Alcohol abuse can seem to come out of nowhere before it becomes a decisive factor in your day-to-day life.
When you have a problem with drinking, it can sometimes seem insurmountable, but there are people who make the choice to give their life a new start every day.
It takes effort, honestly, and introspection, but here are the steps you can take to stop drinking today.
Be honest and open
If you’re reading this, you may be someone coping with alcohol dependency who is struggling with the fact. It’s important to be honest with yourself and fully admit when you have a problem.
You should be just as honest with the people you care about. If others are aware of your intentions to quit, they’re less likely to invite you for a drink and more likely to be supportive.
Take note of the reasons you want to quit, as well. Is alcohol interfering with your work or relationships? Is it costing your money? Is it impacting your sleep? Are you aware of the many health risks it brings? Write down the reasons you’re quitting alcohol.
Know your triggers and avoid them
Abusing alcohol isn’t often a decision, but a reaction to specific triggers. It might be a hard day at work, a party, or specific friends of ours. You have to learn what your triggers are.
Become mindful of when you next feel the urge to drink and find a way to extract yourself. It might mean you have to spend less time with drinking buddies (and you should try to cut anyone who pressures you to drink out entirely).
But sometimes, it can be as simple as boredom, in which case finding a hobby can be a great help.
Be aware of what’s going to happen
Alcohol withdrawal is real and it’s not pretty. It’s a good idea to get advice on whether you should quit immediately or reduce your drinking gradually.
72 hours after cutting yourself, withdrawal can manifest as increased blood pressure, heart rate, sweating, insomnia, and even seizures in extreme cases.
Quitting on your own is difficult at the best of times, but sometimes it is impossible. It depends on the individual.
There are counselling sessions, in-patient and outpatient rehab facilities, detox centres, and support groups. It’s worth comparing the market of the different kinds of help available. Don’t forget to rely on trusted friends or family members.
They can help by not only offering support but by holding you accountable.
After two weeks, some of most unpleasant side-effects of quitting alcohol can make themselves known.
From anxiety to aggression, difficulty sleeping to a significant decrease in libido, you should expect the negative impacts even though they do fade with time. What may never fade is the craving or the triggers that compel you to drink.
You have to be aware of these and fight them every day, perhaps for the rest of your life.
The most important step when you want to stop drinking is to realise that help is available. Detox centres, support groups, and one-to-one counselling are some of the most effective weapons against alcohol abuse, so don’t ignore them.