Solid Steps to Stop Drinking Alcohol
Alcohol is a dangerous drug and can consume an individual’s life – fact. Finding the right steps to stop drinking alcohol, the right guidance and path, can be crucial in the recovery process.
You have decided to make the journey to quit, but dont know the steps to stop drinking alcohol?
How can you start a journey but don’t know what steps to take?!
You are looking for steps to stop drinking alcohol. It might be something that you are considering for the first time – or it may be something that you have been wanting to do for a long time. You may have even tried to stop drinking once, twice or countless times but something gives and you are back to drinking again.
One thing I would say is if you have tried and tried again, DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF UP ABOUT IT. Alcohol is a drug, and a very addictive one at that. This is something that is overlooked too often. We all know it is a drug, yet we get confused when we try to stop?
Removing alcohol from your life can be a life-changing decision. But, to change your life..well it isn’t easy.
Putting things in place to do this, structure and tools, is essential to get to where you want to be. So, I have some tips and tricks to help you get it right.
Here are some points that will get you pointing in the right direction.
Admit to yourself that you have a problem with alcohol.
It often hits home with people that they have an alcohol problem. But then convince themselves that they do not, by sheer denial. It is at this point that where the strength in admitting that you do actually have a drinking problem comes in.
When you do accept that you have an issue with alcohol, there is no need to run around gathering everyone that you know and telling all about it.
There is no need or requirement to shout it from the rooftops, or even confide in anyone really – but admitting it to yourself is the first step in acknowledging that your drinking has become a problem in your life.
Actually, tell yourself that you have an issue with alcohol, say it out aloud. Some may think that there is a shame in admitting it? I say it is probably one of the most liberating things to do. It gives you a start to your new life, and it made me extremely strong in my own decision to remove alcohol from my life.
This is the first step to taking control of your life when it comes to alcohol.
Make a commitment to being sober
Commit to the idea of stopping drinking. Not in a way that pays lip-service to the thought, but REAL commitment. By getting the concept of not drinking inside your own head, deciding that you WILL STOP DRINKING, is really the only sure-fire way to make the change.
Once you have decided to do it – do it! Sounds a bit cliche? It is and it isn’t. Actually deciding that you have stopped drinking, telling yourself that you are not going to consume alcohol is often the key to doing it right. Half-assed attempts will end in you being back on the booze. If you say to yourself ‘well I am going to give it a try’…you have already decided deep down that you will drink again at some point.
Defeats the purpose and this approach will defeat you too.
You can read all of the books and attend groups, and of course these all help…but when you actually make the firm decision that enough is enough…this is when you will crack the devil drink and stop drinking once and for all.
Quit in a safe way when making the first steps to stop drinking alcohol
You can safely detox from alcohol on your own, without the need for medical intervention – absolutely! But be aware that you should take extra care if you are going to do this on your own.
The immediate stopping of alcohol could have a serious impact on your health that might cause the need for medical treatment.
Depending on the levels of your drinking, slow reduction may be an option rather than completely stopping altogether.
Slowing down alcohol rather than stopping completely may take you longer to get to where you want to be, but it could avoid experiencing major health issues.
If you are considering stopping alcohol, especially after long-term abuse – a conversation with your GP would be highly recommended. They may or may not prescribe medication to help you detox, but I would strongly advise using your sense at this point and at least have the conversation with a professional.
Fill your time with other hobbies
Stopping drinking gives you the gift of time – but that can also be a challenge – so make sure you plan and fill that time to good use! Visit an old hobby, or start a new one. Ditching the booze gives you a new zest for life, physical energy and mental alertness. Finding new skills is a part of life that is priceless.
In the early days of removing the booze, even if you don’t commit to a full-time hobby, filling your time is a great choice. Reading, watching tv, anything that fills your time will increase the chances of being successful in quitting drinking. The early days are when relapses happen the most – you are at your most vulnerable.
Make sure you give yourself the best chances possible. You know that these times are the most difficult, so put things in place to help yourself.
I found that fitness and the gym was a massive help for me. I started running – something that I left behind a long time ago. The NHS run a Couch To 5K program, designed to help you get on track. It is free and downloadable to a phone. It offers guided running with motivational voice recordings to help keep you on track.
Since quitting alcohol, I have followed the program twice now and each time I have really enjoyed getting out for some outdoor exercise.
Prepare yourself for the good and the bad times
You have been drinking for a few years now, probably longer? Alcohol is a very strong poison that affects you physically and mentally. In fact, it is probably one of the most potent substances that you have put inside your body.
Let’s be realistic about this. Taking away something that strong is not going to be an easy ride, but at least you have the upper hand. You KNOW that the difficult times are going to come. SO, you have the chance to prepare for these times now.
You need to be mentally strong to take the right steps to stop drinking alcohol – but remember what you have to gain from it. You will have more benefits when stopping the booze than you could ever imagine possible. You will feel more mentally aware, and physically ready to face life than you ever did. You will experience feelings and emotions that you can only vaguely remember you had in the times before alcohol became a part of your life. Embrace it – but remember that the entire will not be all roses and sunshine. BUT – remember it will be so worth it!
Challenge your beliefs about alcohol
There are many, many beliefs that surround alcohol. More than we realise – beliefs that are planted into us throughout life. I found that a massive help to knock the booze was actually challenging my own beliefs. For me it was things like the need for having a drink to help me with sleeping. Actually, this was a massive aspect that struggling to quit alcohol. But once I found a technique to sleep, one that worked for me, sleep is probably one of the greatest times of my days now.
It is amazing just how much better you will feel when you get a full night’s sleep. You give your mind and body total rest for the next day and the day after.
Some beliefs you will just take for granted such as –
- Alcohol helps you relax
- It tastes good
- You deserve a treat, have a drink
- Give yourself a break on ‘special occasions’
- Alcohol livens up a party
By looking at each of your beliefs and actually challenging them – breaking them down and challenging them – is the key to re-learning what alcohol is…and what it is not.
Look at each individual reason -whatever is personal to you – and focus on the reason. You will realise that each reason is filled with flaws and any rational person can see that. Alcohol does this – it makes you think irrationally about putting a poison into your body, and willingly so.
Immerse yourself in the AF lifestyle – surround yourself with positivity
We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.Jim Rohn – Motivational Speaker
Who you surround yourself with affects who you are, what you act like, what you behave like and essentially what makes you as a person. By reading about alcohol-free lifestyle, and being with people who choose this life, you will make your journey all that much easier.
If you want to improve your chances of an AF life – surround yourself with positive people. If this is not practical in ‘real life’, there has never been a better time or opportunity to connect with the outside world thanks to social media.
There are lots of great groups on social media to help you find steps to stop drinking alcohol. Of course, encourage you to visit our own Facebook group where we share tips on how to quit the booze.
The Alcohol Off Switch has been created to help people review and change their relationship with alcohol.
We have put together some resources that will help you along your alcohol-free journey, and also some courses that can guide you along your way.
We hope that this website gives you the help to help yourself and rid alcohol from your system -and from your life.