There are lots of resources and recovery programs available to help you quit drinking alcohol. Your first, best, and most important resource is inside yourself. If you have come to the first step of admitting that you have a problem, your obvious, most important recovery resource is to MAKE THE DECISION TO QUIT.
Basic Steps to Recovery
1. Admit you have a problem. You do not have to admit to being powerless over alcohol. You do have to admit that you have a problem and that you want to change. What constitutes a problem is determined by the level of detriment that the consumption of alcohol wrecks havoc on your health, your successful functioning in life--in your job, in your relationships, etc.
2. Determine your allies as soon as you make the decision to quit. Who is in your life that will support you in your decision? Surround yourself with the people in your life that will assist you in your decision to quit, not people that will sabotage your sobriety.
3. Make a commitment. Don't be afraid to imagine yourself sober for the rest of your life. It is true that you take one day at a time. It is true that some days you take one moment at a time. You also need to have emotional acceptance that it is a good thing that you will not ever be drinking again.
4. Avoid the labels. It is not necessary to announce to everyone that you are an alcoholic, or a recovering alcoholic. Share your victories with your allies, as they are the encouraging ones. Know that you do not have a disease, and you are not sick--quitting drinking will make you a much healthier person.
Coping Skills for Alcoholics
Use these tools to help stay sober.
1. When offered a drink, it's o.k. to simply say, "no thank you." When pressed for explanation, you can either say that you don't drink, or that you don't feel like drinking just then.
2. Avoid situations that will lead to being pressured for a drink. Going out to a bar with your drinking buddies may not be the best environment to maintain your resolve to quit drinking.
3. Spend time with your allies. Surround yourself with supportive people who care about you, your health, and your decision to quit drinking.
4. Be gentle with yourself. Find an emotional peace about your decision to quit drinking. Don't let doubt crowd in your thoughts about your strength or your ability to stay sober. You are in control of the decision and nobody else. Tim Kizer, who has been sober for over 7 years quips, "quitting drinking is the easy part, it's the staying quit that is the key."
5. Take it one day at a time. Take it one moment at a time if you have to. The decision to drink or not drink is made in a moment. When you reach that crossroads, make the decision to stay healthy and sober.
Alcohol Treatment or Self-Recovery?
Treatment programs actually decrease your chances of success, according to the Baldwin Research Institute. The reason for this is because many alcoholics are seeking external resources for recovery.
According to a 1990 article, Research Issues in Assessing Addiction Treatment Efficacy, posted on the Stanton Peele Addiction Website, "Contemporary treatment for alcoholism owes its existence more to historical processes than to science..."
Increase your chances of success by using your supportive allies, resources, and most importantly trust in yourself to keep to your decision to stay sober.
Additional Resources for Information on Staying SoberJude Thaddeus Continuing EducationQuick start on Rational Recovery. Why Self-Recovery is an article the Jack Trimpey wrote for the Rational Recovery website in 2003.If you have decided to follow through on you decision to quit drinking, CONGRATULATIONS. You can do it!
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