“A buzz is always better”.
This used to be one of my foundational thoughts. I had thought it over and over for years and it seemed true. In fact, for a long time, I didn’t even realize that I had this belief – it was running on autopilot unconsciously.
So whenever I was evaluating whether to have a drink or another drink, this thought “buzz is better” was on one side of the scale. On the other side were the competing interests, like driving legally, waking up feeling refreshed, getting something useful or fun done instead of lazing around.
Even though I often was able to come to decent decisions from this evaluation, there was always a little sense of deprivation when I decided against a drink.
A thought download is when you sit down for 10 minutes and write out all of your thoughts. It can be in free form, or you can focus on a specific subject such as drinking.
One day, I did a thought download and this thought came out. I looked at it on the paper and realized that it was completely not true for me. I recalled all the times I’d had a couple of beers and realized that I felt worse than I did before I drank.
This was especially true for afternoon drinking. My fancy girlfriend would take me to brunches where there were mimosas. I would have one (because a buzz is always better, right?) and always sort of regret it because I didn’t enjoy that bare buzz followed by a desire to take a nap.
So I purged that thought from my thinking. I had to pay attention for a while because it would sneak into my brain, but after a time it quit showing up.
Now, I can consider whether I want a drink, or another drink, from a much more clear place. Sometimes, yes – a buzz would be nice. And other times, no – I don’t want that right now.
This changes the character of my moderating. I drink somewhat less and less often since having got rid of that original thought. Equally important, when I do drink less, it’s without that sense of deprivation.
What are your drinking thoughts?
Sometimes, you have to poke around in your brain to find them. But when you do, it can make a huge difference.