If you have a hard time answering this question, you will be easily seduced by the false pleasures in life (e.g. overeating, overdrinking, over spending, over working, too much time on social media). When most of your daily joy comes from food and/or alcohol, you will want to engage more in these false pleasures as they provide a huge hit for the brain. It would be fine except for the negative consequences showing up in your life (drinking more than you want, being overweight).
Finding your joy outside of alcohol is a key part to letting go of your drinking behavior. When I first work with clients, they express that they don’t feel joy in their life and life feels bleak. You won’t feel joy in your life if your brain keeps getting flooded with a chemical that blocks joy. Alcohol numbs us – our feelings and emotions. When we drink, we want to numb out the negative feelings, but what ends up happening is we numb out the positive feelings too. As we drink more, we become stuck in our own misery of drinking since the pleasure sensation is less and less. Actually, you may be at the point where there is no more pleasure to drinking, just less pain.
When we drink, we want to numb out the negative feelings, but what ends up happening is we numb out the positive feelings too.
You can’t experience either side of the emotional spectrum – the authentic joy and love on one side nor the pain on the other side – while drinking. You become apathetic. And you don’t feel like yourself anymore.
Your joy in life should be diversified. If a huge percentage is wrapped up around food, you’ll be overeating to find joy. If a huge percentage of joy comes from your kids, you’ll feel empty when they leave. If a huge percentage is wrapped up around drinking, you’ll be overdrinking to find joy.
Use all the balanced sources from your family, your career, your social life, your spiritual life so they can work together in bringing you a steady sense of well diversified joy. There’s a tremendous amount of joy that can come from within. We are connected to the universe in ways we can hardly understand. When we are connected to ourselves, we can be connected to all that is love. We can decide to take steps to find things that fill us with a sense of wonder and happiness.
Your brain may be telling you that you don’t have joy anymore. Don’t believe it. You have to look for it and create it at first, until it starts coming naturally.