Alcohol is a powerful force that if not moderated properly can take control of our lives. People tend to underestimate the powerful hold that it can have on you. Because of this, alcohol addiction is a very real problem. That does not mean you should ignore it and that it is unbeatable; it means you should take the control back into your own hands. There are options for you to get sober and stay sober. By choosing to take a stand against alcoholism and alcohol abuse, you can resume a healthy and happy life.
Recognize the Problem
One of the most important steps towards sobriety is the recognition that you do in fact have a problem with alcohol abuse. This may seem like the simplest step, but in fact, it is usually the hardest. People suffering from Alcohol Use Disorder, Alcoholism, or any other form of alcohol abuse, tend to not want to acknowledge the problem. Either the thought of getting sober seems to daunting to deal with or they don’t want to acknowledge the issue because they don’t recognize the effect it is having on their life. Either way, this pattern of ignorance can go on for a long time if not dealt with properly.
One way to approach this problem is from an outside perspective. As a family member, friend, or coworker, you can make a big difference by reaching out. Do not be afraid that you are overstepping if you truly care for the individual. Yes, you should reach out, but be gentle in your approach. If you are not sure how to handle the situation, there are many support groups that you can attend for friends or family members of alcoholics. Al-anon is one group. If you check online you can find out where a group is meeting near you. In these support groups, many of the attendees can give advice on how to best approach the situation.
If you are ready to approach the individual, be gentle. This will hopefully prevent an angry reaction. Do your best and try not to be judgmental. They are only human and it isn’t their fault that alcohol has such a powerful effect on people. Lastly just let them know and give them time to process. If you are constantly berating them, then they will come to resent you. Say your peace, show them some options, and then let it be. Do not ruin your friendship because if you only speak about the problem, they will no longer want to spend time with you.
If you do not have friends or family to help than you may have to acknowledge the issue yourself. There are a few ways of doing this. One of the most obvious is to look at how frequently you are drinking alcohol. If you find yourself consuming more alcohol, more often, than you may have a problem. Other signs that you may have problem is if alcohol is starting to affect other aspects of your life such as: work, school, relationships and your health. There are quizzes you can take online if you suspect that you are suffering from Alcohol Use Disorder.
Acknowledgement is a difficult step; but once you take it, you have completed one of the most important breakthroughs in the road to recovery.
Getting help can be a very difficult step. Luckily there are many programs and rehabilitation or treatment centers that can help provide support. Depending on the severity of your condition you may want to try different approaches.
If you condition is severe enough, you may need to get medical help when coming off of the addiction. Detox can be very dangerous if handled poorly. If your alcohol abuse has reached a certain level of extreme, then it is important for you to complete your detox under medical supervision or with the assistance of medication. Medical supervision will not only ensure safety during the detox but will also provide a safety net afterwards. If you are at a medical facility then your access to alcohol will be seriously cut off. This will make relapse highly unlikely; at least while you are under supervision at the facility. This is one of the biggest advantages in seeking treatment though a rehab center.
If you do not feel that medical intervention is necessary then you may be able to approach recovery from outside of a treatment facility. There are also outpatient facilities if you feel you need the assistance but do not require to live within the facility. These are also a viable option for those who first seek treatment within but still need a little extra help once living on their own again.
If you are looking to go outside of treatment or rehab facilities, there are many cheap or free programs or support groups that you can attend. If you go online and search around your area you can find many groups specific to your condition or location. One of the most well-known groups is Alcoholics Anonymous. They are located in almost every city or town and offer free anonymous meetings open to all. Their 12 step program is a great tool to use to get sober. They also have many members who are already sober and can provide a good support system to help you maintain sobriety. Meetings are open to all without judgement.
If you think you have problem with alcohol or are not sure, you can call us today, check out our list of the Top Ten Best Alcohol Rehabs in the USA, or any of the resources listed above.
Once sober, struggling with addiction can be a lifelong battle. There are many ways to stay sober, but in truth, it takes a combined effort. You cannot depend on one thing to stay strong and sober. Through a mix of activities, you can maintain and overcome the tough battle of addiction. Recovery is possible through many outlets:
Finding New Hobbies
Your mind will linger on the impossible if you let it. What does this mean? Recovery will feel impossible if that is all you have to think about. The best thing you can do for your body and mind is to find other things to focus on. Through distraction you may just be able to forget about the cravings and find other outlets in which to express boredom or deal with stress.
Exercise is a very common, healthy alternative to drugs and alcohol. If you put enough time and effort into this, it can be easy to lose yourself in the positive feeling of exercise. Exercise releases endorphins which make you happy. Endorphins can help substitute the feelings you were looking forward to with drugs and alcohol. While many look to alcohol to deal with stress, drinking leads to the production of cortisol which is in fact a stress hormone. This hormone can interfere with your ability to get a good night’s sleep or toward recovery of any kind. When you drink to escape your problems, you are only making them worse.
Besides acting as a distraction, exercise is generally good for your health. It promotes weight loss, while alcohol promotes weight gain. It leads to other healthy habits such as taking vitamins and a healthy diet. And it may lead you to join teams or clubs in which you will find friends who share the same interests. As a whole there are so many positives that can be gained through exercise.
Exercise is not the only hobby that can help you stay sober. Joining any type of club, team, or group can lead you to a more fulfilling life. Having something to look forward to outside of work can make a big difference in your life. If you only have work and drinking to look forward to, you are likely to fail. Friends who are interested in more than going out and partying will also help you keep you on the right path in recovery.
While you should not shut yourself completely out of the world in which alcohol is a part of, you should try as often as you can to find other activities to do with friends besides drinking or going out. If you do go out with friends, volunteer to be a designated driver. This commitment will help deter you from using alcohol while at the same time allow you to avoid making excuses for not drinking and bypass any peer pressure to drink.
Meditation can help you keep a happy, healthy mind. Studies show that people are generally happiest when they feel connection to something greater. This could mean religion, faith, or other spiritual practices. What makes this such a successful outlet? It could be because a healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body. Setting aside time to meditate can give you a break from constantly thinking about problems in your life and help you to let go of stress.
It is important to set goals when trying to stay on a path. If you set goals along the way then the task may seem a little less daunting. By achieving one goal at a time you provide encouragement and positivity. Your goals can range from short term to long term. The short term concern should be getting sober even if it is a goal that you need to start each day with. Sobriety is the most important first step. Once sober you can add in other long term goals in order to lead a more fulfilling life and maintain sobriety. Learn to be happy and healthy and remaining sober will be an easier task.
Optimism and Support
Positivity can go a long way. This may seem cliché; however, it is very true. If you think that you are going to fail, then you will fail. It is as simple as that. Everyone has their bad days, but it is important to not let the bad days define you as a person. One way to help aid those in recovery is through support. If you see someone struggling, find different ways to motivate them to stay on the right path. Encourage them and never express any negative thoughts that you may be having. The individual struggling with addiction already has a head full of negative thoughts and does not need anymore. Instead of expressing negativity look for other ways to help. If you are unsure of what to do there are many websites for family and friends of addicts.
The Long and Winding Road
Recovery is not an easy process. If it were, there would be a lot less people struggling with addiction. With time it will get easier, but most addicts are addicts for life. Becoming sober may mean staying away from alcohol for life. A lot of addicts cannot drink in moderation. This is how they develop alcohol abuse problems. It may be a long road, but it is very much worth it. Being free of the weight of alcohol abuse can lead you to a happier, healthier, longer life. It can mend relationships and improve your outlook on life. Make the right decision and get sober today.