Day Two of the TAE focuses on what I will call, “Positive mental outlook,” also the power of self-talk. It’s a two-pronged lesson. BOTH invaluable.
With the mental outlook side, Annie says that if you go into this one-month alcohol-free experiment with a negative attitude, if you tell yourself that it’s going to essentially suck, then it will suck. Our thoughts hold so much power over us. They really do. Annie shared findings from the research on this topic, and it was incredible. I won’t go into all the data, I won’t steal Annie’s thunder, but let me just say that if you truly believe something, if you make a snap judgement without giving it much examination, then this belief will affect your actions, affect you, physically. It’ll become hard to change. BUT! If you leave yourself open, leave yourself curious and allow yourself to put a positive spin on the thought, if you tell yourself that the outcome will be good, then your chances of being just that go up exponentially. Wow.
So, bringing this back to me and where I stand today, I am reworking my thoughts on this TAE, where I feel this twenty-one-day break (hopefully a month) from alcohol will take me. How I will DO during the set time period. Instead of worrying in my head that: I can’t do this. It’s going to be so hard. It’s going to be so boring; I’m not going to have any fun. My life will be put on pause, I will only be looking towards the end when I can be done. I’m going to change this negative thinking and say instead: I CAN do this. I’ve completed a month before, and I’ve felt great, physically, mentally, and emotionally during that break. I WILL have fun because I will be fully present for every activity, every party, everything we have going on in our social lives during this time period. My life will not stop just because I’ve put down the bottle; in fact, I will have more energy, a clearer head, and a great attitude in facing every day I wake up sober.
The second part of the lesson–on the power of self-talk–Annie homes in on the words we actually say to ourselves, how more often than not, we are prone to speak cruelly, NOT how we would speak to a friend or family member. When we tell ourselves something negative, we tend to then believe it. Back to the whole “power” of them. So, it is important, so very important, to speak kindly to ourselves. To forgive ourselves. To learn to let go, but then also learn to use positive affirmations, to push away the mean, untruthful words and replace them with those that will serve us better. I know I am definitely guilty of doing this. The stuff I say to myself, especially in the middle-of-the-night after a boozy evening–it’s just the worst. It’s a music track set on repeat: “You’re a horrible mother. You’re a bad wife. Daughter. Neice. Sister. Aunt. Co-worker. Friend. Christian. You could be doing better. You are a failure. YOU ARE A FAILURE!”
Yep, lots for me to work on here. My hope is that the more days I can put behind me without the alcohol, the more I can believe in my worth, the more I can look at myself in a more positive light. I just have to keep at it, not give up. Keep showing UP and doing the lessons.
And always, always lean on God.