The Wine Witch. Most of us have met her and fallen foul to her spells. She’s that voice inside your head that lures you into drinking, and usually when your trying to abstain. Happy, sad, bored or angry – you never quite know when the wine witch may strike.
She will whisper words like ‘Go on, you deserve a glass of wine. The kids have been a nightmare all day, you need to relax’ and haven’t we all heard her say ‘one more glass wont hurt’ Sound Familiar? At first the voice is barely noticeable, little more than a whisper. But the minute you try to do something like give up drinking she starts to shout!
We all react to external triggers, things in our environment – they could be situations, places, people, time of day. Over years we have learnt to associate some of these with drinking or the opportunity to drink. Say that usually you open a bottle of wine when the kids go to bed at 7.30. Even if you are not drinking, once 7.30 rolls around you may find yourself craving wine.
THE CALL OF THE WITCH
When I was drinking, the wine witch would cast her spell of entrapment every night. These are the sorts of things she would scream at me.
- You had a stressful day at work, if you don’t have a drink you won’t sleep
- You landed a big deal today, lets celebrate
- Have you got another bottle in the fridge, just incase one isn’t enough?
- Everyone drinks, so why are you worrying?
- You don’t have to drive in the morning so don’t worry
- You can stop at one, don’t worry about it
The internal narrative between you and the witch will be unique to you. When dealing with the Witch, what helped me was to identify my internal and External Triggers. Once you have identified them you are able to make a plan which will stop her endless chatter. You can read more on Internal and External triggers here
WAYS TO DEFEAT THE WINE WITCH
Here are some strategies to help you defeat the Wine Witch
- Visualize your enemy. Give the witch a face. When she calls look at the witch and imagine her voice slowly getting quieter and quieter and tell her. ‘I don’t drink. I’m happy content and confident. Life is good. I don’t drink’. Affirmations are powerful, repeated use will yield great results.
- Identify your triggers. Once you have identified your triggers you can make a plan. If the Wine Witch calls at 5pm when you usually pour yourself a large glass you need to get busy. If you are active and distracted her voice wont be so loud, and over time won’t be there at all.
- If places like pubs and bars are your trigger you may want to avoid them a little while until you are a bit further into alcohol free living. Try finding alternative places to enjoy socials with friends that doesn’t involve trigger hot spots.
- Recognise that what she whispers in your ear absolutely doesn’t serve you. She is just trying to sabotage your sobriety because she is scared you will leave her.
Remember it takes a while to defeat the Wine Witch. It doesn’t happen over night but every day you battle her she gets a little weaker.