So perhaps at this stage you’ve failed to stop drinking in dry January. So now you’re feeling very low and know you’re a failure. This is often called “stinking thinking” because it’s a way of thinking that means you think you’re a failure at everything.
You are not a failure
The very fact that you actually tried to stop drinking in dry January means you’re on the right track. Unlike the vast majority of Irish people, (see picture below) you’re actually aware you need to manage your drinking. So give yourself brownie points for knowing this and actually trying to manage your drinking.
The road to success is paved with a thousand failures
Thomas Edison the inventor of the light bulb had 1,000 failures before he finally succeeded. His teachers said he was too stupid to learn anything. He kept going because he told himself every failure was a step on the way to success. No stinking thinking for him. So see this failure to stop drinking in dry January as a step on the road to eventual success in managing your drinking.
What’s your next step?
So to avoid stinking thinking, your next step is to figure out what you can learn to help you manage your drinking. So think back to the time before you drank too much.
Were you thirsty or hungry?
If you were thirsty or hungry this can lead us into drinking too much. So make a plan to always have tasty drinks or snacks easily available.
What were you thinking?
What were your thoughts when you started drinking? Were you thinking a drink would make you feel happier? Or often if we’ve been drinking too much, when we stop, we start remembering past events. We may have done or said things we’re ashamed of, so in order to get away from these thoughts it’s easier to drink. Remember though only bad people don’t feel guilty or ashamed of things they do. So that’s not us.
Take action to change things
Once you’ve identified what you were thinking, you can then take action. For example, you can put a post- it reminder in a place where you’ll see it saying
“You’ll feel happier when you lose 2 pounds this week”
It works better if it’s a positive reminder rather than a negative. So no to
You’re too fat, manage your drinking!
How were you feeling?
Ask yourself how were you feeling before you drank? Very often we drink too much because of our feelings. We can even be so numb we can’t understand what we’re feeling. Here’s 10 handy tips if this is you.
Did you have a craving for drink?
When we give up alcohol we can often feel a craving or urge to drink. These are caused by triggers. Valerie has some great tips on managing triggers and cravings here.
Don’t despair if you’ve failed to stop drinking in dry January
It takes a lot of time and energy and action to manage our drinking. We live in a society which says alcohol is essential to being happy and then blames anyone who feels they have a problem with drink. (Read more here )
So once you learn something from Dry January, you’re on the path to success. That’s what Tara found. You can read her story here.