Holiday weekends are no excuse to drink.
We have a culture that tells us that it is OK to drink in order to celebrate holidays. It is part of our culture, part of our upbringing, and part of the tradition of many holidays. In particular, a summer holiday like the one coming up this weekend is almost always an excuse to get out the grill and have some cold beers out on the patio.
I am taking the time right now to tell you that this is not OK. For recovering alcoholics, the holiday weekend is not an excuse to relapse.
For people who are struggling to get sober, the holiday is not an excuse to delay quitting.
And I will tell you why it is not an excuse. A holiday weekend is not an excuse, because the timing to stop drinking is never perfect.
It is never the perfect time to quit drinking.
Think about that. It is just never going to be perfect. There will always be some crisis, or opportunity, or holiday celebration, or something….that will cause you to say to yourself “Ah well, I guess today just isn’t the right day for me to stop. Maybe I will quit tomorrow, or next week, or some other time, when this drama is not occurring, or when things are going smoother in my life, or when the stars are perfectly aligned,” and so on.
Well guess what? The stars never align perfectly. It will never be super easy. There will always be some struggle. There will always be an excuse for you to just keep drinking for another day.
Now, I am not saying that it will never get any easier, because it most certainly does get easier, eventually. Even within the first few weeks of your recovery, the cravings for alcohol will subside, and you will go for long periods of time without even thinking about a drink. Yes, this will happen in under 90 days. You will be able to go for several hours without thinking about taking a drink. You might not believe that just yet, but it is true. Hard core alcoholics (just like myself) did not believe it either, but we gave sobriety a chance, and we experienced this freedom.
But you have to give it that chance. You have to allow yourself a chance to at least experience sobriety.
I never understood this before, but the only time that you can really quit drinking is right now. Anyone can say that they will quit drinking tomorrow, or next week, or after the holiday weekend is over, but you know what? If they wait till then, it will still be right now. So really, the only time you can make that decision to stop is right now.
And here is the tricky part: we play a mental game with ourselves that things will be easier in the future. That we will have more strength to quit drinking in the future than what we have now. That it will be less painful.
We trick ourselves into thinking that we can be stronger in the future, or that we will just somehow deal with discomfort in the future easier than what we can deal with right now.
But this is a lie, of course. After the holiday weekend, quitting drinking will not be any easier than it is right now. In fact, if we wait till then, it will be right now. All over again. And it will not be any easier to quit.
So if you are thinking of quitting drinking, or if you are teetering on the edge of relapse, then you need to make a decision, right now, that you are not going to drink today. No matter what.
It starts now. It starts right here. You can only make this decision now.
If you are planning on making this decision in the future, stop kidding yourself. It is a lie. You can’t decide anything in the future. You will make a NEW decision when the future arrives. And things will be just as difficult then as they are for you right now.
So don’t kid yourself about the holiday weekend. Don’t allow yourself to believe in some fairy tale that says you will have an easier time being sober once the holiday is over with. This is a lie that your mind has manufactured so that you can drink without remorse.
The only time you can quit drinking is right now.
The only time you can commit to sobriety is right now.
Yes, it might be fun to drink over the holiday weekend, and use that as an excuse for why you did it. But you will feel awful about yourself.
On the other hand, look at the opportunity here: You could make it through the holiday weekend, sober, and grow that much stronger from it. If you can make it sober through this, then you can stay sober through a lot of stuff! Think of how good you will feel if you maintain sobriety, and don’t waste the money on booze, and don’t let yourself and your friends and your family down….think of how much better your life will be if you can stay sober.
If you can stay sober over this weekend, your life will get better and better. I promise.
Don’t let the holiday be your excuse for relapse.
If you need support, find it in the forums.