Why language is so important

Today I’d like to tell you a story.  It’s about the way I choose my language around my alcohol free life.  I had committed to one year alcohol free and I was clear on my reasons why I wanted to do it but something was bothering me.

I’d shifted my start date from 1st Jan into December and that was in part because I didn’t want it to be a news years eve resolution.  I also didn’t want my year to be a goal or a challenge – these words feel to me like something to strive for or endure and, God knows, I cannot live in the strive or endure zone for longer than about 20 minutes let alone a year…so what would be better?

Hmmmm a trial, a campaign, an undertaking, an experience… nope not quite.

What about an adventure or a life experiment? Yep, either of those sounded like a good fit it says medium term, full of possibility, potentially fun and slightly outside my comfort zone.

So armed with the why the how long and the language of a 365 day little life experiment I was ready to start.

The first time I had really known I was going to come to this point was in June 2017, it took me 2 and a half years to be ready to move it forward and in that time I struggled over and over with the ideas about why stopping drinking would be stressful, lonely or boring

So the second decision I made around language was not to say I wasn’t drinking.  Now a lot of what I’m about to say is semantics but hang in there!

I choose to be alcohol free as a little life experiment sounds so much better to my brain than I’m not drinking

My brain likes the idea of a choice prefers alcohol free to not drinking (cos I’m am drinking lots of other drinks) and adding in the reason why gives my brain a cute reminder every time I say it

Even though I am well over my 365 day life experiment now I continue to choose to be alcohol free for the time being

I cannot see myself ever saying I’m never drinking again because my brain got used to that being a lie all the many times I said it between the ages of 15 and 41 PS I believe in you