Challenge 1 overcome!
I’m sat here on a Saturday night blogging. Never thought i’d find myself saying that!
Anyway, Today was the day i thought would be the biggest challenge. I went to watch Man City vs Burnley. Away days in the FA cup! This day was potentially loaded with neurological associations. Years and years of going on huge drinking sessions and watching the game in a haze at whatever ground they were playing at. Leaving my seat 10 mins before half time to queue for handfuls of beers to see us through till the second half. Then spending the majority of the second half waiting for the game to finish so we just get on with drinking. Proper fan.
So today was always going to be loaded with neurological associations, potential traps and triggers, excuses to buckle.
I had a couple of moments where the pull of alcohol crept up. And being hyper mindful of them currently, i recognized a couple of these associations.
- Setting off – Normally, before setting off for football or days out with drinkers, a drink is on the cards. The first beer of the day is the tone setter. I actually felt a strong urge to open a beer. Instead opted for a pint of water and focused on what i’m trying to achieve. It was like mental ping pong. Luckily I won.
- Seeing a pub – Obvious associations with seeing a pub. A cold pint of devils juice was awaiting and i had a pocket full of cash.
- Approaching the group – I wasn’t feeling particularly sharp or witty, feeling a bit tired after my run. I felt lowish on confidence and the thought of smashing 2 or 3 beers to get on the ‘crest of the wave’ crossed my mind. Its what i would have normally done. I countered that by just telling myself that what i’m doing is bigger than any man sinking beers to build confidence. It worked.
Generally though i will say that i found it far easier than i thought. And it was so refreshing! I actually watched the whole game.
There is a part of the brain called the RAS (reticulation activation system). This is the part that seeks out what is familiar. ie when you buy a new car, you magically start noticing the exact same cars everywhere. It is responsible for the law of attraction.
Today my RAS was a big friend of mine. I saw the game from a whole new perspective. I didn’t realise how many people actually drink tea and coffee at the football. How many children and families were there. How being sober didnt mean you weren’t being a football fan. In the past I was convinced that EVERY person at the game was as drunk as i was. Definitely not the case. Dont get me wrong there is a huge drinking culture, but being alcohol free is not a huge minority. What a relief!
I saved money!
I came home sober and fresh!
I watched the whole game!
I enjoyed it!
As i was walking home it made me realise what a haze ive been in, like i’ve just woken from a semi conscious 20 year sleep. The challenge of today turned out to be an opportunity to wake up.
My team might have lost, but I definately took a victory home with me.