Overcoming alcoholism can be an uphill task and, in some instances, it may seem impossible. However, it can be done and many people have proven so. Whenever you are ready to quit drinking and get the support you need, you can recover from alcohol addiction. No matter the degree of your addiction or how exhausted you feel, it is possible.
Different people want to stop drinking for different reasons. Some may do it for personal or religious reasons, while others may simply opt for a healthier lifestyle devoid of alcohol. Whatever the reasons for giving up alcohol, these five steps will help in your walk towards alcohol abstinence:
1. Make Your Intentions Known to Everyone Around You
After consulting your doctor regarding your drinking problem, tell your friends and family your intention to stop drinking and let them know why. By doing this, you are able to share your struggles and successes with them. It will also help them understand when you turn down their offers for drinks. By letting the people around you know what you intend to do, you can keep your endeavor on track. Some of your friends and relatives can also give you the encouragement you need and some may even stop drinking with you.
2. Avoid Any Temptations
In the early stages of abstinence, it is important to avoid circumstances that may tempt you to drink. This may mean going to alcohol-free restaurants or opting out of party invites. Choose to do something else during the times that you would normally be tempted to drink. You could catch a movie instead of heading out to the pub or host your own alcohol-free party instead of going out. Identifying your triggers is another important aspect of the abstinence process. Once you know what triggers your desire to drink, you can set out to avoid them.
3. Gradually Reduce Your Drinking
If you intend to stop drinking, you can gradually cut down the amount you drink rather than just stop abruptly. This has numerous health benefits and is fairly easy to sustain by your system. Lowering your consumption can also be an effective way of completely giving up alcohol in the future. You can start lowering your consumption by only drinking once or twice every one or two weeks, depending on your current intake level.
4. Reward Progress
Making changes in your life is difficult so you should reward yourself when you see any progress. This continual self-affirmation can come in the form of a day out shopping or simply heading out to dinner with friends.
5. Enjoy the Benefits
After some time, you may notice significant improvements in your life as you stop drinking. You may realize that you have more energy or have cut down weight. The net result of reducing your alcohol intake can be in the form of a reduced risk of diseases like heart and liver disorders. Go ahead and celebrate and enjoy your abstinence, knowing that you are healthier and happier doing so. Others may see how well you are recovering and may be inspired to stop drinking as well.
Though it’s difficult to completely quit drinking, it’s much easier when you know what to do. Reach out to a substance abuse professional or alcohol rehab if you need help and begin enjoying a life of abstinence.