Alcohol and identity: willingness to change

A big part of our personal identity is tied up with our drinking habits.

Partly because culturally drinking is a big part of our history and conversation, but also because when we drink more than we want, we find ways of normalising our drinking behaviours and embedding them in our identity.

The good news is that our personal identity is forever evolving. An individual may have a self image in later life that is vastly different from their self image in their teens.

I believe that a key part of changing your drinking habits is changing your self-identity, getting rid of past ideas and beliefs about alcohol, and deciding on who it is you want to be in the near future.

I had ideas, beliefs, motivations, and behaviours that were influenced by my long association with alcohol, and also because of my underlying embarrassment of my drinking behaviours.

I also found myself in a job that affected my personal identity and made me miserable. Which in turn led to me making drinking a more important part of my life. I did not manage to quit drinking until I moved away from that job, and created a new professional identity.

Ideas and beliefs about alcohol

Some of these ideas and beliefs may be familiar to you:

Change takes a willingness to review your identity

Drinking not only affects how you view the world, but also how you see yourself. When you take the alcohol away it can leave a hole in your life.

You need to let go of your old identity to really change your drinking for good. They say a dry drunk is someone who has not let go of an old identity, and so is continually resisting alcohol. Club Soda members are seeking a freedom from both the substance, and the need for and the thoughts of drinking. So embracing a new you is important – and takes some work.

Your drinking identity is likely to be so ingrained that you will need to actively seek to escape it. The following actions make this more likely to happen:

For everything we feel we may lose when we change our drinking we can gain twice as much.

The future you is an amazing person – so stop putting off meeting them.

You can watch Laura’s webinar on these topics below.

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