Are you wondering if you really have a problem? Have you taken the quiz? Have you read the definition of alcoholism? Have you Google “How do you know if you are an alcoholic?” Have you compared yourself to your friends, the ones that seem to drink much more than you and still are OK? Have you woken up feeling hangover, and ashamed and swore that you will never drink again?
If you are in the midst of your addiction, you may have asked yourself these questions numerous times. You may now feel trapped in the devastating cycle of addiction. You may feel alone, depressed, hopeless, lost, and angry. You may feel like you have lost control over the amount consumed once you begin drinking. You may have tried several moderation techniques that all had failed at some point. Maybe you are having a difficult time at work and with your family members. Maybe you have even found yourself in dangerous behaviors that carry risk of legal, financial and/or health consequences.
Alcoholism is a chronic and often progressive disease that includes problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems, having to drink more to get the same effect (physical dependence), or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease or stop drinking. If you have alcoholism, you cannot consistently predict how much you will drink, how long you will drink, or what consequences will occur from your drinking. (Source MayoClinic)
Most people with alcohol problems do not resolve to make a big change unexpectedly or transform their drinking lifestyles overnight. Recovery is usually a more gradual process. In the early stages of change, denial is a huge obstacle because it keeps us from seeking help. We often compare ourselves to others, and then concluded that our drinking is not that bad! After all, we have not lost everything! However, for many of us the personal bankruptcy finally beats us down— the empty hole in our souls, the isolation, and the despair.
I was in a huge amount of denial about my drinking. I did not consider myself a bottom drunk. On the outside, my life seemed quite normal, at least to me. I had the DUI, but I completed my sentence and got my license back. I lost a few jobs but then I got new ones. I was behind on my mortgage but I still had a home. I did not have much money but I had enough to buy booze. I had to get through some legal problem, but the judge was on my side, and only ordered me to go to outpatient rehab classes. In my view, I could not relate to the bottom cases and the horror stories that I heard in the meetings and at the rehab. I even remember calling my step mom after completing the first week there, and telling her how “they” made a mistake, and I just did not belong there.
Even after acknowledging that I had a drinking problem, I was still making excuses and dragging my feet. The fear of the uncertainty about stopping drinking kept me in denial. I was not ready to change and I was struggling with the decision for a long time. At the same time, my drinking was causing me to fall in deep depression and self-loathing was ramped. My life still looked OK on the outside but my mental state was dissipating. I felt hopeless.
If you find yourself in this situation, and you are not sure if you are ready to change or you are struggling with the decision, it can help to think about the benefits of this choice. Your life does not have to continue this way. You never have to feel like this again! You can change it and you can get sober! You can have a life with millions of moments that fill your heart with joy and happiness. Sobriety will make your mind clear and your body healthy again. It will make you appreciate the reality. It will make you feel comfortable in your own skin. It will keep you balanced and serene. You will stop feeling like you are losing it all, and start feeling like you are gaining everything.
Today is the day you can make a decision to get sober! Today can be your start! It only takes one decision and one day. Stop thinking about yesterday and pondering the tomorrow, and make the change today! Make the decision now. YOUR future is in your hands! YOU CAN DO THIS!
If you feel the need detox and many people do, go to your nearest hospital. You can also Google “drug and alcohol services” for your local city and contact a professional, or the nearest rehabilitation facility, or you can go to your primary doctor who will be able to give good advice on how to proceed. You can also contact the Alcoholic Anonymous hotline in your area to find a meeting near you.
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with alcohol addiction, please click the Find Support link for an extensive list of support groups. Also please check out the links to many useful resources in the sidebar, and always feel free to contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may also find some great inspiration and support from all the awesome sober bloggers listed in the side bar under POSTS I LIKE and RECOVERY BLOGGERS, as well as Sober Courage page on Facebook and Sober Courage on Twitter.