Empty Your Cup Quote Meaning:
In the world of psychology there are many theories about what happens when someone drinks alcohol. Some say that they become intoxicated and some believe that they don’t. However, one thing is certain; drinking alcohol makes them feel good and euphoric.
They get drunk and forget all their problems or at least they think they do.
But what if you drank too much? What would happen then? Would you still be able to function normally? Or would you just go into a drunken stupor?
The answer is no. Drinking too much alcohol causes the person to lose control over their faculties and eventually fall asleep. The person will not remember anything that happened while they were passed out.
So what does this mean for you?
Well, if you drink too much, then you’ll probably end up passing out after having a few drinks. If you pass out, then you won’t have any memory of how you got home from work or where you live.
And if you don’t remember anything, then what’s the point of going to work?
So why are these things bad?
Well, according to the experts at Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), those who don’t remember anything due to alcohol abuse are considered “alcoholics” because they cannot function properly anymore. Their life becomes unmanageable and they put themselves in a dangerous situation where they may get hurt or killed. So, the best way to avoid this is to not drink alcohol at all.
You may think that this is an overreaction to drinking alcohol.
But if you think about it, why take the chance?
This is why the first step in the 12-step program is to acknowledge that one can’t drink alcohol in moderation. It doesn’t matter how old you are or what kind of work you do. You’re not strong enough to resist the temptation of drinking alcohol and you should avoid it at all costs.
The first step is a very important step because it acknowledges the fact that the person wants to change their life for the better.
If you don’t acknowledge this, then why even bother taking part in the rest of the steps?
But if you’re still struggling with accepting this, then there may be other steps that you need to follow as well.
Now that you know what you need to do, let’s get into the next step which is about making a list.
How To Go About Making A List:
When it comes to making a list of your character defects, there are a few ways in which you can approach this.
One way is to just simply think about all the times that you’ve behaved in an undesirable manner. Anytime you acted out of line or disrespected someone, write it down. Think back to when you were young and remember all the things you did that got you into trouble.
Sooner or later, you’ll realize just how much of a jerk you’ve been in the past. This is a good exercise because it helps you identify certain patterns in your behavior. It allows you to see that there is a direct correlation between the things you do and how it affects other people. If nothing else, it helps you realize all the mistakes that you need to avoid in the future. Eventually, you’ll have a whole list of things you need to work on. Pick out the top five or so character defects that you see as the most problematic.
The other way is to talk about it with someone you trust such as a family member or a close friend. You can tell this person what it is that you’re trying to do and ask them to help you by telling you when you do something wrong. This works well because you get a different perspective on your behavior and you have someone to help keep you accountable.
Maybe they’ll see something different than what you saw or maybe they’ll confirm what you thought. Either way, it helps you develop a more objective view of yourself and that can only be a good thing.
Next, go ahead and make your list. Include everything that you thought of during the exercises along with anything your confidant told you about.
Now that you have a list, let’s get into the next step which is to admit to yourself (and maybe someone else if you’d like) all of the undesirable things you’ve done.
How To Go About Admitting To Yourself And Someone Else:
This may seem difficult at first, but it gets easier with practice. Once again, you can take this process at your own pace. Some people prefer to speak with their confidant first and then work their way up to speaking to themselves about it.
Other people do it the opposite way around. The main thing is just not to rush it.
Admitting to yourself that you’re an alcoholic is actually very easy because you’ve already gone through the thought process in steps one and two. You just have to say it out loud. Some people prefer to write these things down first to help them get everything straight in their head.
Then they might say it out loud to themselves and perhaps even post it where they will see it every day as a constant reminder. Other people just like hearing themselves talk (or type). So they might just go ahead and start talking right away.
This is what I would recommend that you do: find a comfy place to sit or lie down and talk to yourself about what’s going on. Tell yourself that you’re an alcoholic and all of the other things that are on your list. If there is anything that you don’t remember doing but it’s on your list, tell yourself that you did that too.
The goal is to just get everything out in the open so you can fully admit to yourself that you have a problem. Be entirely honest with yourself during this process.
Now, go ahead and do this right now if you’d like. I’ll just wait here until you’re finished.
(wait time variable)
Now that you’ve finished, how did that make you feel?
Odds are, you probably felt a sense of relief. That’s because by getting these things out in the open, you no longer have to hide them anymore. You also get the bonus of feeling better about yourself in the process since many people hold themselves to some sort of standard of perfection. When they inevitably fall short of that standard, they only feel bad about themselves which is never good. By getting these things out in the open and accepting who you are (even the less than desirable parts) you can move on and live your life to the fullest!
Congratulations, you’ve taken a huge step toward recovery! If you’re here reading this then I’m going to guess that you’re ready to take the next step. That’s great because it’s one of my favorite steps!
Recovery is all about taking what you’ve learned up to this point and using it to heal yourself and your broken relationships with others. It’s not going to happen right away and it’s certainly not going to be easy, but if you follow the steps outlined in this guide, then I guarantee that you will become happier than you have ever been before!
