How To Overcome Alcohol Addiction
Getting over alcohol addiction or helping an alcoholic may seem like an endless, bumpy road. There will be times it will even feel like a goal that’s impossible to accomplish.
However, if you’ve decided to quit drinking and are willing to reach out to the kind of support you need, or are determined to stick by someone with an alcohol addiction, you’ve already won half the battle. Once you can recognize this as a problem that needs to be solved, you can easily recover or help someone else recover from alcoholism, no matter how bad the addiction or how powerless you feel. There is no reason for you to wait to hit rock bottom when you have all the power to make a change today.
While seeking for outside support does help significantly, it is important to remember that in the long-run, the road to permanent recovery is built on personal nurturing and growth and that this is something that only you can take responsibility for.
You will need to work on yourself daily to improve your life and protect yourself from becoming too complacent.
1. Act Everyday
You might be tempted to tell yourself that you’ll start tomorrow, but you know deep inside that you’re only procrastinating. If you’ve spent years relying on alcohol for physical and emotional release, be prepared that it’s going to take a massive amount of effort from your end to rebuild your life without alcohol. This means you will have to teach yourself to have fun and deal with your emotions without alcohol, learn how to prevent a relapse in a society that loves to drink, avoid peer groups that encourage you to have “just one drink”, find true meaning in your life so that sobriety doesn’t seem dull, etc.
None of this will be easy. The road to recovery will be long and it’s unrealistic to expect to see overnight results. Therefore, it is imperative that you learn to take action every single day so that you can quit your addiction faster.
2. Start Getting Physically Healthy
Drinking alcohol for all those years is bound to have affected your body in a bad way. It is, therefore, your responsibility to bring it back to shape. A healthy lifestyle and alcoholism are not mutually compatible, so start taking necessary steps to getting physically fit.
Join physical activities that you know you’d enjoy, learn about nutrition, and encourage yourself to quit any other bad habits such as smoking, that may be exacerbating your health.
Exercise is an enormously powerful tool that has helped plenty of addicts and alcoholics quit just by channeling their energy, focus, and meaning in life towards leading a healthy life. Not only will you learn more about yourself, you will also meet thousands of people who share similar goals and will push you to make yourself healthier.
Furthermore, getting yourself back in shape can help boost your self-esteem. A strong self-esteem can be a real stabilizing force in your life and can help keep feelings of anxiety and depression at bay. This brings us to our next point.
3. Build A Strong Self-Esteem
Being an alcoholic often comes hand in hand with feelings of self-loathing and pity. This is one of the reasons why quitting is so difficult because these negative pangs of anxiety, self-pity, and self-loathing create a need for self-medication which in this case, would be alcohol. Alcohol abuse also comes with its own set of consequences which further damage the victim’s self-esteem, thereby creating the need for more alcohol and continuing the downward spiral of destruction.
A strong, unshatterable self-esteem can serve as a shield against a lot of the emotional disruptions that can trigger alcohol relapse. This is not something you can build overnight, but here are a few ways you can get started.
- Make new friends who share healthy goals and love you for who you are.
- Get yourself back in shape. This will help you feel stronger and more confident and people will respond better to you.
- Find hobbies and activities that challenge you. You can learn something new, or even travel to new places.
- Spend time introspecting and getting to know yourself and your thoughts.
- Help people around you. Take up community service on weekends and make a contribution to somebody’s life.
4. Replace Toxic Relationships With Uplifting Ones
Not only does this mean you distancing yourself from other alcoholics and addicts but it also from people with a negative outlook on life in general. You don’t need unnecessary drama and fights, nor do you need to deal with people who lie, cheat, or steal. Rest assured, these people won’t have your back when things get rough.
Surround yourself instead with people who are actively looking for ways to improve themselves and the quality of their life. Be around the people you love, who will encourage you to be a healthier version of yourself.
5. Do Not Rationalize Complacency
At some point in your recovery, you will find yourself looking back and applauding yourself for having come this far. While it’s good to be proud of yourself, do not stop to rest on your laurels. Be wary that complacency tends to set in when you are at your strongest. Always keep pushing yourself to improve and achieve new boundaries, even if you’re satisfied with the goals you’ve accomplished so far.
6. Count Your Blessings
Gratitude will help prevent you from relapsing. Take a few minutes out of your day to reflect and appreciate the good things that you have, even if you feel they don’t amount to much.
For a lot of people, it helps to write down a fixed number of things that they are grateful for. On some days you may not find too many things to be thankful for, but remembering the little things that you would otherwise take for granted, such as having a roof over your head, or a loving family, can also help giving you a boost of positivity.
7. Don’t Use Support Groups As A Crutch
Support groups can be very helpful, but at the same time, it may be dangerous to rely too much on them to help yourself avoid relapse. So while you may look for support in other individuals to help strengthen yourself, always remind yourself that you must be even stronger to stand on your own two feet.
8. Find Meaning In Your life
This is one of the biggest struggles of being human; we all grapple with trying to find our true purpose in this life. Figuring out what you need to do may or may not be too clear to you at this point in your life, but as long as you have the desire to keep seeking and learning, you can take heart in the fact that you will get there eventually.
9. Seek Medical Supervision When Detoxing
Yes, you can certainly stop drinking alcohol on your own without having to rely on a program or a counselor, although both are certainly worth considering. Bear in mind, however, that the actual process of detoxing from alcohol can be extremely hazardous to your health.
Alcohol detox usually takes about an average of 2-4 days, but if you’ve been drinking excessively for years, and you stop drinking suddenly, you may face a risk of very serious side effects and experience withdrawal symptoms, such as convulsions, hallucinations, heart issues and even seizures that may result in death.
All of this makes for excellent reasons to not take alcohol detoxification lightly. Hence, do not try this on your own at home. Admit yourself into an alcohol treatment facility and allow the professionals to help you detox safely.
Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.