I want to stop drinking – but I’m not an alcoholic
Do you have this thought process going around in your head at times? It’s understandable. There are some really compelling reasons to quit drinking. And the definition of “alcoholic” is not clear cut. It’s not like it’s something that can be measured in medical testing!
Yet to some, the perceived benefits of drinking outweigh the serious consequences of continuing to drink. Many people think that drinking alcohol is okay. Many people grow up in families and societies where drinking alcohol is acceptable. Encouraged and expected, even. Therefore, they see no problem with drinking alcohol. The continue, just as their families and friends continue to. Some people try to stick within the recommended guidelines for safe drinking, in the belief that they are safe from harm. These people will probably never say “I want to stop drinking”, and are likely not an alcoholic by any standard definition. Other people regularly exceed the safety guidelines, and probably don’t even realise it.
Is drinking alcohol safe?
There is a lot of confusion around at the moment about the health impacts of drinking alcohol. The problem is that there is a lot of conjecture about whether the health impacts of alcohol outweigh the health benefits. This can be very confusing for the average drinker, who believes that one drink is not doing any harm. One of the problems is that drinking alcohol has been linked to cancer. So even at very low rates of alcohol consumption, there is still a risk of increasing your chances of getting cancer. This can come as a surprise to many people.
A lot has changed in the last 20 years
There has been a lot of research into the relationship between alcohol and cancer. Even at low rates of drinking, there is an increased risk of developing cancer above the normal rate. And the risk gets higher for each additional drink of alcohol. There is no safe level of alcohol consumption. The supposed health benefits from drinking alcohol came from flawed research. Not what you’ve been led to believe? Like much of what is purported by the mass media, this commonly accepted concept warrants close questioning.
Could you ever say “I want to stop drinking”?
If you are someone who enjoys a drink of alcohol every day, do you want to believe there are health benefits from drinking? If you enjoy relaxing with a glass of wine, do you even believe there are any reasons to cut back on alcohol? Part of the issue lies in our subconscious mind. In this part of our mind, we can believe very strongly in something, even if it is not true! But perhaps the biggest problem with alcohol is that it is an addictive substance. And sometimes we just don’t realise the risk. If we believe that although we may not be labelled as an alcoholic, but we have an issue with drinking, then we need to face the facts.
Many of us try to drink in moderation. And many of us find that after one glass, our good intentions disappear! It can be a real trial of our willpower to use it as a defence against drinking every day. At least when you know that you cannot control the craving to drink more than you want to, then you are on the right path. The path to quitting drinking first requires the acceptance of a problem. To start down the right path, you need to understand and recognise the need to change. This is a good thing! When you can say in your heart “I want to stop drinking”, then you have already taken the first step!
Don’t get stuck in denial
Most people who know they drink too much – but don’t acknowledge the need to cut back – are actually in denial. We basically all know that too much alcohol makes us feel bad. That is called a hangover, and it is no good telling me you have never had one of those! A hangover is actually our body is screaming at us – “alcohol hurts me”! But our subconscious mind seems to override the warning. Furthermore, it even tells us that is okay to keep drinking! When the subconscious mind takes control it can be difficult to stop drinking. Over time, there is a risk of developing a dependency on alcohol, because it is an addictive substance.
You don’t need to be an alcoholic to decide “I want to stop drinking.”
So if you are ready to take the next step along the path to better health and better lifestyle, then you are at the right place.