Finally making the decision to quit drinking alcohol so you can regain control of your life is a huge first step to make. The process is certainly not going to be easy, but as long as you have a solid plan and a reliable support system to help you through–especially when times get rough–you should be able to successfully accomplish your goals.
With that being said, here are some helpful tips you could use to help you get started and follow through with your goal of quitting alcohol.
Identify Your Trigger Points and Plan for Them
Saying you’ll quit alcohol is way easier than actually doing it. That’s why you need to have a strategy that will serve as a guide throughout the entire process, especially if you are going to do it on your own.
It is crucial for you to identify elements in your life–whether it be people, places, or situations–that lead you to drink. At this point, it’s not even a matter of controlling yourself anymore, but rather completely avoiding opportunities for drinking.
It could be at home, where you have a ready stash of six-pack cans in the fridge or a wine cabinet that’s always full. It could be at a family backyard get-together where they’re serving cocktails. It could be that bar you always pass by on your way home that you just can’t seem to avoid.
Once you’ve identified what your triggers are, the next thing for you to do is plan out how to best counter them. Remove any and all types of alcoholic drinks in your home. Replace them with flavored water if plain water isn’t going to cut it for you. This new supply of flavored water is also the same one you can bring at the next family lunch, so you don’t have to get the cocktails. Take a different route to avoid your usual bar on your way home.
These and many more little tweaks in your day-to-day can help. Most importantly, however, let your trusted family and friends be aware of your efforts. This way, they themselves can stop inviting you to have a drink, or at least be on the lookout for you to make sure you don’t try and get one for yourself.
Be Informed About Withdrawals
Aside from the triggers, the other thing you should anticipate is the withdrawal symptoms. These will most definitely test your resolve, but with the help of a strong support system, you can get through it.
Some of the withdrawal symptoms you could expect include anxiety, fatigue, intense cravings for alcohol, clamminess, profuse sweating, weakness, irritability, and in some cases, even seizures. Keep in mind that this is your body’s way of responding to the departure and absence of alcohol from your system.
Seek Professional Help
It doesn’t hurt to get help. Acknowledge when you need it, and seek it out even if you think you’re strong enough to go through it. Detox centers like Ascendant New York and similar institutions not only have the facility but the logistics and know-how to help get you through the most difficult of days during your detox from alcohol.
Interesting related article: “What is Addiction?“