Beating a dependency on alcohol takes more than willpower. Too many people consider themselves to be failures if they fail to stop after their first or even 20th attempt. They beat themselves up while asking the question, “How hard is it to quit drinking, and why can’t I do it?” The basic answer comes down to chemistry, or the way it’s altered in your brain through excessive consumption of alcohol. There’s no shame in acknowledging the complexity that comes with giving up alcohol for good.
What Can I Do to Stop Drinking?
Recovery from alcohol abuse is possible regardless of the lows you may have hit along the way. If you’re ready to change, then you can work through the doubts that come with the question, “How hard is it to quit drinking?”
The process works differently from everyone. Some people decide to give up alcohol after a major event, while others make a more gradual decision. True recovery takes time. The first step along the way is getting past the denial that there is a severe problem.
It’s easy to come up with excuses to avoid getting help. You think about how hard it is to quit drinking and decide it’s not worth the ordeal. If you’re having trouble getting past your ambivalence, it often helps to make a list of pros and cons to giving up alcohol.
Potential Pros for Drinking
- It helps you forget your troubles
- Makes you more fun at parties
- It helps you deal with stressful situations
Potential Cons for Drinking
- It’s harmful to your relationships
- Leaves you feeling depressed and disgusted after
- It’s affecting your school or job performance
Once you’re ready to go with the benefits of giving up alcohol, create a list of goals around drinking. Make sure they’re realistic and specific. For example, pick a date where you will stop drinking entirely, or a day where you will limit the amount of alcohol you consume.
Do things that make it easier to achieve your goals like removing alcohol and alcohol-related items from your immediate vicinity. Let friends and family know what you’re trying to achieve and ask them to avoid doing so in your presence. Be strict about enforcing your new boundaries, including keeping yourself away from social events where you might end up giving in to temptation.
Should I Try Cutting Back Instead of Quitting Entirely?
If you have real difficulty controlling your alcohol intake, it’s likely for the best that you give up alcohol entirely. That means you’ll have to face the reality of how hard it is to quit drinking head-on. If that gets to be too much for you, scale things back to limiting your drinking. Choose certain days where you’ll allow yourself to have a specific amount of alcohol. Start tracking the times you drink and how much you consumed. It’ll help you get a clear picture of how much you’re drinking.
It’s best not to have alcohol readily available in the home. Try drinking slowly and take a half-hour break in between each one. It may also help to consume other beverages like soda, water, or juice between your alcoholic drinks. Make sure you eat something, so you’re not drinking on an empty stomach.
If you’re only cutting back on alcohol, make sure you incorporate at least one or two non-drinking days during the week. Assess how you feel on those days, both mentally and physically, to see if the benefits make you want to continue living that way.
What Are the Available Treatment Options?
You may get to a point where you realize you need professional help to deal with how hard it is to quit drinking. Oceanfront Recovery offers clients a variety of choices when it comes to getting control of an addiction to alcohol.
Call Oceanfront Recovery at (877) 296-7477 if you’re ready to make a change.