Many people choose to stop drinking alcohol for a variety of reasons. Some encounter health problems associated with the alcohol itself. Others experience personality changes and the consequences of using too much alcohol.
Then there is a line that many of us cross. It is the line between a drinking problem and a point where we cannot imagine life with or without a drink. That is the line that I crossed many years ago. Once that line is crossed, it is virtually impossible to go backward. Alcoholics refer to it as something like trying to turn a pickle back into a cucumber.
Once we reach a point where the term alcoholic clearly applies, we must smash the idea of controlling or otherwise limiting our drinking. We must stop. What a tall order that will seem if you’ve been overwhelmed by alcoholism. However, there is a solution. Here’s how I stopped drinking alcohol.
One of the first concepts of recovery I encountered was the need to surrender the idea that I could ever drink again. With helpful suggestions and a willingness to accept new ideas, I became open to the idea that alcohol had beaten me.
There was a point when I had to be honest with myself. There was help, and there were solutions to overcome the urge to drink. Before I could bring myself to ask for help, I needed to stop fighting a battle that I kept losing time and time again. It was time for me to surrender.
Asked for Help
I knew I needed help once I realized my powerlessness over stopping drinking on my own. Without a solution, I was left to my own solutions. Alcoholics call it white-knuckling it. After a few pointless relapses, I became willing to ask for help.
One of the most common ways of getting help for a drinking problem is to pick up the phone. There are a number of ways to get the help we need. However, it requires a willingness on our part to ask.
Once I made that first phone call, it felt like a freight train had been lifted off my shoulders. I still struggled with avoiding a drink, but it seemed I had opened up a new chapter in my life.
The pages were blank. But, as time passed I started to fill in the blank pages with experiences in sobriety; things that I never imagined could have been possible.
Sober just for Today
When I was first approached with the idea of going a lifetime without another drink, I was flabbergasted at the seemingly unattainable objective. Almost immediately, I recoiled at the thought as a mission impossible.
It was rare that I could string together more than a of couple days without taking a drink. The days when I didn’t think about having at least one alcoholic beverage were non-existent. Early in my recovery journey, a kind person smiled and told me not to worry.
I didn’t need to bother with the anguish about trying to stay sober for a week, a month or even a year. All I needed to do was follow a few simple suggestions to not pick up a drink for one day. Once I realized this was more than a novel concept, my days began to add up to weeks, months, and now to a number of years since my last drink.
There was a time during my drinking days that if someone told me to do something, I stubbornly did the exact opposite. This was a prescription for failure. Once I gave up the idea I could stop drinking on my own, I began to see how other people’s experience could be valuable tools.
Rarely has anyone I’ve encountered during my recovery road told me what to do. From counselors to fellow recovering alcoholics, help has invariably been offered as a suggestion. However, these suggestions are sort of like parachute release cords. Things work out a lot better if I use them.
This is how I stopped drinking. Others have traveled somewhat different paths, however; everyone seems to be bonded by these four characteristics. There comes a time when everyone who crosses the line between too much to drink and an inability to stay stopped.
Once you realize you’ve crossed that line, all you have to do is say I can’t fight this fight alone any longer. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength. The help you need to stop drinking is there.
That help could come in a variety of forms. You may join a sober fellowship or benefit from a treatment program. Throughout your sober journey, you’ll receive a number of suggestions. The most useful of these suggestions will be based on experience.
If you think you have a problem with alcohol, even if you’re uncertain you’re an alcoholic, pick up the phone and ask for help today. There’s help there from people who are walking a wonderful lifelong journey in recovery. If I can do, so can you. Get help today at 800-411-8019, tomorrow may be too late.