This section is divided into three subsections: you, relationships, and life. They are all pretty self explanatory. Go ahead and pick one to start with or just jump in at the one that seems the most interesting to you right now.
The order doesn’t really matter so try not to over think it. I’ll just give you this warning now: do not skip steps! It’s important that you follow the guides in order if you want to see the best possible results. Okay, now that that’s over, let’s get started!
You: Education And Life Before Addiction
This is a very simple step and will probably only take you a few minutes. For this step all you have to do is think back to your childhood and remember the things you liked to do before you started drinking/doing drugs.
Did you like playing with cars, digging in the yard, watching movies, or anything else?
Try to remember as many things as you can. Write them all down in your notebook if you want to.
After you’ve finished this step, the next step will explain how to use this information.
You: Education And Life Before Addiction
If you’ve made it this far then congratulations! By taking the steps laid out in the previous sections, you’ve taken a huge step toward healing yourself. Now it’s time to build on that momentum and really start making positive changes in your life!
This section is going to focus on implementing everything you’ve learned about yourself in the past few weeks into your every day life.
This section is split into two subsections: implementation and maintenance. Implementation is how you’re going to actually implement all of what you’ve learned into your life. Maintenance is how you keep all of what you’ve learned alive.
It’s very important that you go through these steps each day so that you don’t forget what you’ve learned or worse, go back to your old habits.
Now before we begin, I have to ask you to do something. I need you to read this whole section before you go into it so that way you know what’s expected of you and aren’t caught off guard. Some of the things in here might seem tedious, but they are all important so I hope that you will stick with them every day.
Alright, let’s get started.
Step 1: Personality
To begin this step all you need to do is go back to the work you did on yourself in the previous sections. Look back over the work you did on your personality, your motivations, and any other part of yourself that you considered important. Try to remember what you wrote down.
If you don’t remember anything or don’t feel like it’s enough, then go back to the guides in the previous section and review them. Once you’ve finished that, move on to step 2.
Step 2: Immediate Future
In this step all you’re going to do is think about the future in general and think about what you’d like it to look like. You don’t need to go too in depth on this, just think about what you’d generally like to see happen. Some ideas could be “I’d like to find a job I enjoy”, or “I want to go back to school”.
It’s important to be realistic though so think about things you actually could accomplish in the next few months and not things that are too big or outlandish. Once you’ve got your ideas down, move on to step 3.
Step 3: Implementation Planner
This is one of the most important steps. The implementation planner is divided into three different weeks: this week, next week, and the week after. Each one is aimed at tackling one part of your plan.
For each week, I want you to write at least one goal that you can realistically accomplish within that time period. This means your goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. If you need a reminder on what these look like, please go back and look at the Achievement Habit guide.
This step is going to be a little different for everyone so I’m not going to tell you what your goals should be. Some of you might already know what you want to accomplish while others might need to think a little harder. Here are some questions to help you get started:
Do you have some old schoolwork from years past that you’ve been wanting to get graded?
Do you need to go to the doctor’s?
Has something been bothering you and you feel needs to be addressed?
Have you been wanting to talk to someone but haven’t gotten the chance?
Has something been on your mind and you’d like to talk to someone about it?
Do you need to return something you recently bought?
Do you need to donate something?
Once you have your goals, go ahead and write them down in your planner along with how you’ll be able to track your completion.
Confused on what to do?
Here are some ideas to get you started:
-Go for a walk
-Call your mom
-Organize your thoughts on what you need to get done
-Catch up on work you’ve been putting off
-Plan out what roommates should do for the week
-Talk to someone about something you’ve been wanting to discuss
Once again, these are just examples. The important part is to come up with goals that YOU think you can realistically accomplish. Seeing progress is a huge motivator so the more you can do every week, the better.
After you write your goals and how you’ll measure your completion, go ahead and put the week behind you. Complete the tasks you’ve set for yourself. The important thing is to not stress out if you don’t complete everything.
You can always do more next week.
Step 4: Reward yourself
Once you’re done with a week, you deserve a reward. This is called incentive optimization and it’s basically rewarding yourself for accomplishing something so your brain will have a positive association with doing it again in the future. Think of all the things you enjoy in life: watching TV, chatting with friends, playing games, surfing the internet; anything goes as long as it’s not destructive and it makes you happy.
Sources & references used in this article:
Is your cup empty or full? The importance of self-care by MD May – blogs.kcl.ac.uk
Writing the empty cup: rhythm and sound as content by G Shannon – Children’s Literature, 1991 – muse.jhu.edu
The wandering mind: What the brain does when you’re not looking by RA Burton – 2009 – Macmillan
Taste what you’re missing: the passionate eater’s guide to why good food tastes good by MC Corballis – 2015 – books.google.com
Imaginable futures: Tea from an Empty Cup and the notion of nation by P Cadigan – 1999 – Macmillan
Leading on empty: Refilling your tank and renewing your passion by B Stuckey – 2012 – books.google.com