August 20, 2017
The Myth of “Cutting Back”
“Cutting back” on things is something I have been trying to do my entire life, whether it’s drinking, eating, watching tv or doing other things that waste my time or negatively impact my health. I realized today that “cutting back” like so many lofty goals is always something I plan to do tomorrow. As in “Tomorrow, I’ll start my diet” or “After tonight, I will restrict myself to drinking two drinks a day, no more than three days a week.” It always seems to be a very promising prospect at the moment, but then tomorrow never comes so these plans inevitably get pushed further and further in the future.
I tried to cut back on my alcohol use and associate it with rules. But that did not work for me for one reason or another, mainly because after two cold beers on a hot Saturday afternoon, it was hard for me to say no to a third, no matter what the rule said. If people know you drink, they do not hesitate to encourage you to drink more. Because you/they are just breaking a rule, not violating a principle.
To change, I need to focus on what I am doing now, not tomorrow.
It’s Day 5. I’m catching up on housework and getting ready to go back to work tomorrow. Still no alcohol and still feeling good, although part of me wants to rebel, a part of me that says, “You’ve gone five days without an issue, so maybe there is no issue and alcohol can be a part of your healthy life. Maybe you are overreacting by giving up alcohol for a year.” But I am staying strong. This is a commitment I have made and I am going to do my best to keep it.
Thank you for reading.