Have you taken the quiz? Have you read the definition of alcohol use disorder? Have you Google “How do I know if have a drinking problem?” 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 hungover and ashamed and swore that you will never drink again?
If you have, then you have most likely struggled with Substance Use Disorder (SUD) in some way.
If you are in the midst of your addiction, you may feel stuck in an empty life. You may feel alone, depressed, hopeless, lost, and angry. However, there is a solution, and it is sobriety and recovery.
Most individuals 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.
I think that is the worst part of the addiction; it is like living in some delusion. You can always find someone who is much worse off than you are. You can always say I am not that bad, and my drinking is not that bad! However, for many of us it is the personal bankruptcy that finally get us — the empty hole in our souls, the loneliness, and the despair.
I was in a huge amount of denial. I did not consider myself a bottom drunk. On the outside, my life seemed quite normal, at least to me. Well, 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 problems, but the judge was on my side, and only ordered me to go to outpatient rehab classes!
So in my view, I could not relate to the bottom case, and the horror stories I heard in the 12-step 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.
But your life does not have to be that way. You never have to feel this way 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. When was the last time you felt real joy, or happiness or even noticed that the sun was shining?
Even after acknowledging you have a drinking problem, you may make excuses and drag your feet. It is important to acknowledge your uncertainty about stopping drinking. If 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.
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. You only have to do it for today. Stop thinking about yesterday and pondering tomorrow, and make the change today!
If you need detox and many people do, go to your nearest hospital — detoxing by yourself can be fatal. You can also Google “drug and alcohol services” for your local city and contact a professional or the nearest rehabilitation facility. You can also contact the Alcoholic Anonymous hotline in your area. You can go to your primary doctor who will be able to give good advice on how to proceed.
However, do it today, make the decision now. YOUR future is in your hands!
YOU CAN DO THIS!
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)*, please check out the Sober Courage menu at the top of this page for an extensive list of support groups and recovery related articles.
*Problem drinking that becomes severe is given the medical diagnosis of “alcohol use disorder” or AUD. AUD is a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol intake, and a negative emotional state when not using (Ref: NIAAA).