For many people drinking alcohol is just a social pastime to be enjoyed at parties or over dinner at a restaurant. For others it is a serious addiction, a habit that seems impossible to break. Alcohol dependency can creep up gradually, until it becomes an unhealthy problem. Alcohol addiction can be treated. The road to recovery may not necessarily be quick and without pitfalls, but it is most definitely possible.
Decide to Change
The first step in recovering from an alcohol addiction, and possibly the hardest step, is to decide to make a change. Most people struggle with this step. Change isn’t easy and it is very likely that alcohol has become your best friend, your comfort, your stress free zone. It is also probable that your alcohol addiction is causing issues in your life. You may well wonder if you have the willpower or the determination to quit the habit. This is normal. Think about the pros and cons of continuing to drink; think about what is important to you, like your partner, your children or your job; and talk it over with someone who won’t judge you, someone you can trust. Maybe discuss your feelings with someone professionally trained to help you through these conflicting emotions, like the psychologists at Talking Minds who specialise in alcohol counselling.
Investigate Treatment Options
Everyone has different needs, so check out the different alcohol rehab and treatment options and look for a fit that is good for you. The treatment you choose needs to address more than just your alcohol use; the reasons behind why you drink need to be uncovered for you to move forward. Treatment is not overnight. You will need to commit to a treatment plan and stick with it.
You will need a solid support system in place. Beating alcohol addiction is not something you want to attempt on your own. Seek out positive and healthy people to help you with your recovery. Your family and close friends can be a great help at this time. If you don’t want to burden them because you have hurt them in the past, think about attending family counselling to mend the bridges. If your social network consists of people you used to get drunk with you will need to find some sober friends.
Learn How to Deal with Stress
If you started using alcohol to relax and deal with stress, it is imperative that you learn new and healthy ways to deal with stress. Stress is a part of modern day life, so you need to implement strategies that will help you deal with it. You may have used alcohol to deal with other feelings too, like loneliness, depression or anger. Alcohol may have been covering these up, and without its numbing effects they will resurface. Get help to deal with negative emotions.
To stay sober you need to identify and avoid triggers. When cravings become intense have a strategy in place to deal with them. Avoid people and places that trigger your urge to drink.