Recovery for Alcoholism: What To Do When You Want To Quit
Sometimes life can just get really frustrating, and if you’re in recovery for alcoholism, it can seem overwhelming at first. I’m sure you can relate. Things don’t always go the way you want, people don’t act the way they should, you try and try and keep hitting brick walls, etc. You may even find yourself relapsing over and over.
It can get tiresome for sure. If you talk to successful men and women in recovery from alcoholism, I’m fairly certain they will tell you that they hit obstacles and walls on the road to success more than they wanted to. They wanted to throw in the towel and quit, but for one reason or another, they kept plodding along with their hopes and dreams alive.
You can too.
What is Success In and Out of Recovery?
Whether you are going after the next promotion at work, trying to raise your kids right, or be the best spouse that you can be, or staying clean and sober, success is not necessarily a destination. Success is a journey. Success is doing the next right thing and continuing to move forward even when you are tired, frustrated, or angry. Success is taking a mistake or even a failure and learning from it. It is taking the opportunity to grow despite all that goes on in your life. Success is a lot of things!
In recovery for alcoholism, success will be you making the commitment to NOT pick up a drink no matter what. It may mean that you attend an alcohol rehab for a while, and then onto some addiction counseling. Success will be you learning valuable life lessons about yourself, others, life, addiction, and love. Success will be you trading your addiction to alcoholism for a life of peace and freedom.
Frustrating Times Will Come
One key to succeeding in anything is knowing that frustrating times will come. A relapse may occur, the promotion might go to someone else, the kids might rebel, and the partner might become a selfish, not-so-nice person. What are you going to do? How will you be prepared when things don’t work out the way you desire?
If you make a declaration right now that no matter what disappointing or frustrating thing comes your way you will NOT QUIT, you will be more apt to achieve more in life. You will be more apt to feel contentment even when all hell is breaking loose. You will continue on in your recovery for alcoholism, even when it’s very challenging. You will allow optimism to get you through the tough spots. Yes, frustrating times will come and oftentimes you will be powerless over them, but you don’t have to quit. You don’t have to let it ruin your life, relationship, career goals, etc.
You might not have power over some circumstances, but you do have power over the way you think. You have power over your mind. You can be optimistic or pessimistic. You can get angry and spew your words of anger all over the place or you can feel the anger, process it, and let it go. You have much more control than you might think.
If you’re struggling with your thought life, and your thoughts are hindering your recovery for alcoholism, it may be time to reach out for professional help. This can come via an addictions counselor, inpatient or outpatient alcohol rehab, life coaching, and so on. What you think affects your beliefs and emotions. Your emotions are going to dictate your actions, so if you’re not doing something you want to be doing or vice versa, it’s time to really start looking at your thoughts.
Wait it Out
I know for myself that sometimes I get frustrated when I am doing all I can to accomplish something and it is just taking longer than I want. I might have a day where my thoughts get quite negative and I wrestle with thoughts like “I never seem to get ahead.” Or “What am I doing?” I have found over the years that when an abundance of negative thoughts come my way, I am usually just tired. I need a break and I need to wait it out. If I begin to dwell on the negative thoughts, the day is ruined, but if I sort of detach from them and engage myself in an activity I enjoy, within hours or the next day I am fine.
If you have ever seen a child who is extremely tired act out, you understand that the aggression or foul mood was triggered by fatigue. Once a nap or good night sleep occurs, the child is much better. In the same way, if we allow ourselves to get tired, our mental state is more apt to become negative and we entertain negative thoughts so much easier than if we are awake and chipper. If you find yourself wanting to give up, you might just be tired. Wait it out.
Find ways to keep yourself motivated. Recovery for alcoholism will be something you will have to be proactive with. If you bypass the “work”, you’re apt to forget the reasons you want to live a sober life and find yourself slowly gravitating back to your old ways.
Listen to motivational speakers. Read inspirational books. Go to seminars and workshops. Do what makes you feel alive and well. It is normal to fluctuate somewhat, but if you find ways in which you gain excitement and drive, be sure that you consistently engage in such. Motivation is like gas in a car; it keeps it running!
Drinking to Cope
There are many people who drink alcohol in order to numb their feelings or cope with life somehow. We live in a society where drinking is largely associated with having fun and hanging out with friends. The reality is that alcohol is a substance that is addictive. It’s a toxic substance that is not good for the body or the mind. Furthermore, there are just some people who cannot have one or two drinks to be social and then call it quits. There are those that once they get a taste of the alcohol, their brain starts screaming for more and more and they have trouble stopping.
This is the crowd of people who will eventually be in need of recovery from alcoholism. This is nothing to be ashamed of. Actually, this is something that needs to be addressed in everyday conversations. There are millions of high-functioning alcoholics out there who secretly know that they drink more than they want to or need to, but they are afraid or ashamed to discuss this with anyone. They’ve tried to cut down or quit, but they struggle. The reason for this is because they are addicted to the alcohol.
But the good news is that there is treatment for the disease of alcoholism. Whether you’re a moderate drinker or a heavy drinker, there are things that you can do to recover from alcoholism. What’s important is that you find out what works for you. There’s not a necessary a right or wrong, but it’s whatever path works for you recovery wise. This may be attending and alcohol detox and rehab center for addiction counseling, or attending a 12-step support group. It could be one thing or it could be five things. The important thing is to just never give up when it comes to your recovery. Find what inspires and motivates you and just keep going.
You don’t have to give up on anything in life. Set your goals and little by little, day by day, go after them. Write them down and speak them out loud often. Actually, writing down your goals is quite valuable. Did you know that those who write down their goals are way more apt to achieve them than those who don’t? Take some time today and write down what you want out of life. Write down what you’d like to change. Write down your short term and long-term goals. Is there a hobby you’d like to try? Have you forgotten about some old dreams and would like to bring them off the shelf? Breathe new life into them?
Listen, your life is what you make it and you have more control over it than you think. If drinking has been affecting you in a negative way, it’s time to set a new course of action for your life. If you know for sure that you’re an alcoholic, rest assured that recovery for alcoholism is possible. Recovery for depression, anxiety, fear, and more is within your reach. You simply have to make the effort and take your first step!
And remember, celebrate your victories. Celebrate the small and the large victories, as each one is valuable and ought to be recognized. Record your achievements. Keep a tally of the progress you’re making. Learn from mistakes or setbacks. You’re bound to miss the mark every now and then. Don’t let it get you down. Get back up and dust yourself off, and get back on trach. You can make a commitment to stay the course!