Making the Commitment to Quit Drinking and Overcome Alcohol Abuse
For some, drinking is all fun and games, but for others, drinking becomes a way of life that interrupts happiness, stalls productivity and reduces overall quality of life significantly. When alcohol abuse turns into an issue of alcohol dependence, plagued by cravings and urges to drink despite the known consequences of such actions, making the commitment to quit can be challenging at best. Fortunately, with the right guidance, knowledge and understanding paired with your ambition and courage to overcome alcohol abuse and quit drinking once and for all, you can get sober.
Weighing the Pros & Cons
The first step to making a formal commitment to quit drinking is to weigh the pros and cons associated with your alcohol use. Fortunately, the list of pros compared to the list of cons is usually enough to make a sound decision with a firm understanding that drinking is really not the right thing and that it really isn’t helping anyone.
Consider the pros to drinking:
- It’s fun
- It’s relaxing
- It’s helpful when trying to unwind
Consider the cons to drinking:
- It causes problems in relationships
- It costs a lot of money
- It dips into bill money
- It causes health problems
- It creates challenges in social situations
- It can lead to depression or anxiety
- It interrupts job performance
The list of potential hazards or damaging effects that drinking has on social, emotional, health and individual statuses of an individual is most certainly longer than the list of potentially benefits associated with drinking. This alone should be enough to help you make the commitment to stop drinking and get help.
Once you’ve made the wise commitment to quit drinking, you have to find a way to reach your goals and to stay sober. The decision to quit is one of the toughest decisions to make but there will likely be a number of other challenges along the way too. Determine whether you need to completely quit drinking or whether you can still drink socially. This will depend on the severity of your alcohol abuse situation, whether you are addicted to alcohol and various other individual factors.
Set a goal to quit for a specific period of time such as 30 days. Remember that goals must be both measurable and realistic and they must also be attainable. It’s not wise to set a general goal of just “I will quit drinking” because there’s nothing to measure here. Instead, set a goal of “I will quit drinking for 30 days and then I’ll go for 60.” This goal is measurable, realistic and attainable which means it’s essentially a good goal to shoot for.
Preparing to Meet Goals
Now you have to prepare yourself for the temptation and cravings that are likely to come as you make the stride in the direction of your first 30 days sober. Preparing to meet your goals involves a little cleanup. You may need to remove alcohol from your home, let your friends and family members know that you are quitting and that you would appreciate not being involved in situations that involve alcohol, avoid situations in which you would be tempted to drink.
What if Relapse Occurs?
Part of recovery is the fact that relapse is a very common occurrence that does happen even to good people with good intentions. If you have set a goal to quit drinking and you make it a few days and then slip up and have a drink, don’t fret over the fact that you relapsed. Instead, do your best to pick up in the recovery where you left off and set a new goal for yourself to stay sober for a longer period of time. Remember every small goal equals triumphs that can lead to the achievement of a major goal such as staying sober for one year or five years or ten years or more.
One thing that you should focus on if you do relapse is what occurred just before the relapse. Did you spend time with a family member or friend who was a bad influence? If so you should avoid spending time with that person for a while. Did you have a bad day at work? If so you should consider seeking other ways of coping with stress following a bad day. Did you get bored? If so you should consider finding healthy activities that you can take part in when you have free time.
The point here is that relapse is often triggered by boredom, stress, bad influences or various other factors that can be avoided in the future if you pay close attention to what causes relapse and how you can prevent it later on. Don’t focus on the negative aspects of the relapse, instead focus on the positive light that you have learned how to overcome it and continue to move forward with your recovery from alcohol abuse.