Alcohol consumption can take over your life if you let it. Whether you are sure you have a problem or just think it is time to stop drinking, there are steps you can take to remove alcohol from your life. Consider following these instructions when you are ready to stop drinking. If you're one of the many who have developed a social drinking problem and you want to regain control, I recommend you check out AlcoholFreeSocialLife.com.
- Be honest about your drinking. Before you can stop drinking you need a bit of a reality check. Why are you thinking about giving up alcohol? Has someone else asked you to quit? Is your drinking impacting other areas of your life? Or are you concerned about recent black outs or events you cannot remember? You need to get real with yourself about when and why you drink before you can begin to stop.
- Listen to your loved ones. If you aren't sure if your drinking is a problem or if your loved ones are expressing concern, it may be time to listen. Pay attention when the people in your life tell you about behavior you don't remember or when they explain how your drinking impacts their lives.
- Clean out your cabinets and closets. Remove the temptation where you can by cleaning bottles and cans out of your fridge, bar and any other place where you may keep your stash. This may mean keeping out of bars and restaurants for the first few months while you get accustomed to declining alcohol. The easiest way to avoid temptation is to keep alcohol as far from your reach as possible.
- Avoid old drinking buddies. Avoiding temptation also means giving up old friends. Your former drinking buddies won't be pleased with your decision to quit drinking. They may try to tempt you back with just one more drink. Or they may just be angry and bitter about what they feel is your passing judgment on their lifestyle.
- Get help. Few people can stop drinking on their own. Reach for a helping hand. Consider your church, local Alcoholics Anonymous or therapist for recommendations. Often there is a reason why you began drinking and why alcohol has consumed so much of your life. By talking about your problems and getting help you can begin to remove the source of your drinking.
- Find a mentor. When getting help you may best be served by a mentor who has been where you are. Being able to talk about the struggles of stopping and tips for avoiding social situations that are heavy in the alcohol, you may take another step closer to becoming free of alcoholism.
Deciding to stop drinking is a big step in any life. Once you make the decision your battle has just begun. By following these steps you may be able to make your way through the minefield and find yourself on the other side, clean and sober.
It's okay to ask for help when you can't stop drinking on your own. Consider attending a meeting at Alcoholics Anonymous or consult your physician for a local alcohol treatment center that offers inpatient or outpatient care options.