From high blood pressure to liver disease, cancer, dementia, cardiovascular diseases, and lots more, it is no news that drinking comes with a sack load of problems and health risks.
Apart from these, when you factor in the sleepless nights, nagging headaches from endless hangovers, and unnecessary spending – you can’t help but wonder aloud: ‘What do these people gain from drinking?’
Well, to be fair, there are lots of drinkers who are dying to stop but are stuck with that big question: How do I stop?
If you are one of those and you’re reading this, then you need to know that so many people out there have been in your shoes and have gone on to beat drinking. It’s very much possible.
But first, you need to sit down and do a thorough soul-searching by asking yourself these five honest questions. They could be all the weapons you need to defeat an arch-enemy like drinking.
Why do I drink in the first place?
For you to be able to achieve success in your fight against drinking, you need to sit down and find out why you do it in the first place. You need to understand the relationship between you and alcohol.
While some people drink to calm down when they’re stressed, others see the bottle as a quick getaway from their seemingly unending troubles and worries. Some other people drink because they love the ‘courage’ and ‘fearlessness’ it gives them afterward; while there are some who just drink because they are bored and want to while away time.
Whatever your reason or reasons are, you need to write them down, as these are the factors that trigger your alcohol intake and they form the ground on which your romance with the bottle is premised. Identifying the reasons makes the job easier.
Why do I want to quit?
Okay, so you’ve identified your triggers and listed out your reasons for drinking and now you’re probably wondering what’s next.
Well, you’ll find out that one thing consistent with those reasons you listed is the fact that drinking does a job in your life and helps fill a void.
Take, for instance, if your reason for drinking is because you’re stressed, then that would only mean that the bottle helps take that away and gives you some calm that only you can understand.
In the same vein, if your trigger is boredom, then it would be safe to say that you probably find engagements or fun when you hit the bottle. And this brings the big question: Does drinking actually do you any good? If yes, then why do you want to quit?
Why would anyone want to do away with something that adds value to their life? The only logical answer to that would most likely be: “For the greater good”
The only time anyone would think of giving up something good would probably be when something of more importance pops up. So, why are you giving up drinking?
- Are you looking to improve your health?
- Seeking more control over your emotion and temper?
- Or, perhaps you’re about to have a baby and you need to fit the profile of a more responsible parent.
Whatever your reason for quitting is, define it and be sure that it dwarfs whatever your reason for drinking is in the first place. This is highly important for motivation.
When do I quit?
You’ve identified your reason for drinking and have even done one better by establishing your reason or reasons for wanting to quit. Now you are ready to move on to the big question – “When do I quit?”
Are you planning to stop immediately or trying to pick a date? – even though history has proven that quitting immediately gives you a higher chance of success than looking forward to a further date or trying to use the ‘weaning’ method.
Whether you plan on picking a future date or wish to quit immediately, you need to be resolute and determined with your decision. Make a decision and stick to it.
While it is advisable to quit immediately or altogether, it is important to note that, that idea won’t work for those living with alcohol disorders, as stopping abruptly can pose grave hazards to them.
People suffering from this challenge need to seek professional help before embarking on this journey.
What do I do after quitting?
Your quest for achieving sobriety would never be a success without factoring this into the equation. It is just not enough to pick a quit date and stick to it – you have to prepare for life after quitting too.
You had your reasons and triggers that draws you to alcohol in the first place and formed the basis of your relationship with the bottle.
Well, it’s not like those factors or triggers are just gonna disappear into thin air now just because you said ‘I quit’. If anything, they’re gonna even look more appealing now. The temptation is going to be stronger now. You just placed a hit on your back.
Your reasons for drinking in the first place are valid and they’ll still be there after you quit so you have to sit down and find a healthy alternative. If it’s boredom then you need to ensure you don’t find yourself in that position.
You can take a walk around the hood or go out visiting. However, make sure those you’re visiting are not people who drink and are going to lure you back into drinking.
For stress, you could find solace in sleeping or engaging in other healthy activities that would help you relax or forget your worries.
Who do I hang out with?
What kind of company do you keep? And, that question doesn’t apply to your life before the sobriety challenge alone, it equally applies to life now – after you’ve quit.
If you have been keeping the company of folks that love to drink and hang out in places where alcohol is easily accessible, then you need to ditch them for a healthier circle that aligns with your new goal and view.
You also need to cut off those stuffs that remind you of alcohol, clothes, bottles, cups, and all.
It would do you a world of good to join up and surround yourself with communities of others like you who have taken this same journey that you’re on and are winning at it and also people who are still in the same struggle, just like you.
Experiences from both worlds will help strengthen your resolve and boost your chances of winning the war.
Winning the battle against drinking is well achievable; all it takes is honesty and the will power to stay true to your resolve. T
o make the journey of regaining control over your life easier, the process has been broken down into these five simple and honest questions which can serve as the very compass you need to forge your way out of life’s fog and make it into the light.
Good luck; and may the odds be ever in your favour.