Overcoming addiction can be difficult. It could seem impossible. But there is hope. If you genuinely want to stop drinking and are willing to accept support, you can recover from alcohol abuse and alcoholism. It does not matter how heavy of a drinker you are or how much control you feel alcohol has over you.
You don’t need to hit rock bottom before making positive changes. Whether your goal is to stop drinking entirely or to cut your drinking down to healthy levels, there are things you can do to start the journey on the road to recovery.
The Benefits of Stopping Drinking
Most people with alcohol problems don’t spontaneously change their drinking habits overnight. In most cases, the recovery process is gradual. If you or someone you love is in the early stages of change, denial may be a considerable obstacle. If you or someone you love admits they have a problem, denial can lead to making excuses or dragging one’s feet. If you are not sure if you are ready to make the change, it can help you think about the benefits you will receive if you stop over drinking.
Some of the benefits of not drinking include:
• Improved relationships with friends and family
• Feeling better mentally and physically
• Having more energy and the desire to spend that energy on people and activities you care about
• Experiencing a reduction in anxiety, depression, and shame
• Job performance and the way you care for family responsibilities may improve
You may want to make a chart where you lay out the costs and the benefits of drinking. Compare these with the costs and benefits of quitting. Referring to this list frequently can help reinforce in your mind the benefits of your decision to stop drinking.
Set Reasonable Goals for Yourself
For most people, it is not reasonable to say that they will stop drinking completely tomorrow. You will increase your chances of success if you set goals for drinking. If the goal is to cut back on alcohol, limit the number of drinks you have or the days of the week you can drink. Write these goals down on paper. They will mean more to you if you have committed them to write. Additionally, tell other people about your plans. The people you tell should be those who can hold you responsible.
You may wish to decide on a period of alcohol-free living. Once you have reached that time goal, you may feel more confident that you can choose not to drink. When you do drink, you will have a safer level of alcohol use. This goal will only be successful if you first think about your lifestyle and decide how to approach alcohol once the alcohol-free time is complete. If you don’t think about this, you will likely return to old habits without making any changes.
Remove Temptation and Occupy Your Time
To stop drinking successfully, you will probably need to get rid of the alcohol in your home. As long as you have alcohol in your home, the temptation to drink will be powerful. It may be necessary for you to change who you associate with and where you hang out. It is almost impossible to abstain from alcohol at a bar or another locale where alcohol is being freely served. To reach your goal of stopping drinking, you are going to need to make some lifestyle changes.
Once you have removed the temptation, you will need to fill your time with something else. Boredom is your enemy. You must replace boredom with constructive activities, such as hobbies or family activities. The Internet is a great resource to turn to for stories of individuals in your exact situation who have turned to athletics, volunteering, and other activities to help them quit drinking. If you find something constructive to do with your newfound time, you are going to have a greater chance of success staying away from alcohol.
Don’t Go at It Alone
Do not allow fear, shame, or pride to prevent you from getting the help you need to deal with alcohol abuse. Talk to trusted friends and family members. They can help you keep your goal. Our team of addiction professionals can be a trusted resource that can help you make a life free of alcohol possible. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call us at 844-903-2111. We look forward to working with you.