The relapse – why am I still drinking?

It was only yesterday I was confused about my relationship with alcohol. I thought we could be casual, I thought having a relationship with you could be on my terms but I have quickly realised this is not possible. The worst is you make me hurt other people and hurt myself. You aren’t my friend, you are secretly trying to ruin me…

Well I just read that and it sounds, dramatic. To be honest some people are probably thinking, here we go again… The fact is I need to stop bullshitting myself and realise I can’t do moderation. If I’m feeling guilty for drinking, it is my intuition telling me I shouldn’t drink. I am not going to remind myself about the shitty things I do when I drink or how crap alcohol makes me feel. I know consciously I do not want to drink so subconscious please wake the fuck up!

Going into summer has been a massive trigger for me, the balmy nights, colourful cold cocktails, loud tropical beats and a social scene that is always on. It’s exciting and I crave the thrill of that buzz you get drunk on a night out, it’s exhilarating fun! For a lot of people they can have a few drinks and call the night at a decent hour but for me I need to keep on having fun until I am the last one standing and things aren’t usually as fun anymore, they are just weird. The problem is over the years I have upped my threshold of fun which means regular activities like going to the movies, socialising sober or going for walk are not as fun.

I have been listening to a podcast, ‘This Naked Mind by Annie Grace.’ One of her regular podcasts is ‘Questions with Scott Pinyard’. In episode 221 Scott speaks about people’s fun threshold and how we have upped it so high that it can only be done with artificial substances. This hits the nail on the head, I remember when I use to get a buzz from hanging out with my friends sober. Then I was introduced to alcohol and going out sober was never as fun. A few years later I started experimenting with party drugs and almost instantly I required drugs and alcohol to have a fun night out. I had without thinking rewired my fun threshold in my brain.

Scientifically this fun threshold is the brain’s reward system, the place where dopamine, a chemical messenger, is released and creates pleasure and reward. Guess what, my brain is amazing and did this naturally but I chose to fuck the whole system up. Now my brain needs large amounts of dopamine for an amazing fun time, which can only be done with alcohol and drugs. The good news is the brain is powerful and does more than just create pleasure. My mission is to rewire my brain by creating new thrills, trying to bring down that fun threshold by keeping myself distracted with challenges and new activities. Using tools such as meditation and being more mindful can help quieten down the brain’s craving for reward and hopefully I can be at peace with no alcohol.

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