Is your dependency on alcohol starting to ruin your life? Do you hide bottles around the house? Have you lost friends and family who can’t cope with your drinking?
These are all signs that you have a substance abuse problem. However, the good news is that it’s never too late to kick the habit, especially if you’re willing to embrace things like therapy and yoga for addiction recovery.
Alcoholism has many different causes but only one solution. If you’re ready to beat your addiction, here are just seven tips for living a sober life.
- Admit That You Have a Problem
It might sound cliche, but there’s a reason why support groups and rehabilitation clinics always ask you to admit that you have a problem before they start treating you in earnest. If you’re still clinging to the idea that you’re not addicted and can quit any time that you want, you won’t be able to engage with various treatment methods like you should. You’ll always secretly consider yourself above them because you don’t “really” need them.
- Find an Alcohol-Specific Rehab Program
Drug and alcohol treatment programs can have many similarities. However, you shouldn’t rely on a drug program to help you overcome a very specific and very particular problem with alcohol. It’s like trying to wear a suit that doesn’t quite fit; it might work on a very basic level, but you’ll know the entire time that it’s wrong, and you might even be eager to get rid of it in a way that defeats the entire purpose of seeking help. If your problem is with alcohol, make sure that the treatment is for alcohol.
- Figure Out Your Motivation
Why do you want to quit drinking? Maybe you’re about to lose your job. Maybe you’ve been given a court order that you can’t see your kids until you sober up. All reasons are valid, and you’ll want to use them as fuel for your personal fire as you struggle to reach sobriety. There might be dark days ahead, and your ideals might be the only things that you’ll have to keep yourself from relapsing.
- Find New Hobbies
You might hear fancy talk in rehab clinics about “re-directing your energies,” but the plain truth is that they’re referring to distractions. If you can distract yourself from thoughts of drinking, you can resist your urges to open a bottle. New hobbies are a great way to keep yourself occupied: They’re fresh, they’re exciting and they’ll focus your attention on something other than your addiction. Some hobbies can even be incorporated into your treatment! For example, there are many benefits of yoga for addiction recovery.
- Get Yourself a Sponsor
A good sponsor can make all of the difference in your recovery. You don’t have to attend official AA meetings to get one, either; they’ve become commonplace with all kinds of rehabs, detox centers, support groups and addiction recovery networks. There’s immense value in being able to talk to someone who used to be in your shoes, so don’t discredit the idea just because of the way that sponsors are portrayed on TV.
- Make Short-Term Goals
Lofty goals like “quit drinking forever” might sound good on paper, but in reality, they’re very hard to maintain. You’ll be better off by creating sustainable, short-term goals that you can surpass on a regular basis. For example, your first goal might be something like “don’t drink for 24 hours” while your second goal might be “don’t drink for a week.” The more goals that you achieve, the more confidence that you’ll gain in yourself moving forward.
- Start a Journal
In the same vein as the above, it can be a big help to track and record your progress as you start treatment for alcohol addiction. It isn’t always easy to judge these things from the inside, but if you have black-and-white notes about how you’re doing, you can make informed decisions about what to do next. Keeping a journal can also help you with expelling toxic or negative thoughts in a safe way without lashing out at others. No one will be harmed by words in a notebook.
These are just a few ways to kick your alcohol habit. It won’t be easy, especially if you’ve been at the bottom of a bottle for a long time, but you won’t believe how fresh and invigorating the world will look when you’re finally sober!