Let's talk about 'the voice'. No, not the TV show - the one in your head trying to convince you to drink. The one that whispers sweet nothings when you're vulnerable and promises alcohol will make things better. The one that tells you you're boring for not drinking, that everyone is judging you, that everyone else is having a Great! Fun! Time! while you are a sad sober loser.
That nasty, lying, conniving voice. Otherwise known as your inner addict. The part of your brain that wants you to keep imbibing alcohol to feed the addiction. Wolfie. The Wine Witch. The Beast. IT. Trevor. Whatever you want to call it, however you want to look at it, it's your inner addict.
Recognising that voice for what it (addictive thoughts and not the truth), facing it head on and challenging it's authority, is key to a happy sobriety. And one way to do that is to tell on it. Talk about it, write about it, reveal out loud what it is saying. Don't let it whisper sweet nothing in your ear that go unheard - shout it from the rooftops! And in doing so you will remove some of its power.
My voice would repeat lots of useless, bullshit, manipulative lies. It would say to me, "Go on, it's only wine", "Everyone drinks, so should you", "It's normal to have a drink at 5pm", "You deserve it", "You don't really have a problem anyway", "Life's short", "One won't hurt!" and so on and so on and so bloody on.
I remember early on when I was getting sober saying out loud to Mr D for the first time that I had an internal dialogue about drinking. I stood in the kitchen and said to him, "there's a voice in my head telling me to drink right now." I remember at the time how strange the words sounded coming out of my mouth, but also how truthful it was and how much talking about it helped take some of the power of the thoughts away.
Then I wrote about it in my original blog (here) and a reader commented and said "Yay for you! In Rational Recovery what you did is called addictive voice recognition technique." I went straight away and researched all about this and felt even more prepared to fight that little fucker when it started piping up in my brain. (The Rational Recovery book is here.)
Addiction Nurse Steph also spoke about the Addictive Voice in her interview and included a really helpful website link all about it in which you can see near the bottom of her post.
Members here often talk about their inner addictive voices. This is from @womackm in the Members Feed recently: "This Gin and Tonic Muse is clever as shit. She whispers, “not only were you having MORE fun with the alcohol but you actually looked better! You are missing out, my friend— Don’t you remember….?” And if she’s not using the “you are missing out” technique, she chimes in with the “one day is not a big deal— look how easy the past 28 days have been for you! you don’t have a REAL problem with alcohol. You can take it or leave it… Let’s take it- just this one time….” sneaky witch….."
After posting about her inner dialogue @womackm was able to get some distance from that voice and remove some of its power. See it as her inner addict trying to get it's fix and not the wise part of her that is trying to quit. All of this made it easier to move forward without taking a drink.
So now it's your turn. Tell on your inner addict. What does your inner addict say? What are the sweet nothings that it whispers in your ear when it's trying to get you to drink. Type it out below in a comment. You won't regret it.
Because telling on your inner addict will take some of it's power away. Telling on your inner addict will will make clear that those whispered sweet nothings are not true. And telling on your inner addict will expose the truth - your inner addict is not your friend.