Deliberate Drinking is a 5-step process that is aimed at helping people take control of their drinking, , cutting back by 50-75%, and learning to enjoy alcohol in moderation.
It's intended for high-functioning people who are maintaining their responsibilities in their work and home life, not for people in crisis or physical addiction to alcohol
This post is the first in a series of lessons that will explain the steps so that you can put them into practice and change your relationship with alcohol.
The underlying premise of this approach is that if you're consistently having a hard time saying no, you're in the grip of this pattern.
DISCOMFORT -> DRINK
The discomfort might be intense desire, or work stress, or feelings of shame, regret, loneliness, or boredom, and you've learned that drinking works to solve this discomfort, if only temporarily.
It's important to acknowledge this role of alcohol as a problem-solver (!), so that you can address the underlying discomfort, instead of just trying to resist the action of drinking.
The 5 steps in the Deliberate Drinking process are:
1 - Observe and Understand the Discomfort
2 - Set Good Constraints on your drinking
3 - Learn how to Manage the discomfort in a new way that takes away the power of the discomfort to control you.
4 - Learn how to Eliminate much of the discomfort.
5 - Rebuild your self-concept so that you come to identify yourself as a person who drinks in ways that appropriate to your life and your goals.
You'll notice that in these 5 steps, only step 2 is focused on the act of the drinking. Most of the work is focused on the person doing the drinking, because that's how permanent transformation is achieved.
These simple lessons offer an opportunity for you to set forth on a journey that will change your life. Radical changes aren't necessary - just shifting your direction by a little bit can have a huge compounded effect over a few years.
I encourage you to take a few minutes and think about what this journey may look like. Here are some questions to consider.
- What would your day-to-day/week-to-week drinking behavior look like in your ideal future?
- What would be the direct and indirect benefits?
- How would life (health, money, relationships) be different in a year as compared to continuing on your current trajectory? In 5 years?
- What are the main obstacles to making the change you want?
- What's about any of this is the most scary?