Drinking Diaries: "Deprived". This word, "deprived", was a powerful incentive for me NOT to quit drinking. I was so damn worried that I would feel, think, experience deprivation if I couldn't drink. Here is my loop. 1). Get excited about an evening including drinking. 2). Drink with abandon 3). Feel bad about that later 4). Decide to quit, moderate or do something I could be proud of 5). Fear I would miss it, miss out, feel "deprived". (REPEAT).

The reality is, I would have felt deprived if I would have had to do all the same things, with all the same people and "not" have the same thing in my glass (that was fueling all those things to begin with). So, I had to switch the scene, the players, the liquid. I need to transform my experience instead of obliterate one part of it. 

Science states that "The law of conservation of energy, also known as the first law of thermodynamics, states that the energy of a closed system must remain constant—it can neither increase nor decrease without interference from outside. The universe itself is a closed system, so the total amount of energy in existence has always been the same. The forms that energy takes, however, are constantly changing."

Therefore, I needed to recycle my old plans, ideas for fun, ingredients for entertainment and stress relief into something else. Not just obliterate and eliminate, but SUBSTITUTE. This was the key. This works. So, while you may be planning to quit drinking, also plan to start something else. Think, instead of stopping something, "replacing" it. Drinking hot tea at night is my night cap. I still have a night cap. I still go out. I go out to foodie restaurants instead of bars. I go out with people who don't drink or drink very little instead of people who are only going out TO drink. I exercise in the evening or do active things as a social outing. I read instead of drink. I write instead of drink. I take long hot baths instead of drink. I meditate in the morning, or do yoga, instead of nurse a hangover. I am not deprived, like I thought I would be. Thank God that was a false fear. 

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