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Am I an alcoholic?

Liberation v Fixation

In a recent coaching session we spoke about Liberation v Fixation. The topic made me stop and think and it really hit home to me how much I was ‘fixated’ when I was drinking.

If you are reading this blog you have probably asked yourself the dreaded question ‘Am I An Alcoholic?’, I know I asked myself (and Google) if I was more than a few times.

Hopefully with the tools available, the support of the Be Sober Facebook Group and the information here on the Be Sober website you will be well equipped to get on the path to making yourself free from alcohol.

A true measure of whether you have broken free from the grip of alcohol is if you take the Liberation v Fixation test below, simply ask yourself these questions and you will soon know the answer.

Don’t worry if you are still ‘fixated’, it simply means that there is more work to be done. Keep reading, learning and moving forward on the journey to sobriety.

Annie Grace (author of This Naked Mind) says that true freedom is realising you have a choice, you can choose the type problems you want to have in your life.

Think about that, for me I decided that having the problem of telling people I don’t drink is a much better one to have than all the trouble that came with drinking. Hangovers, anxiety, health fears, drink-driving, regretful behaviour – you get the picture.

You are in control of this, you can choose your problems.

So how can you tell if you are truly free from alcohol? Ask yourself the questions below (credit to Annie Grace) and you will soon know the answer

Liberation – You walk into a party and get offered a drink, you can simply take it or leave it.

Fixation – As you approach the door of the party you are already thinking about when and how you will get the first drink.

Liberation – You have no internal dialogue, there is no voice in your head arguing about how many drinks you should have and when you should stop.

Fixation – The voice in your head is loud, you have non-stop chatter. You might be trying to moderate your drinking. You are often thinking about where the next drink is coming from before you have finished the one in your hand.

Liberation – You feel content without the need for a drink.

Fixation – You are thinking about where the next drink is coming from before you have finished the one in your hand.

Liberation – There is no discomfort when you don’t drink.

Fixation – You have withdrawal symptons and cravings as the alcohol fades from your body.

Liberation – When you attend an event you are fully present, focused on the environment and the people, fully engaged and enjoying yourself.

Fixation – Your focus is on the drink, everything else comes second.

Liberation – You can be around alcohol without a problem, you don’t drink but have no issues being close to people who do.

Fixation – You are uncomfortable around alcohol or people who are drinking.

Liberation – You are rational, you make your own choices, you decide not to drink and stick to it.

Fixation – Alcohol is in charge, it is running the show and you make irrational choices regardless of the consequences.

Don’t panic if you are still fixated, most of us have been here and it is possible to break free and become truly liberated and at peace.

The desire to change needs to come from within, if you want it, you will achieve it. Put the work in, read every post on this blog, arm yourself with the tools and you can do it.

Annie also talks about the 5 stages of change we go through as drinkers:

1 – Unawareness – We are not aware there is a problem, we just carry on drinking as normal blind to the damage we are causing.

2 – Awareness – This is usually the most painful part, we realise drink is no longer serving us, we are aware there is a problem but we don’t know how to fix it.

3 – Knowledge – Gaining understanding of the problem and the tools available is the first step on the journey to freedom.

4 – Action – As you take actions and enjoy new experiences without alcohol involved your beliefs will change and so will your life. For example I used to believe that I couldn’t enjoy a gig without drinking, this belief was false, but I didn’t believe it until I had experienced it.

5 – Mastery – This is where we find true liberation, effortless enjoyment and no fixation. It takes time and it takes work. Usually after 6-12 months of taking action we start to master sobriety.

So remember, you have the choice to decide what problems you want to have in your life and you have the power to take the steps to make a change.

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