31 Dec Giving up Alcohol in 2017 for New Year.
Giving up Alcohol in 2017
Happy new year 2017 to anyone reading this today, but especially those who have found this page as they want help stopping drinking. This podcast is with Jon, who has many years of sobriety and myself, who gave up the booze decade ago.
How to stop Drinking
Stopping drinking when you have a problem is hard, but luckily things are advancing, compared to when we stopped. More people are making use of the Sinclair Method which deals with the horrible cravings that us Alcoholics face when we first attempt to stop drinking. I was not aware of this solution when I was first trying to stop, which is a great shame, as it would have been the method that I would have chosen.
You can of course try and stop on your own, and most people try to do this. We both did and failed which is sadly rather common. We only managed to stop when we joined a support group which in our case was AA, which everyone has heard of. The success rate in AA is not high, but people who really commit to the program and enjoy being part of AA, often do well. Others are put off by the religious side of AA, and there are some other hazards that should be addressed. I generally tell people to just go to meetings at first and not to worry about the religious side when they are new. Your background and beliefs will influence how you react to this side of AA.
There are smaller groups such as Smart Recovery and Lifering which also have online meetings which offer a more modern approach, which you may find helpful. There are also harm reduction groups such as moderation management for those not looking to be abstinent. I would advise people to look into all these methods and see what will work for them.
Amazon is a great resource and there are many books on the subject, which are not available in your local bookstore. I would advise to read as much as possible. I learnt a lot this way, and was able to plan my own recovery in a way that would not have been possible in the past.
There is always rehab, but be careful what you choose. Some people do need medical attention and a proper detox. Stopping drinking if you have been drinking heavily can be really dangerous and some will need help to cut down. If you have any doubts, go and see a doctor. They can give the best source of advice for you, and offer counselling and medication. They can also discuss the different types of rehabs available and other solutions.
Life without Alcohol
I certainly do not regret stopping drinking and view myself in a completely different way these days. I started to exercise and now tend to mix with healthy people. It takes time to adjust and the first few weeks and months can be tough, but it well worth it.
Most people do not manage to stop first time and so try not to beat yourself up, if this happens to you. This part of the process proved to me that I had a problem! It was only when I finally had enough and made a commitment to myself, that I managed to stop. I also learnt a lot from what people shared in meetings and from reading about the experiences of others. I joined online groups although some of those are best avoided, especially those that attract members with extreme views. You should not be surprised that there are some crazy people in recovery groups so be careful what you share and perhaps set up a recovery account on things such as Facebook if you want to keep some privacy.
Anyway best wishes to anyone starting recovery today and good luck in 2017!