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Guest Post From Rory Kinsella creator of the highly-rated “We Meditate To Quit Alcohol” online program.
I’ve used alcohol to relax, I’ve used alcohol to fall asleep and I’ve used it to reduce social anxiety. But what I found after learning to meditate was that I no longer needed alcohol for any of those things.
Listen to the accompanying guided meditation for alcoholism to see how easy meditation can be and how it could help you too. You can do this guided meditation for alcoholism anywhere you can sit down and close your eyes for 15 minutes.
It doesn’t require you to concentrate or clear your mind, and if you’ve struggled with meditation in the past, you might be pleasantly surprised by this technique. Sit comfortably with your back supported but your head and neck free. In the recording, you will be given a mantra that you’ll think silently in your head that will lead you towards inner silence.
Don’t worry when you find yourself thinking – that’s what the mind does. Maintain a passive, nonchalant attitude and return to the mantra. Over time you will have fewer thoughts and experience more inner calm.
My Story With Alcohol
For nearly 25 years, I never went more than a few days without getting drunk. It was partly to escape my overactive mind and partly that I didn’t have the confidence – or even the inclination – to go against what those around me were doing.
I spent my 20s in and around the music industry where drunkenness wasn’t just accepted, it was promoted and often even rewarded. It came to a head for me in my mid-30s when I had what I call my early midlife crisis.
Alcohol was no longer doing what it used to – I’d be drunk but still have a head full of worries. I realized I didn’t want to wake up as a 50-year-old party monster.
So I quit smoking as I wasn’t yet ready to give up drinking and started looking for other ways to relax and let off steam, which is when I found meditation for alcoholism.
Managing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors through meditation
After learning to meditate, so much changed for me so quickly. With a way to cope with my overactive mind, I found I spent less time endlessly speculating about the future which reduced my stress and anxiety levels.
I felt happier and more comfortable in my skin without the straitjacket of stress pinning me in. And without the stress, I found it much easier to manage my behaviors.
The way I describe it is that I became less “needy”. While before I used to look for external stimulants to fulfill me, I found fulfillment had been sitting there on the inside the whole time waiting to be uncovered.
I was less needy for alcohol but also less needy for other people’s approval, which meant I found it easier to say no when people offered me drinks or complained when I said no.
Coping With Alcohol Urges
I found that any urges I had were greatly reduced. Having trained my self day in, day out to let go of my thoughts during meditation for alcoholism, it was much easier to let go of urges around drinking. I knew my thoughts weren’t me and I didn’t have to act on everyone that I had. I knew I had a choice.
As the psychiatrist, Viktor Frankl says, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
This became more and more true for me and meditation for alcoholism allowed that space to get wider and wider until I could walk through it whenever I wanted.
Alcoholism and Life Balance
Without alcohol, my social life initially suffered as I didn’t want to be around temptation. But I soon learned to find balance. If I wanted to see a group of friends I could suggest going for lunch or another activity where alcohol wouldn’t be the main focus.
Without one or two days a week written off with a hangover, I also found I had so much more time on my hands to genuinely relax. With 50-100 extra non-ruined weekend days, I had time to rediscover all my old hobbies and interests, like playing music.
Moderation vs Abstinence
This was a no-brainer for me. Once I’d decided that alcohol was a bad influence on me and had to go, there was no thought of trying to moderate.
I knew it would be much harder to manage than going all in. When I’d tried it before, I wasn’t able to say no to my friends. When they knew I didn’t drink at all, there would be no pressure but if I said I was only having a couple of drinks that was like an open invitation to try their hardest to turn that couple into a dozen.
Meditation for alcoholism was so powerful for me that I soon learned to teach it to help other people like me reduce their reliance on alcohol. And I’ve proudly not had a drink since December 2017.
About Rory Kinsella
Rory Kinsella is a writer and Vedic Meditation teacher based in Sydney, Australia.
A former hard-drinking musician and journalist, he quit alcohol in 2017 and has written widely about his experiences.
He is the creator of the highly-rated meditation for alcoholism course “We Meditate To Quit Alcohol” online program which has helped hundreds of people around the world change their relationship with alcohol.
He is a podcast host and has contributed meditations to Insight Timer and Meditation Studio apps.