I have a friend who gets hyper-motivated once he reaches a certain point of drunkenness. He starts talking about his plans and goals that he is going to accomplish and gets excited. This all fades away the next day when he sobers up though. Does this happen to you?
This doesn’t happen to everyone but it is still fairly common. You get that rush of motivational energy and your dreams and goals start to seem possible for the first time. You get so excited that you start telling everyone what you will accomplish. But the feeling is temporary. You might not even remember what you said the next day. You wonder, “why do I get motivated when I drink?”
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Drinking makes me motivated
It may feel like drinking makes you motivated but is it real motivation? Usually, it is not. The feeling is very real but it is just the result of the alcohol intake. It actually messes with your brain chemistry and hormones, giving you a temporary burst of mental energy. But this is just false motivation. It doesn’t linger and become useful. It fades as you become sober.
Drinking removes inhibitions which then causes you to care less about the possibility of failing. When you are sober, your brain is more likely to think about the chances of failure which can then lower your motivation to actually try to accomplish your goals.
Whether your brain is assessing the chance of failure accurately or not when sober isn’t the point right now. The point is that when your brain is hindered by drinking it gives you false hope and energy which will quickly fade once you sober. It temporarily blinds your logic about the goals you want to work on.
Does alcohol make you more motivated?
Even though it may feel like real motivation, it is only a fleeting fake motivation that will not last. At the moment it does feel real but once the alcohol is processed, the feeling goes along with it.
Some people use this temporary boost of dopamine as an excuse to drink more often. They hope that eventually the temporary feeling of motivation will finally last and become permanent, but it never does. It is only an excuse they make so that they can fool themselves into thinking that alcohol consumption has a positive effect.
I used to get the same feeling back when I was a heavy drinker. There was a feeling of power like I could accomplish anything I wanted to. All my business ideas seemed so easy and I imagined that I would have unlimited energy while working on them. I envisioned myself being more active and going to the gym to exercise more often without any hesitation. It all seemed so easy in my mind.
But the next day during the hangover, I didn’t even think about all the thoughts I had the night before. It’s like those thoughts weren’t even real. But they felt real while the alcohol was in charge of my brain. This led to me being lazy and feeling like a loser since I had that glimpse of what living my best life would look like.
This led my mind into some dark spots and I felt like a failure. Drinking was a crutch for me and that was part of the reason I was drawn back to drinking every day. I had no motivation to stay sober because the only motivation I felt was the magical world my mind created when it was under the influence of alcohol.
How I quit drinking alcohol
The pain from reality setting in while hungover was too much to bear. I didn’t want to face it so I drank more often just to hide the pain of feeling like a failure. My impaired thinking kept me trapped in this loop of drinking, then feeling bad, then drinking to try to feel better, and repeat. It was a habit that I didn’t know how to break at the time.
I didn’t have any faith in AA. They do help a few people but most people end up failing and returning to alcohol use eventually when they follow their teachings. And I didn’t like the religious cult-like feel AA had. All that higher power and being helpless to stop drinking by yourself talk seems wrong to me. It paints you as a weak, helpless victim. They tell you that alcoholism will always be a part of your life and that you can’t escape it. There will always be tough times where you will struggle to not drink. To me, that sounds like a life full of depression, anxiety, and tension. That mindset doesn’t gel with me at all.
So I had to find another way to fix my problem. I went online and did tons of research. The method I decided on was simple and it had great reviews. Time after time while doing my research I kept seeing the same name, Allen Carr.
Allen Carr is probably best known for his Easy Way to Stop Smoking book. I actually read this book a long time ago to quit my smoking addiction and it was indeed easy. But that’s a story for a different post.
I didn’t know he also had a book for quitting drinking. Since I had already used his quit smoking book and it worked for me, it didn’t take much convincing for me to try his Quit Drinking Without Willpower book. I bought both the paperback and the audiobook version because I desperately wanted to fix this problem.
You don’t need both. It may have been overkill but I wanted to be sure. If you are wanting to quit, just pick whichever one you prefer and read or listen to it.
You can read/listen to the book at your own pace. I went through it in about two weeks but you can go faster or slower if you like. By the end, you have your last drink and then become a nondrinker. It’s a strange feeling and I don’t understand exactly how his method works but he removes your desire to drink.
I didn’t want to drink anymore after finishing the book. The alcohol cravings (not even really cravings) were probably a 2/10 for intensity. It was minimal. I think it was more adjusting to the lifestyle change and getting used to not drinking when I used to. But this faded quickly. Within a few weeks after quitting, drinking rarely even popped into my mind. And when it did, it wasn’t a feeling of longing or missing out. It was more a reminder that I was now a nondrinker and completely comfortable and happy about that fact.
His method does work. You can do your own research if you like. You’ll see how so many people point to Allen Carr and you can read the success stories too.
You’ve been taught to believe that it is hard to quit drinking but that is only because most people try to do it the hard way. They are using the wrong tool for the job and so many people fail because of that.
Regaining your sober motivation, true motivation
After you quit drinking, your mind can heal and you can experience real motivation again. It may not be as intense as the false motivation you felt before but it is the real thing this time and it can be used to bring you toward the life you want. Even if you have to start with smaller goals, at least they will be real and something that you can reach.
Would you rather have a comforting lie or an unpleasant truth? I will take the unpleasant truth every time.
If you are ready to quit drinking and reclaim your life, check out the book or audiobook.