Alcohol abuse can be defined by continuous use of the substance despite the detriment to the user and their family, and even to the point of involvement with the legal system. Do you have a drinking problem? Find out here.
Overcoming an alcohol addiction can be difficult but not impossible. You can recover from its grip by recognizing the problem, having the will to make changes, and getting the support you need. Focusing on improving your quality of life to have more time for people and things you care about will help you leave alcohol behind for good.
Choose and Commit to Stop Drinking
If you’re not struggling with first steps, weigh the pros and cons of drinking vs. quitting. Recognize that alcohol addiction has affected your relationships with family, friends, and co-workers. Quitting would improve those relationships and allow more time to spend on responsibilities and activities that would improve your life.
Once you make that choice, set goals for how quickly you want to stop. If you set gradual goals, be sure to include days in which you do not drink at all and work up to more. If you decide to stop all together, have a support system to help you through withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms can start within hours, peak within 2 days, and improve within 5 days. Some symptoms include sweating, shaking, headache, nausea/vomiting, stomach cramps, and trouble sleeping. If symptoms are worse (fever, confusion, severe vomiting, seizures/ convulsions) call 911 as these can be life-threatening.
Alcohol recovery is a continuous process. Building a support system is important to keep you invested in people who care about you and hold you accountable. They can help you stay motivated and moving in the right direction.
Your chances of staying sober increase with continued support and treatment. Staying involved in support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, therapy, or non-drinking social groups can be a great tool to stay focused on your goals. Be clear with friends and family about your limitations and what you’d like to accomplish. Remove temptations from your home and office to rid yourself of obvious drinking reminders. Sometimes you may even have to remove some friends and acquaintances from your life if they are unwilling to respect the limits you’ve set.
Stress plays a big role in alcoholism. Knowing this and finding healthier ways to deal with stress can prevent triggers. Relaxation techniques, exercise, hobbies, and overall positivity can relieve stress and tension.
Boost your Physical Health
Eating right, getting enough sleep, and exercising more can help prevent cravings and mood swings. Your body needs to fully recover from the alcohol it was given and become stronger.
Working out has an abundance of health benefits for recovering alcoholics. It boosts self-esteem, gives you attainable goals to accomplish, and reasons not to drink in order to accomplish those goals. A regular exercise routine can prevent heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Working out fills time and can also be an outlet for anxiety or anger instead of relapsing. Running, boxing, and many other types of exercise routines are out there to try and see which may suit you. You might even make new friends.
Move Forward With Your Life
Now is the time to figure out what holds importance in your life and where you see yourself in the future. Make your sobriety count by moving forward with new goals and being grateful for your progress so far. Focus on furthering your career or starting a new one, by going back to school or engaging in training relevant to your job or interests. Learn new skills or sports to enhance your free time. Nurture relationships with those important to you and find new paths to happiness without addiction.
Keep pushing yourself to be the best version of you that you can be. Alcohol can and will be put permanently behind you if you stay positive and keep focusing on your goals.