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Designing a New You

Escaping the Alcohol Trap

A life spent consumed by alcohol addiction is essentially a life on hold. The constant and ever-present preoccupation with drinking excludes all opportunities for personal development and stunts personal growth. In developmental terms you become stuck – never moving forward in life, never expanding your experiences, never broadening your horizons, never raising your awareness. You cease learning new coping strategies as you encounter life’s many challenges, instead always reverting to alcohol as your default mechanism.

And when you finally decide to stop drinking alcohol, your focus becomes just that – stopping. You stop drinking, and you stop hanging out in bars and you stop seeing certain people and you stop buying alcohol from the usual places, and you stop, stop, stop.

In other words, after years of being stuck, developmentally speaking, there is a danger that when you stop you now become preoccupied with what you have given up, or what you have lost. You can become entrenched in a way of thinking called “lack mentality”.

Glass Half Full?

glass half fullYou can see this in some individuals, who although they have successfully managed to quit drinking, they appear empty, broken and defeated by the experience. The void left by quitting drinking, along with the after effects of their stunted personal growth is plain for all to see.

However, it doesn’t have to be like this and it shouldn’t have to be like this…

Consider the flip side – look at all the things you now have to gain!

With the preoccupation of a life controlled by alcohol behind you, you now have the time, the energy, the enthusiasm and the motivation to do with your life whatever it is you choose. You can now devote your time and energy to doing, having or becoming anything you ever wanted in life. You can throw yourself into anything which brings joy, happiness, excitement and personal fulfilment into your life, with your imagination being the only limiting factor.

This is a way of thinking called “abundance mentality”.

Moving Up, Moving On

growth and development when quitting alcoholDefining and creating a new life for yourself once you have given up alcohol is not just desirable, but essential in terms of fully recovering from the debilitating effects alcohol addiction has had on your life, and in terms of moving to a place where you will never be tempted to return to the addictive habits of the past.

Reinventing yourself is a crucial part of recovery, and repeatedly reinventing yourself is an essential part of lifelong growth and development. As IBM founder Tom Watson once said, “You cannot stay in one place: you either go forward, or go backward.”

View this period of sobriety as a blank canvass in your life. An opportunity to create the life you ideally want and to become the person you really want to be. Rather than being dragged down by your problems and letting them define you and limit what is possible for you, see this as your chance to face up to them and resolve them once and for all.

There are many excellent personal development and life coaching resources out there either in print or audio format, which you are strongly encouraged to explore. Many can be found free on the internet if cost is an issue.


I have listed a number of recommended eBooks from Amazon (including my own!) which you can review on the following section of this site:

>> eBooks on Amazon


To get you started, here are a few areas to think about and areas to explore in designing and creating your new life:

  • Zero-based thinking – what are you currently doing in your life that you would choose not to get involved with if you could start over?
  • What things are you currently doing that don’t add any value to your life that you could easily eliminate?
  • What are your biggest hopes, ambitions and dreams for each of the major areas in your life?
  • Do you have clear, specific definite goals for yourself? Do you have plans to make these goals a reality?
  • What do you need to learn, or develop in order to become the person you would like to be?
  • What do you want to do with the rest of your life?
  • What will your life look like 5 years from now? 10 years from now? 20 years from now?
  • What are you passionate about? Are you doing what you are passionate about, at least some of the time?
  • What is your ideal job? Are you doing that job right now?
  • What would you choose to do if you could be guaranteed there would be no negative consequences?
  • How can you help others to break free from the clutches of addiction, just as you have?

These are just a few thought provokers to stimulate your thinking – use these as a platform to begin your own personal development and growth program.

Continuing to develop and grow when quitting alcohol is an essential part of recovery – remember at all times that when we stop growing, we risk slipping back into relapse.

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