I’ll be the first to admit that I really enjoy a good craft cocktail, dark beer, and well-rounded red wine but I’ve also had a front-row seat to wayward behaviors that have caused tremendous pain and regrets later. I’ve placed myself in situations or conversations that I wish I hadn’t. I’ve said or done things that I’ve later apologized for whether I was the one partaking or was simply caught up in the moment as those around me drank.
We equate alcohol with a good time, but before reaching for that next drink after a long day of work or at a social function, we need to consider a few things…
When you drink, do you let the private details of someone’s life slip out in conversations? If so, that person may lose trust in you and so will the people listening. People may start avoiding sharing their lives with you.
When you drink, do your stuffed emotions come out? Do you say or do things that could damage your relationships? Sometimes this comes out in anger, frustration, pain, or carelessness which is an indicator that something deeper needs addressed (when sober, of course).
When you drink, do you really believe it gives you the courage to have hard conversations? Are you really the active listener the other person needs? Are you able to carefully articulate your wants and needs in the situation or relationship? Are you moving the friendship or situation forward with a game plan, agreements, and accountability?
When you drink, do you remember those meaningful conversations? Do you remember the tender words someone shared with you? Do you remember the tender words you said or the promises you made?
When you drink, are you prone to more high-risk behavior that may impact how safe others feel with you?
If we drink to remember and drink to forget, we may be missing the bigger beauties of life — absorbing moments to their fullest and then later recalling the power of those moments.
Have a two-drink limit if you anticipate the following scenarios…
Difficult discussions. It’s important for all parties to remember what was said and work toward resolution, understanding, or unity.
Tender conversations. It’s so easy to make promises, break promises, or express emotions in a moment that could easily be forgotten or misconstrued by one or both parties later.
Drawing the line with friends, family, children, etc. Set boundaries, address concerns, or discipline kids later when you are most able to be objective and focus on the big picture, not the emotion of the moment.
When you partake in alcohol, remember to keep water and snacks on-hand at all times and keep in mind that when you drink, you are more apt to become less of the amazing person God intended you to be, not more of that person.
When you think, “I need a drink.” consider if you need something else instead such as a hug, a safe friend to vent to, a new job, getting out of that toxic relationship, changing jobs, having that difficult conversation, or finding healthier goals or hobbies.
Consider going dry for several weeks or a couple of months at a time to keep your body and mind healthy and your drinking in check. Consider your friendship circle as well and if they support your choices of going dry for any reason. If they are unsupportive or encourage drinking when you’ve said no, you may need to rethink how much time you spend with these people and not just because of alcohol. Friends that are not able to support your healthy decisions physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually need to be weighed out. We don’t need our friends to agree with us or understand us. We are all free to be ourselves. We do need friends that support our health and growth.
Alcohol will never move you towards your goals financially (it can get expensive!), emotionally, physically, mentally, or spiritually.
What is alcohol truly worth to you?
Is it worth your reputation?
Safety in your car, home, and community?
Are you willing to gamble with your relationships, memories, and health?
And by the way, did you know the following celebrities are sober?
Tom Holland, Nicki Minaj, Bradley Cooper, Miley Cyrus, Brad Pitt, Zac Efron, Blake Lively, Lucy Hale, Tom Hardy, Robert Downey Jr., Jennifer Hudson, Bella Hadid, Lily Allen, John Mayer, Joe Mangeniello, Ben Affleck, Demi Lovato, Daniel Radcliffe, Drew Barrymore, Jessica Simpson, Jada Pinkett Smith, Eva Mendes… And so many more.