Part of human nature is being attached to something that gives us the feeling of tranquility, happiness and fulfillment. However, this attachment can sometimes result in so much fixation that we become unaware that we can no longer control our cravings.
One of the most common attachments that people tend to overdo is with alcohol. Some enjoy the company of alcohol and may think they drink in excess, but without knowing it’s already an addiction. Alcohol addiction like drug addiction, can be burdensome to let go and a lot of factors can hinder your journey towards an alcohol free lifestyle.
It takes determination and self control to get away from its strong hold. If you’re the type to have already thought about breaking free from your addiction, you should be keen to the idea of avoiding temptation at a “Drinking Holiday.” Try these tips to make drinking holidays easier for you:
TIP #1: Share the Battle
When friends and family get together, alcohol seems to always be present. It’s just the way our society is now. It’s not the greatest idea to miss the fun just to avoid alcohol, although it may be necessary at times. In general, your family and friends will understand your situation. Talk about your decision of finally trying to recover from the addiction, share the pain and struggle of getting away from it and be direct in telling them how dedicated you are to let go of your alcohol addiction.
Without you asking for it, your family, friends and even the people around you will be supportive enough of your battles that they will never hesitate to provide you with a strong support system.
TIP #2: Reward Yourself for Success
Once you have decided to let go of alcohol be sure to hold true to that decision, because an individual who’s just started recovery can be easily be swayed to go back, once triggered. Set a goal and be fair to yourself.
Make a deal with yourself that once you successfully avoided the temptation of alcohol in a month (or you can set your preferred period), you’ll treat yourself to a soothing and rewarding experience (of course, not alcohol related). It may be a vacation, spa package, or a sumptuous food escapade. If you find yourself sipping too much alcohol again, or at all, depending on your approach to sobriety, give yourself a beating (of course not literally, be logical).
TIP #3: Be Accountable
When you’ve just started recovering from an alcohol addiction, it would be hard to say no when a bottle of wine or an ice cold beer is in front of you during a night out with friends or in a gathering you’ve attended. It’s best to be with someone who knows about your struggles and decision to avoid alcohol. This will be someone to remind you of your goals and encourage you not to fall victim to the alcohol. They can be your official nagger for the day or a gallant hero that will stop all alcohol in its tracks if it comes anywhere near you. Alternatively, it could just be someone that you pledge to be accountable to and keep updated if things go south.
TIP #4: Politely Say No
If it is really too difficult to resist once seeing or smelling alcohol, you can just turn down an invitation and not go at all. Come up with a reason to turn down the “drinking holiday.” You can either be frank of your reasons or you use white lies to avoid stirring an issue. Letting go of addiction takes time, no one expects you to immediately be an expert.
It is a long process of self discipline and if you think that you are not yet ready to put yourself near alcohol, then distance yourself from it and take some time while avoiding places where alcohol is present.
TIP #5: Join a support group
If you have people around you with the same sentiments, it will be much easier to move on. It will give you more motivation to continue your recovery if you are with a group of people who understand your situation and are fighting the same battle. You can look online or turn to recovery centers to find a support group that can help you go through the recovery as a unified team, and will assist you every step of the way.
It’s generally very fulfilling when you have a group where you can share your pains and all the experiences you’ve been through while being an alcohol addict. This is the foundation of the 12-step program. Sharing experiences will give you a better understanding of addiction and how your struggles are similar to the struggles of others. There’s a lot of inspiration out there if you’re willing to listen.
TIP #6: Keep this Mantra “A Healthy Life Is A Happy Life”
This world is full of wonders waiting to be discovered. Why make your body suffer from pain that you’ve self-inflicted? You may be enjoying your ice cold beer now but over weeks, months or years, that happiness will deteriorate and you’ll regret the decisions you’ve made. Not to mention, knowing that your body was slowly being destroyed inside. How can you enjoy life to the fullest if your body refuses to cooperate and is damaged from a life of drinking?
The best way to live a happy life is to live a healthy lifestyle. Quit your alcohol addiction now and you’ll be able to see the best of what this world has to offer. If you are healthy, your body is in its best shape and you can take advantage of the opportunities, activities and joys that come your way.
Alcohol is advertised as a beverage that soothes thirst and refreshes your vibe after a tiring and exhausting day. A bottle of wine or a can of beer are both marketed to make you believe that alcohol keeps the bonding with friends alive. But, alcohol when not used moderately can be a silent killer – an addiction that will disorient your daily life and shatter your chances at a bright future.
It’s hard to get away from, like any other addiction. Don’t let anyone full you. Recovery is a long and perilous journey, especially with family holidays and all the temptations that will test your commitment. With all your dedication and faith to yourself, it is possible to recover from an addiction to alcohol. These tips will not be 100% in leading you toward being alcohol free, but they can be a guide and motivation as you continue your journey towards recovery.
About the author:
Greg opened his home and heart to alcoholics and addicts in 2003. He is a Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor (CATCI). Starting in 2009 Greg has fostered the growth of Ocean Hills Recovery into one of the most respected and effective treatment centers in the area and has been working with people with addictions since March of 2001. Greg believes in a holistic approach to recovery. His focus is on drug alcohol addiction treatment with a combination of 12 Step work, therapy and counseling, and the rejuvenation of the body through healthful eating and exercise. He has designed his program to foster a family-like atmosphere and believes that people in recovery are just beginning their lives. He encourages the people he works with to learn to enjoy life in sobriety. Greg is married to Nicole; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.