Quit Drinking| First Steps
Quitting an addictive substance isn’t easy, and yet it isn’t the hardest thing to do once you set your mind to it and have the support of your family and peers. Before we get into this, ask yourself some of these questions are you alcoholic? Do you have the urge to quit drinking? Are you uncertain whether you are an alcoholic or not? If the answer to the any of the above questions is a yes, it is recommended for you to quit drinking. Seek professional help if you think you can’t do it on your own.
Deciding to stay sober is a hard thing to fathom if you have been using alcohol as a shield for most things in life. But, you can make it with a few steps that are to help you quit drinking and make you lead a sober life. The first step is essential, and no one should be able to take that away from you.
Here is a guide to help you stay sober.
1. Admit you have a problem.
When you acknowledge the fact that you have a drinking problem, you are well into the journey of being sober. Ask the right questions such as are your life choices then being inhibited by your drinking. If so, you have admitted that there is a problem.
Do not compare yourself to other people. You and only you have the problem. It doesn’t matter if Harry from across the street drinks more than you do, you are the one who is drinking not him. You will then stop self-justifying your actions.
Think of where you would like to be in five years with the same patterns that you currently have and judge if you are okay with that picture.
2. Identify your weaknesses.
Check your patterns, when do you binge drink and how often. For instance, the weekends are when you go out with your friends and get drunk, compared to having a few glasses of wine with your dinner. The weekend binge drinking is your problem, once you notice that, do away with it. Find alternatives that will keep you occupied during the weekends. Go camping, play indoor games, watch movies, anything to deter you from going out and drinking. Or better yet, find different locations to hang out where you won’t be tempted to drink.
Identify the why, when and where of your drinking problem and then you’ll know what your weakness is.
3. What are your reasons for quitting?
To most, long-term benefits are not things we would like to hear but prefer short-term goals. A few of short-term goals are:
Having better sleeping patterns and quality sleep.
The money you spend on alcohol can be saved, and a few months later you can use it to travel where you wanted to. An example would be $150 you spend per week on alcohol save it, and in 6 months you backpack around the world, isn’t that worthwhile?
Reclaim the time you lost while drunk or hang-over. You might have noticed you lost time you could have spent with your children, friends, family, or a loved one but instead opted for going out and drinking. All that time lost cannot be recovered, but you can decide that you don’t want to miss any more time than you already have.
Acknowledge that everyone has different reasons for quitting, don’t belittle any ones if they seem inconsequential to you.Long-term benefits are liver functionality improved, a healthy immune system, weight loss, and you have better control of your emotions, brain activity improves among a plethora of long-term benefits.
4.Prioritize your sobriety.
You should be adamant about letting go of alcohol. It shouldn’t be a second-guessing game. Make sure when you want to stop drinking, it is a decision you will carry through until the end, no matter what. Place your sobriety at such a high standard. Don’t lower it until you have cured yourself of it.
5.Talk to yourself
This might be weird, but when you have those small talks within yourself, they motivate you to try harder, go further than where you are and aim higher. Remind yourself WHY you are doing it, you are doing it for YOU and the BENEFITS you will get once you stop drinking. Pat yourself for being sober for a week, month, six months or a year and be proud of that.Remind yourself where you are going and not where you came from, confident, and positive thoughts only.
6.Talk to others.
Inform your family, friends, loved ones and those important to you of what you are doing. They will make you not only accountable but also help you stay sober. Surround yourself with positive vibes and people to help you attain your goal.Don’t be afraid to tell people you are no longer indulging in drinking, be proud of yourself and no matter how much someone taunts you, you are reinforcing your resolve as to why you want to quit. Plus it would be a great thing if you end up proving them wrong and sticking to your guns and being sober.
7. Let your mind run wild
Conjure the images of how terrible you felt when you were drunk or what terrible things you did when under the influence of alcohol. This will deter you from even thinking of having a tumbler or glass of liquor. An instance, if you are the kind who remembers how you felt with a specific memory in mind if you wouldn’t like to have the same feeling again use it as a means to deter you from drinking.
With your imagination coming up with the filthiest images it can, and attaching to your drinking days, you can be assured that alcohol would be the furthest thing from your mind.
8.Alter your attitude.
Humans are known to not ask for help, or when offered, we get defensive and lash out. This should not be the case with you. When you are provided with support, accept it. Change the way you see your situation. Don’t put yourself down when you hit a bump. Instead, remind yourself the journey you are going through is for your good, and it is the right direction to recovery.
It won’t be easy having a sunny attitude, but when you approach this with the right frame of mind, it will be easy to navigate through the trenches and attain your goals.
9. Picture a healthy you.
Think of yourself in the future and how you will be when you are no longer an alcoholic. With the future being undecided, your actions today will determine a fraction of what you will be like in the future. Henceforth, make it a habit of visualizing yourself happy, healthy and better than you are now. Focus solely on that, and you will adopt those actions into your daily life.
10.Change the company you keep.
If your friends are the problem, let them go. You need people who will help you stop drinking, not tempt you in any way they can and make it possible for you to fail. Real friends are those who will change as well to make it easier for you to achieve your sobriety and also hold you up when you stumble, surround yourself with such people.
At times, doing it on your own and figuring things out without professional guidance is an impossible task, ergo, you can go ahead and join an alcohol rehab
near you. There are outpatient and inpatient programs that will aid you in what you need.
Depending on your lifestyle and addiction, go through the multiple treatment programs available and select the one that suits your needs.
The approach towards quitting for the person next to you isn’t the same as yours, always remember that.
12.Switch your daily actions.
What you used to do when drinking needs to stop. Try new ways of doing things. You cannot do to the local pub, or have alcohol at home. You can substitute this for having healthier activities like hiking, join a gym, do yoga, try your artistic side, learn music, do gardening. Simple tasks that will change how you achieve your goal.
Change the way you do things, and it will make your life different, find activities that will make it impossible for you to reach for alcohol.Practice these steps, and you will be healthier and have a better life than you’ve ever had.
Northeast Addictions Treatment Center is a Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment Center in Quincy, Massachusetts. Our team has been helping individuals with Drug or Alcohol Addiction live a life of Recovery since 2016.