How to Stop Alcohol Drinking: My Tips!
Once you have seriously made the decision to aim for sobriety, you will face many challenges which could be cravings on a daily basis and there are many obvious things that are recommended such as get plenty of exercise, stay away from temptation, eat well, etc. which I absolutely agree with, to keep you occupied.
Regardless of your “level and status” as a moderate, heavy drinker or alcoholic, this is an epic challenge not to be underestimated, not least because society is keen to push alcohol on us wherever we go.
Whilst every day is an achievement, the first 30 days are critical to reaching the ultimate goal of continued sobriety so I have compiled the following tips, which are tried and tested (by me anyway) to help get you to that 30 day or 1 Month milestone and believe me, if you can crack it then you are well on the way to continued sobriety and the benefits that come with it.
One word of warning though. You must want to quit for you as well as for the benefit of others (if this is the case). If not, then you may as well read no further:
Understand the “real” reason you want to quit and create an image of that both in your mind and reality.
Might sound obvious like, “because if I don’t stop drinking, I am going to die or lose my job and the missus is going to do one” but dig deeper than that and consider the knock-on effect.
Here is an example of mine (there can be more than one): I had narrowly kept my job and had driven drunk on several occasions. 1st of all if I lost my job that is a big enough blow but what if I had run over an innocent child and been sent to prison. Now I’m thinking about talking to my kids through bars or a glass window on the telephone, and Daddy isn’t around to take care of us now we live in a bedsit.
It came down to me wanting to keep my family and me safe, so whilst I had this vision in my head of how close I had been to the biggest of mistakes, I also made sure I had a picture as a screen saver on my phone so I could look at their beautiful faces and remind myself why I am doing this, for us all.
Tell your friends, family, and acquaintances you are taking a break from the sauce.
They need not know you have a drink problem, indeed you might not and just want to see if you can do it.
Nevertheless, it is imperative that you have some form of excuse for not going to places that will trigger you to down alcohol and whilst we are on about that, its best to stay away. Quite frankly, those who care about you or understand you will say, good for you (whilst probably thinking “thank god for that, he needs a break”).
Whilst it is best to avoid any social gatherings if possible, I found if people know you are taking a break, they would be less pushy and if you feel OK with it, you have the option to go.
But, always listen to yourself, and if you start thinking “ah well I’m here now may as well have a pint”, or someone else says this to you, then get the hell out of Dodge pronto (and see point 3).
Find somewhere where you can relieve tension, I mean really let go.
This is going to be one of the hardest things you have done but when you achieve it, I guarantee its worth every bit of effort.
Tensions will overflow and you will be annoyed. Not only because you may have let this go on and now your suffering, but everyone else is out, your tired, you can’t concentrate on work because you are trying so hard not to think about alcohol but all you can think about is alcohol, the weather is wet, them across the road keep parking that car outside my house!
You are likely to be a bit fiery! Normally, you might have had alcohol but now what do you do, masturbate?
Perhaps, but what you most definitely do is find somewhere where you can let rip, shout, swear, and release all that tension out of you and take some deep breaths.
You might have a punching bag you can knock the hell out of or walk into the middle of nowhere or have a room in the house with soundproof walls (should I be worried?).
The message is: Do not under any circumstances bottle it up (pardon the pun).
Read all the literature on the web and social media and everywhere else.
Whether it be AA, books on Sobriety, Sober warriors on Instagram or reading blog posts like mine, get stuck into them as they will not only give you a better understanding of why you are doing what you are doing but also the encouragement to carry on knowing you are certainly not alone.
I personally had the 12 steps to recovery (AA) on audio and would listen in the car, but at the same time, I have also surfed the web and read books.
For many people, there is one way that suits them, but for me, I have drawn on all my experiences and picked the best out of them to suit my needs and it has worked, but as I have said before, no persons journey to sobriety is the same.
Find a substitute tipple that you like.
Now you have banished the booze your brain will be like “where’s my fix, I need to substitute…Help” so perhaps you have something in mind but if not, you need to.
Me, I turned to low calorie (had to be) tonic and I am not talking a bit here and there, I am talking gallons of the stuff (I have since become quite a connoisseur) and whilst all the quinine might not be as good as water for your health, at least it is better than alcohol and it kept away the mozzies (quinine, India, soldiers, Malaria)!
For the first 30 days and onward actually, you need something to quench your thirst and get you by and something fizzy is a good option. Go diet though because sugar, like it or not, is another sly one!
In summary, these are just some of the tips to assist you in your quest but please read my other material for inspiration or even to see what not to do.
Remember alcohol is cunning and sly and will go for you when you are down, so if that time comes, pour yourself a tonic (on its own obvs), look at that picture of the good times, and read for some inspiration. If that fails, go to your place of expression and shout like hell “I can do this” because if I can, you can!
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