How to Break the Friday Night Drinking Ritual
For everyone who has a habit that is tied to a time, or a day, or an event it's predictable. Predictibility means that you can work out a plan to break it and once you've broken that habit just one time , you are immediately much, much stronger. If you're a weekend binger or even have a routine of drinking too much most nights, breaking the habit of reaching for a drink at 5pm is the first step to getting your life back .
Now the Friday evening yehaaa! is so common it's probably generic amongst all boozers. But it can be tied to other triggers like a stressy commute home or "ohhhh I've worked so hard this week". I used this a lot and it wasn't really true so look out for you telling whoppers to YOU.
In order to break the ritual you need a plan or at least some pointers as to what to do when the booze hour hits.
When you get a craving it can be powerful, quick and painful. Especially when you first stop drinking, it can feel like a compulsion. These cravings to a degree come at fairly predictable times (for me it was at least 5 times a week – weekdays 4pm, weekends more like 1pm). So to head off what we delightfully call the fuck it switch you can eat, distract, relax AND you can have an HONEST conversation with yourself about why you wanted to stop in the first place.
This is where, just taking 5 minutes or so to check in with yourself can make the difference between making a decision that makes your feel high as a kite the next morning, or one that makes your feel like an utter and complete sack of shit:
Generally in my on-line community ( https://boozemusingscommunity.ning.com/BoomBlog ) we don’t advocate giving yourself a bad time, but this is the time to recall how AWFUL drinking made you feel mentally, emotionally and physically.
Sweaty body and bloat.
Worrying that others could smell old booze on you.
It isolated you.
You hurt yourself.
You were ‘absent’ from those that are dear to you.
It made you lazy.
It made you feel guilty.
It screwed your memory.
You had sex with someone you shouldn’t have.
You made bad decisions.
You gossiped inappropriately.
You hurt someones feeling.
Spent money you didn’t have.
Cancelled because you want to get drunk.
You worked so hard to get this far.
Constipation or the poopers.
Obsessed about having enough and whether others were getting your share.
and it goes on.....
The Fuck it Switch can also be much more sneaky than described above, especially when you have some time AF under your belt, it kind of takes on a highjacking strategy – just to be aware.
Again once you have broken through this the drinker in you may want to celebrate by getting hammered. If you can master that you will be hugely more resilient by the time you get to Sunday. On Sunday we’ll think about where we go from here.
Just have a think about how best to deal with Friday, should you;
Tell yourself that this Friday is the day you break this habit once NO MATTER WHAT;
Eat something before the wine hour; https://boozemusingscommunity.ning.com/BoomBlog/eat-first-by-brandnewstart
Log on to BOOM https://www.boozemusings.com/ , post and read and post and read – you have a LOT of supporters there who have your back; https://boozemusingscommunity.ning.com/BoomBlog/why-do-we-just-fall-over...
Keep busy or relax;
Do the housework or go to the cinema;
Take a detoxifying Epsom salts bath;
Go to bed early;
Avoid the shops;
Meditate, do yoga or have chill out music on;
Ask your family to treat you gently for the time being;
Take a day off work;
Treat yourself Saturday for a good job done;
Promise to sit any cravings out (they should piss off after about 2 hours);
Post on BOOM (https://boozemusingscommunity.ning.com/blog ) if you experience the ‘fk it switch’ and wait for a response;
Don’t give drinking on Friday that much importance – You are Just Not Doing it TONIGHT .
What is likely to be your biggest trigger on Friday? Will it be stress or boredom related? These triggers will be given a good deal of fire with hunger so you MUST eat well on Friday – Friday is your day for comfort food (worry about healthy eating in the coming weeks/months).
What can you do to alleviate stress?
It is highly likely you are manufacturing stress to build up the hype to allow yourself to drink. The body can be fooled quite easily into a stress response. Focussing on breathing can bring you back to a more grounded place. Check out meditation, 2 7 8 breathing or acupuncture . There are loads of techniques out there depending on how much time or money you have – 2 7 8 breathing grounds you within 30 seconds and is free and easy!!!
Chill out music works, leave work a little early if possible, organize a takeaway, leave the housework and have a stash or Netflix.
Again you might be ramping this up to legitimize drinking so plan an evening of gentle but interesting activities. Check out ted talks by Gabor Mate and Mark Lewis https://boozemusingscommunity.ning.com/tool-box/VideosDocumentaries – these are majorly interesting and will raise your awareness of why you got into this mess and how what you are doing this Friday is a game changer.
My advice would be to not go anywhere near shops after say 1pm (actually I had this rule in place every day for about 4 months – it works – simple ‘bright line’ rules where there is no wiggle room work).
Remember If you've decided to join in the discussion no matter where you are in your efforts to change your relationship with alcohol, you are here and you are trying and that is epic.You are here amongst like-minded people that can help you in some shape or form move forward.
Compared to the amount of time it took up to get into all this trouble, getting out of this shit is bloody quick.
No matter what challenges lie ahead as long as you remain committed and engage here you will get through.
Beeeeeg huuuuugs and love xxxx
Clare1 is a member of the BoozemusingsCommunity and a happily three year sober, single mom. You can read more posts by her in THE FIX https://www.thefix.com/living-sober/how-i-became-and-remain-motivated-an... and talk to her in BOOM.
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