I’ll tell you this for free – if you’re hooked on alcohol as badly as I was, the answer for how to stop drinking runs a lot deeper than a quick Google search. Sure, there’s tons of information about how to stop drinking alcohol and beat the addiction all over the internet, and I’m definitely not against the idea of trying out suggestions that you find. However, most of the work is down to you. No matter how much information you get, there’s a lot more to quitting drinking than research. The bulk of the long road to recovery is down to the decisions you make and how strictly you stand by these decisions.
This isn’t me trying to be the motivational role model that tells you “the easy way to stop drinking” or “follow these steps to quit drinking”. No. The honest-to-God truth is, it’s tough as nails to beat alcoholism, and sometimes you have to try a lot of different things before you find something that works for you. I think one of the problems is that a lot of people are very eager to talk about how one can beat alcoholism, but they don’t talk about what happens when you stop drinking alcohol. For me, knowledge about withdrawal symptoms and similar matters is just as important as finding out how to stop drinking alcohol and beat the addiction.
To begin with, I’d like to point out the fact that even when I actively started to try to quit alcohol, I relapsed more than once. The moments after those relapses were some of the worst of my life. I was an emotional wreck – incredibly angry at myself, and I may have transferred that aggression to the people around me. I think that would be a familiar tune for a lot of people working on how to overcome alcoholism, so I’m just saying this for you to know that you’re not “irredeemable”. Anyway, here’s what worked for me.
I asked myself, “How do I stop drinking?” People say the first step to any form of recovery is an admittance that there’s a problem. I knew that I was drinking a lot, but I didn’t recognize it as a problem until it started to affect my health and my social life. I’ll say the earlier you recognize and admit that you can’t stop drinking – that it has become an addiction – the quicker you can be on your way to recovery.
Another factor that played a huge role for me in alcohol cessation was that I sought help from people. Honestly, I don’t think I would have gotten through this on my own, especially after those relapses. I’d tried some medication to stop drinking, but self-medicating did absolutely nothing for me except nearly lead me down another rabbit hole of addiction. When I recognized that I couldn’t do it on my own, it took a great deal for me to admit it to someone else. It’s not the sort of thing that’s easy to talk to anyone about, but I did. That decision was a significant part of my recovery, and I honestly believe it is the most natural and best way to stop drinking.
After opening myself up to friends, I came out of my shell a bit more. Their supportive and non-judgmental reaction made me more willing to relate with other people about the situation that I was in. I mean, their support was great, but I felt like the people that would understand the situation I was in most perfectly were people that were also trying to quit drinking alcohol. We had a discussion about this and decided to check out support groups for alcoholics – they’re called Alcoholics Anonymous meetings actually. Unsurprisingly, there were a couple of them in my area and it was easy to find out when and where they met each week.
From my first meeting there, there’s been immense progress. I can’t explain how much of a difference it makes to be able to say literally anything about what you’re going through and genuinely feel like you’re talking to people that just…get it. I developed the courage to seek professional help for alcohol cessation at a rehab center, and their detoxification programs and therapy routines have been a massive help. I know it’s still early-ish days, but I can say with conviction that I have quit alcohol for life. I’m just not in that headspace anymore. The emotional rollercoaster of anxiety, depression, and stress that triggered all of it seems so distant now.