BREAKING FREE FROM ALCOHOL

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Freedom From Psychological Slavery

We each have our own unique reasons for wanting to end our relationship with alcohol. When we take an honest inventory, we can see how alcohol has drained our health, our relationships, our productivity, and our dreams. Yet, what many do not realize at first is how much real estate alcohol occupies in our minds.

Imagine walking with a heavy pack of rocks–everywhere you go. Thinking of alcohol, making promises to never drink alcohol again, plotting countless ways to make alcohol work (ex: “only one,” “only after 5 p.m”, or “only on the weekends”), planning the next drink, mulling over what you said or did the night before (or wondering what happened since you blacked out!), time spent wishing away a hangover, then planning your next drink yet again… This obsessive bag of rocks drags you down, making every step a struggle. Instead of living in gratitude and excitement as life unfolds to your purpose, this bag of rocks is overwhelming and negatively affecting the journey. Strangely, we get used to it, though, as if it was a normal and inevitable part of life.  Our brains and neural transmitters adapt as if this is normal and we have a difficult time seeing a path that is different from the one we are in right now.

Imagine the opposite now, a new path. When you are finally able to release yourself from the psychological slavery of alcohol, you literally experience a tremendous feeling of relief, lightness, and freedom. Overwhelm shifts into well-being.Releasing alcohol from our lives is an incredible liberation. One of the main reasons people want to remain free of alcohol for the rest of their lives is because of this beautiful sense of freedom they now experience: the freedom to live each day fully, authentically, and with newfound energy to give their best to their relationships, careers, goals, and dreams. Although fear of the unknown can often hold us back from taking that initial leap of faith, going alcohol free is truly a life changer. In fact, a common response when asked about going alcohol free is, “It’s the best thing I ever did for myself” or “I wish I had done it decades ago.” 

Here are a few other benefits of freedom from ending the psychological slavery of alcohol:

  • REGAINING CONTROL: Regaining control of our lives is empowering and uplifting (it’s an amazing feeling!). When we are drinking, alcohol preoccupies the majority of our thoughts and wants to be in full control. The best part of kicking this habit to the curb is that we take our power back. No more puppet masters pulling the strings. The rituals, the cravings, the mental obsession, and the way this habit eclipsed all the other more important areas of our lives is finally over. We have the power to step into the driver’s seat. Instead of responding to the demands of a substance, this freedom allows us to make decisions that are in alignment with God’s greatest purpose for us, guided by our true values and true intentions.
  • REDISCOVERING OURSELVES: It’s a little dark to consider, but the reality is that our true self often gets buried under the spell of this addictive habit. We get caught in a loop of altered behaviors and coping mechanisms. When we remove alcohol from our lives, suddenly we have more time on our hands that we need to intentionally fill. Who we are and what we want in life (values, goals, etc.) can direct the ways we fill that time. We can peel back the layers of junk that once occupied our time and instead uncover our authentic selves. Starting with a hobby we always wanted to try is a great place to start (ex: cooking, gardening, playing guitar) or a goal (ex: lose 10 pounds, finish a half marathon, learn a language), or a value (ex: spend time with family more, focus on happiness more over career). This can be one of the most exciting parts of freedom from alcohol. It’s like meeting a long-lost friend, a dear companion you have lost touch with. As you embrace your genuine self, the one God created you to be, the world gains color, and life becomes a canvas for you to paint with the hues of your true personality.
  • REBUILDING RELATIONSHIPS: Unfortunately, many drinkers isolate or spend time with others because they also like to drink. Other important relationships have suffered as a result. When we finally release ourselves from the psychological slavery of alcohol, the fog clears and we can plainly see how the roller coaster of alcohol had left behind a trail of broken connections. As we continue to move on from alcohol, we open the door to genuine connections with others. The people around us start to observe the awesome changes happening in and around us, and our interactions become more authentic. The great news is that healthy relationships create a source of joy, connection, and inspiration, which replaces the isolation that often accompanied a former alcohol habit. Moving on from this negative habit not only offers us a chance to mend those bonds and rebuild trust with others, but it also helps rebuild the relationships with ourselves. When we break the bond with alcohol, we are finally fulfilling our promises to others and God and we can start believing that God really does have a better plan for our lives.  We just needed to get out of the way. The result is a massive increase in feelings of self-worth and self-confidence. We look into the mirror and see ourselves as God see us.  We see someone with integrity staring back at us, which is incredibly transformative!   Shame and guilt dissipate as we experience forgiveness of our past transgressions and see a future that is filled with possibilities as we follow Him.
  • RECONNECTING WITH GOD: When it comes to relationships, one connection certainly suffered when we were entirely preoccupied with wanting alcohol, wanting to get away from alcohol, hating and desiring alcohol, planning when we could drink alcohol, and planning all the ways we could escape from alcohol. One common theme took center stage: alcohol. It became our idol and master.   In Matthew 6:24 (NIV), Jesus reminds us that 24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” We can merely substitute the word “money” with “alcohol” to see that we were serving one master over another. No wonder we were so miserable! When we invite God in and say goodbye to alcohol, we start restoring the most important relationship of all. As alcohol drifts into the background and disappears, our connection to God blossoms exponentially. We start realizing that God had a plan for us all along, and we start following Him and trusting Him on this transformational journey!

Regaining our power back, rediscovering our authentic selves, rebuilding our relationships, and reconnecting with God are just a few of the incredible rewards awaiting all of us as we put alcohol aside. Releasing ourselves from the psychological slavery of drinking is a major step that offers even more, far-reaching consequences: better overall physical health, improved fitness, better weight management, stress reduction, greater productivity, increased mental clarity, higher energy levels, improved coping skills (less roller coaster emotions!), peace and joy despite circumstances and much more! These are the rich promises awaiting you just around the corner of alcohol free living.

Although fear of the unknown can hold us back, the benefits of going alcohol-free are impossible to ignore. In fact, you can get off that roller coaster today. You can discover the incredible peace and inspiration that freedom from psychological slavery offers, and you can take that pack of rocks off right now. Matthew 11:28 (NIV) reminds us that God is waiting for that moment when we have had enough, and that He can take that pack of rocks off — “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

We just need to take that first step.

If you are having difficulties staying the course alcohol free, check out the Choose Alcohol-Free Program at https://theplanshehasforme.com/individual/.   This program, in combination with using the daily devotional will help you stay the course by delivering the 12 most important biblically-based concepts for alcohol freedom.