Ideas To Assist In Quitting Alcohol
By Shim Stregosky - Midwest Detox
It’s not easy to quit drinking. Particularly because alcohol is so readily available and is such a socially accepted activity, it can be extremely hard to simply stop drinking. Oftentimes, one may recognize they have a drinking problem, but the harsh reality of facing it can seem too daunting and they choose the simpler path of avoidance.
However, as with all problems in life, avoiding it won’t make it miraculously go away. The good news is that there are many steps one can take to get themselves to stop drinking. It is important to note that the most crucial step in quitting alcohol is undergoing the actual detox process. Without detoxing and returning your mind and body to its normal functioning prior to alcohol abuse, it will be impossible to quit.
Recognize The Problem
The first step in quitting alcohol is recognizing that you have a dysfunctional relationship with drinking that is harming yourself and those around you. Before that realization is made, there will be no willpower or desire to fix anything. After all, you need to acknowledge that a problem exists in order to fix it.
It may sound simple, but this step is actually very difficult for many alcoholics. All too often, they convince themselves that they are managing just fine. Sadly, the repercussions of their drinking often go on for months or even years before they are truly aware of the consequences of their alcohol intake. Many times, it takes a rock bottom moment for the alcoholic to wake up and realize that they have a problem.
Understand The Why
It is important to take a hard look at your life and really examine the repercussions of your drinking. Why do you want to quit drinking alcohol? Has your family life suffered? Have your relationships taken a hit? Are you successful at your job? Is your health as it should be? There are a myriad of questions one should ask themselves as they look in the mirror and truthfully examine the effects that their alcoholism has had on their lives.
Understanding why you want to achieve sobriety will help be a major motivator in staying sober. Those reasons will act as your driving force every time you hit a bump in the road and are tempted to pick up a drink. Without a strong foundational understanding of why you want to quit alcohol, it can be very difficult to stay the course.
Identify Your Triggers
An important step in quitting alcohol is understanding why you drink in the first place. If you don’t understand why you do it, how can you stop? Identifying the triggers that cause you to drink will allow you to safely navigate them in healthier ways. Triggers can be physical or mental. Common triggers include stress from work or your personal life, financial hardships, social events where alcohol is readily available, reliving past traumatic events, and being around certain people. Triggers can also include negative emotions, such as anger, anxiety, fear, shame, and guilt.
Once you have identified your triggers, you can work to either avoid them if that is possible or to create alternate healthier ways of managing them. Figuring out alternate coping mechanisms that allow you to deal with the stress of daily life will help you resist the temptation of alcohol.
Quitting alcohol is a massive undertaking. In fact, it is a lifelong journey. It’s something that is impossible to tackle all at once. It is a slow and steady process that will only work if you set realistic goals for yourself.
Without those goals, it will be easy to get overwhelmed and simply give up. Many people who have already acknowledged that they have a drinking problem and theoretically want to get better just don’t bother trying because it seems too daunting and they are afraid to even try.
Ask For Support
A proper support system is essential to be successful in quitting alcohol. If one is isolated and alone, it becomes way too easy to slip back into old patterns. Use the support of friends and family members to remain strong in your resolve to stop drinking. Allow your loved ones to be the reminder you need of why you want to stop drinking in the first place.
It’s important to note that a support system does not necessarily need to include family members. If you feel like your family’s dysfunction is a trigger for you, turn to friends or mental health professionals for the support you will need along your journey. It is a long and treacherous path that should not be tackled alone.
Be Mindful Of Your Environment
It is much easier to slip back into old patterns if you expose yourself to people and places that were part of those patterns. When you are first quitting alcohol, it is a good idea to remove yourself from the people in your life that were your drinking buddies. Being around them can be way too tempting and your resolve to say no may not be strong enough. In a similar vein, it is best to avoid the places where you used to drink. It is also important to remove all alcohol from your home.
Boredom can be dangerous when it comes to quitting alcohol. If you’re sitting around and are bored, it’s easy to miss the excitement that drinking alcohol can bring. Idle minds and fingers tend to get itchy and may easily reach for a glass simply because there is nothing better to do. Develop new hobbies, spark new interests, and keep your mind and body occupied so that intrusive thoughts don’t take over.
Practice Self Care
In the same way that keeping busy is important, so is the practice of self care. Indulge in therapy, exercise, gourmet meals, or whatever self care means for you. Giving yourself the care and attention you rightfully deserve promotes the concept of putting your health and well-being first. It is that type of mindset that will greatly help your resolve in abstaining from alcohol. Feeling your best can boost your physical and mental health, allowing you to remain vigilant in your recovery journey.
Quitting alcohol isn’t easy. There are bound to be bumps in the road. Don’t allow those bumps to steer you off course. Many times in life, we don’t get things right on the first try. Remind yourself that it’s the effort that counts. Don’t give up simply because you lost your way for a second. Utilize your support system to remain vigilant in your recovery journey.
Remember that no one will judge you for asking for help. In fact, asking for help is a sign of bravery and resolve. Stay the course and don’t allow short-term setbacks to deter you from the long-term goal.
Get Professional Help From Midwest Detox
As previously stated, in order to be successful in quitting alcohol, it is imperative to detox properly. Oftentimes, people believe they can simply decide to stop drinking and that’s it. Unfortunately, deciding to detox from home is most often unsuccessful and can even be dangerous due to the side effects of withdrawal.
At Midwest Detox, our team of professional trained medical and mental health professionals will create a personalized detox program designed to allow you to detox safely and comfortably. With dignity and respect, we allow you to navigate the perilous early days of recovery and set you up for long-term success.
Are you in need of a private drug and alcohol detox center to begin your recovery? If so, Midwest Detox can provide everything you need to detox in a safe, comfortable environment. Visit our site or call us directly at 414-409-5200 to take the first step toward sobriety.