over: “Why try to stop?
You’re just going to drink again…”
In the later years, I began taking a more mature approach. First, I stopped accepting it was inevitable
that I would “always end up drinking again.” Instead, I leaned more
towards believing that I’d eventually “get it right.” (Meaning: The
correct perspective, with effort, would eventually become dominant and
the old perspective would be weakened to the point of insignificance.)
In my less wise
past, if I’d gone 30 days without a drink but then drank on day 31, I’d
consider that a total negation of everything I’d achieved. –This is
clearly an exaggerated and counterproductive conclusion. My healthier perspective was more likely to see it as “New Joe: 30, old Joe:
1.” Not only was this a more accurate way of viewing the situation, it
was far more productive. I didn’t beat myself up needlessly – I didn’t
falsely allow myself to believe that “one day drunk” could somehow take
away the 30 days that I hadn’t drank. It couldn’t and it didn’t. I was
still “30 days ahead of the game” and those 30 days would always be
–I’m not certain, but I’d bet it was after a night of drinking that the following statement popped in my head: “As long as you learn from your mistakes, then what you’ve done was not a waste.” All I know is I
wrote it down and have reminded myself of it often. You should too.
Learn to view your experiences in a way that will HELP instead of harm
you. Learn to take whatever value you can and apply it toward what you
want to achieve.