Is it possible to become an occasional drinker again? Can I ever become a normal drinker again or have I actually crossed the line to where drinking is now over forever?
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Can I Become An Occasional Drinker?
This is an important question and we must start at the beginning to answer it. What was it like when you were an occasional drinker? When you were just drinking on occasion - a glass of wine maybe twice a month? You weren't thinking about it very much and it wasn’t an important part of your life. You absolutely weren't using it on a daily basis to zone out which is in effect self-medicating.
The Slippery Slope
Things get tricky with alcohol when people start drinking socially but then begin using alcohol to relieve stress or to deal with things in their life. As our lives becomes more stressful you find there’s always a reason to drink and there's always something stressful around the corner. Suddenly you develop an addiction which can make the quest to become an occasional drinker a challenge.
In my life freedom comes from not wanting to drink. It’s about going back to not needing alcohol to have a good time – to dance, to laugh, to have fun - and freedom comes from not needing it and not wanting it. Freedom comes from doing all the work and the research to fill the places that I was self-medicating with alcohol with other things. Exercise, meditation, getting enough sleep, reading, self care - I've become this whole happy person without drinking. I'm not using alcohol to do it –I’m not self medicating with and addictive substance and I’m not numbing the symptoms.
Getting to know yourself, getting to understand why you're drinking in the first place and addressing those issues in a very mindful way that takes a significant amount of work.
Then moving forward into this life where alcohol does become irrelevant because you can't become an occasional drinker when you're using alcohol to self-medicate. If the alcohol is that important to you where you're using it for medicine, occasional drinking won’t work.
My minimum recommendation is that you need to go through an entire calendar year. You need to be able to commit to a year where you can experience every single calendar event from birthdays to holidays and see how it is without alcohol. The year will give you enough time to really get beyond self-medication. It's going to give you enough time to really learn how to self-care. Self-care for your body-exercise and nutrition which are natural ways to deal with anxiety and depression. These are things that you can just start to take advantage of right now. It's going to teach you how to regulate and deal with your own emotions without the crutch of alcohol. Something you'll never learn to do if you are continuously drinking to numb your emotions because if you don't feel them you're never going to know how to deal with them.
In The End
In closing, if it’s important to you right now then yes - it's a possibility to become an occasional drinker again. If that helps you get through the first 30 days or the first year recognize it as fear and put that fear away by saying yes . You need to understand having an occasional glass of wine and caring about alcohol little enough to only have an occasional glass of wine is a very different place than drinking every night to zone out.