If alcohol is too much a part of your life, you’re not alone. In 2015, 26.9% of adults reported engaging in binge drinking within the last thirty days. 7% reported engaging in heavy alcohol use. It’s estimated that 6.2% of Americans over the age of 18 have an Alcohol Use Disorder. If you’re one of the many who suffers from overuse, or an addiction, you’re not alone. Seeking help is the first step in achieving a better life. Unfortunately, 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes every year. Rather than becoming part of that statistic, you can find peace and health through conquering your AUD.
Make a List
A good place to start is to write a list of pros and cons. While this may seem like a fourth grade homework assignment, it will help you think more clearly about the issue. List what you have to lose by quitting. List what you have to gain by quitting. Be upfront with yourself and write down everything that comes to mind. Once you’ve completed the list, you should have gotten rid of your ambivalence. It’s a good way to confront the issue and spur yourself towards making a plan.
Make a Plan
Decide if you’re going to quit altogether, or just cut back. Either way, let your family and friends know. No one can tackle an alcohol problem in the dark, so it’s important to get as much accountability as possible. If you’re quitting, get rid of all the alcohol in the house. You may need to avoid certain social functions and certain friends. Know your own limits and respect them.
Keep Track of the Cravings
If you’re only cutting back, keep a diary of every time you have a drink. If you’re quitting altogether, keep track of the cravings. Psychologists recommend that you journal those cravings, and then, week by week, step back from the craving, until you realize it’s only a symptom, not a part of you.
If you’re recovering from a serious alcohol addiction, the withdrawal may be too severe for your body to handle. Recovery this extreme should never be handled alone. Make sure you know the withdrawal symptoms, and call 911 if your condition becomes extreme.
Breaking free of an alcohol problem on your own may not be possible. There are hundreds of organizations, like , that can help you effectively recover from an addiction. If you need help, seek it. Never let pride stand in the way of a better life.