THE BLOG

Starting With a Stop Is F*cking Up Your Sobriety

07/07/2014 16:31 BST | Updated 05/09/2014 10:59 BST

I'm going to stop this time.

It's Monday. Which for a lot of people means at the worst a mild case of sadness that the weekend is over and work starts again.

Not if you are struggling over sobriety.

It's over now. For good.

For you it's the morning where self-loathing kicks in yet again. The feeling of squandering yet another weekend, f*cking up by doing sh*t you promised yourself you wouldn't do. You even meant it this time when you said it.

I'm never doing it again.

You've had the confessional already. Purged yourself by writing in your diary or posting on your online sobriety forum of choice. Now you just have to sit with the feelings of self-hatred until they dissipate enough for you to function. or maybe not. Maybe you feel like if you hate yourself enough you can prevent yourself from coming back to this place.

I am done.

Before you carry on yet again down this familiar well-trodden path, it may be worth asking yourself this: What the hell is actually logical about Starting something with a Stop?

If you are planning a journey-do you get in your car and keep the keys in your hand? If your boss asks you to complete a task-do you switch off your computer? Would anything get done if you did?

I am stopping drinking today.

Life is about forward momentum. Forward momentum is action-oriented. All life. Sobriety included. If your sobriety plan consists of cutting things out? Of course it can't work. It goes entirely against all natural instincts.

Starting feels good. We are all natural starters. Stopping might be something that we can practise ourselves into given enough time-but it never feels right. More than that; it's stopping that got us into the throes of alcohol abuse in the first place. Refusing to move forward with the rest of the world. Not developing the tools to live a happy forward moving life.

Drinking is the only real form of stopping. If people know how to live a great life? Then they don't need to drink, they just do it as and when it's appropriate. If we have a need to drink? Then it's because we want to stop. Stop communicating with people. Stop emotions. Stop looking at the outside world.

Stop really living.

To try and fix this stopping problem by cutting down life to make it even smaller is nonsensical. You don't mend having a problem with chronic stopping by stopping even more.

If you abuse alcohol? Then your main problem lies in an inability to start. rectify that and you are well on your way. Start making plans. Start filling your days up. Start teaching yourself how to think in a way that serves you.

So do me a favour. Rip that last diary entry out. Go to your online forum post and delete it. Stop the conversations you are having about stopping.

Start living your Monday like it's the biggest, newest day you've ever had. Stop using the word stop. You won't be needing it anymore.

START NOW.