Addiction Recovery Newbies
Alcoholism sneaks up on many people. That’s why there’s so much denial. It’s a slow road to getting to the point of finally admitting one is an alcoholic. And what exactly determines whether one is an alcoholic and under its control?
3 Questions To Determine If You’re An Alcoholic
Things To Do To Take The Fast Road Out of Alcoholism
First, do you believe that there is a permanent road out of alcoholism? Not if you believe what society is telling you, that it’s a disease. Yet, if you’re willing to look at another opinion of what causes alcoholism, read on.
You can’t do anything to stop drinking until you admit it’s a problem. I’m not saying you have to admit it to others. Admitting it to yourself is sufficient to get you started on the road out of alcoholism.
Write down on paper why you think you drink. Don’t write down your excuses (examples: “all my friends drink and I want to fit in;” “I enjoy having a drink every night;” “I’m not harming anybody else;” etc.). Look at any emotional issues that rise up that lead you to drink. One you might not have thought about is the lack of purpose in your life (life is boring). Writing them down on paper brings clarity.
Do you know what your motivation is to quit drinking? Write down all the negative things you’re avoiding by drinking. Write down all the negative consequences of drinking. Now, write down all the positive things in life you would like to do if you weren’t tied to this habit of drinking. You see, it’s not a matter of “will power,” but of having a strong enough positive motivation to pull you out of your drinking habit and into working on your awesome future.
Are there relationships that need mending? Restored? Forgiving those who hurt you? Asking those you hurt to forgive you? Write down answers to these questions, and the date you will sit down and talk with that person to begin the restoration process.
Do you need have healthy, loving friendships? Changing friendships can be a boost to help you get out of your rut. If you weren’t hanging around other people who drink, what can you be doing to work on your awesome dream for your life? Can you find a place to volunteer doing what you’re passionate about? This is a great way to make new, healthy friendships.
How’s your “love” level? I’m not talking sexual, but do you have someone who loves you unconditionally? And do you have someone you love unconditionally? Do you know that God loves you unconditionally? No matter what you have done in the past, He is ready, willing and able to forgive you. Nothing you have done or can do will cause God to love you any less than He does right now.
Do you know what your dreams are for your life? Do you have a life-long vision? Who do you want to become or what do you want to do? It is time to take those dreams off the shelf and start working on them. This is your ticket to the fast road out of alcoholism. Instead of focusing on “not” drinking, you focus on working the goals that help you accomplish your awesome dream for your life.
One last aspect is how to handle your temptation to drink while you’re going through this time of change. Even if you don’t know what the underlying emotional issues are, I can provide you with a simple technique that will stop your anxieties in a matter of minutes.
The Journey to Beat Addiction
After someone admits they have a problem and wants help, then they or family members need to help them get it immediately. Whether it’s a treatment program or simply going to AA, the sooner they start the better the chances are that they will keep the commitment they have made to them selves. Once they are around others who are going through the same process, or people who have made it through to the other side, these people will be able to provide the support they need, as well as the acceptance and understanding that they will need to help them cope with what’s ahead.
Going through withdrawal is not an easy thing. With the support of family, friends and with counselors, they will receive the help necessary in order to help the addict make it through this difficult stage. They will have to pull on every ounce of strength that they have and will need reinforcement from others that they can make it through. They’ll be told to live with it just one day at a time but in many cases it may be just one hour at a time. They may even need the assistance of a medical professional, depending on how severe their problem is.
Once through this, the road to recovery only gets slightly better. They will have to deal with a lifetime of emotional problems that may have led them to this point, as well as still having to deal with physical dependence issues. In some cases they will be dealing with family anger directed at them and all the problems that their abuse has caused. They must also be willing to accept responsibility for the problems and be willing to change. They then can work toward resolving issues with themselves and with others.
If they are in AA it’s important for them to attend meetings daily in the beginning. Some even go twice a day as they need the emotional support. In a treatment center this will be provided for them, which is one benefit of being in a rehab program. The people who provide support know exactly what is needed, having been through it themselves, and won’t be fooled by anything the addict says. They’ll reinforce positive thoughts and work toward boosting the person’s self-esteem, while at the same time encouraging them to stop playing the role of a victim.
Once they are on the road to recovery – and it doesn’t happen overnight – there will be many things they will have to deal with, and will need to learn coping strategies in order to cope with everyday life situations that will arise. Being around others who have succeeded in their quest to beat addiction, and who still work at it every day, will give them access to their knowledge of how they coped and dealt with situations without returning to abusive substances.
If they are dealing with depression after quitting, it’s important for this to be addressed by a counselor as there are medications available that will help them come out of the depression. In many cases people turned to many different substances in order to deal with the pain of depression, which may have led to their addiction in the first place. One thing they can take comfort in, is being around others who have come through this successfully, and also understand that millions of people worldwide have managed to beat addiction and have gone on to live healthy and happy lives.
12 Step Fellowships
The mutual help found within the twelve step fellowships is indispensable to successful recovery and it is not just those suffering from addictions to alcohol, drugs, food, sex and gambling that can find this sort of help. There are twelve step fellowships such as Al-Anon, for families & friends of alcoholics, Nar-Anon for those of drug addicts, Gam-Anon for family and friends of gamblers etc. The experience of sharing and understanding both the twelve steps and the recovery journey’s of others is described by those who are on the path as unparalleled.
Recovering alcoholics in AA are encouraged to ask for help from others on the same recovery path. This asking for help serves a number of useful purposes;
Alcoholicsare unlikely to recover without help, and awareness of this is paramount in early recovery. For just as long as an addicted person thinks they can ‘handle’ their problem on their own, just that long will they be struggling and experience continued defeat.
There’s a commonly heard pearl of wisdom around the hallowed halls of 12 step meetings. The definition of alcoholism goes something like this, that the alcohol is in the bottle and the ‘ism’ is in the alcoholic. The ‘ism’ stands for ‘incredibly short memory’!
The journey of people a little further along the path of recovery can be greatly eased by giving assistance to the newcomer. In fact this concept is one of the foundation stone of Alcoholics Anonymous, the mother ship from which all other twelve step fellowships have sprung. Through the sharing of mutual experiences, recovering people are not only reminded where they came from they’re also reminded of what’s worked along their path.
Moreover, helping others and expecting nothing in return, totally unselfishly and without hidden agenda, is the essence of 12 step recovery and the opposite of how actively addicted people behave. Being useful to others in a very real, practical and deeply meaningful way allows recovering people to a genuine connection and is also one of four common denominators among people who attain long term, contented sobriety.
The comradeship recovering people share is akin to being in the same life raft together, having survived a tremendous shipwreck and it’s only their combined efforts that ensure not only their continued survival but engagement in a life better than they have ever known, a life better than their expectations.