Hoping to quit drinking and get sober but don’t know how? have you tried to quit in the past but failed for whatever reason? Maybe you just didn’t know how to quit. Though it all begins with the decision to change, there is a lot more to recovery than simply changing one’s mind. Recovery is different for everyone, but there are certain things that must occur, and guidelines that should be followed for a smooth and successful rehabilitation. The team at Helpguide.org has assembled an exhaustive guide to alcohol abuse and self-help, which can be used to assist one in the process of attempting to get sober. Self-guided recovery is not possible in every case — very often it is necessary to get into an in-patient rehab facility — but for those who are able to follow this route, the guide is a tremendous resource. It also provides insight into some of the things that one can expect during a rehab program. The main points of the guide are outlined below:
Commit to stop drinking
Before you can expect to see any real success in getting sober, you have to make the sincere commitment and firm decision to quit. It cannot be something you try out and see how it goes, or hope for the best. You must decide fully that you are no longer going to be a drug addict or an alcoholic and that you are going to make a fresh start in your life.
Set goals and prepare for change
Be very clear with yourself about exactly what you are going to do. Are you going to scale back on your drinking, or go completely sober? Are you going to quit using drugs entirely? Don’t leave any ambiguity in the situation. And you should set a target date for quitting, as well as setting goals for what you are going to do after you get sober.
Get sober safely
If you have been drinking heavily on a regular basis, your body has probably gotten accustomed to the daily onslaught of alcohol and done its best to adapt. Suddenly quitting could actually cause problems ranging from minor irritants to complications that might land you in the emergency room. It might be necessary to have medical supervision while drying out.
Find new meaning in life
While living as an alcoholic, life is essentially all about drinking. Now that you are getting sober, you have to figure out what is going to replace that — otherwise, alcohol might slide back in to fill the empty space. Take care of yourself, find friends who support your sobriety, get involved in new activities, and learn to manage your stress in healthy ways without resorting to alcohol
Plan for triggers and cravings
It would be naive to assume that you will never want a drink again. Make plans for what you will do when you experience cravings, how you will remove yourself from the situation and find a substitute for drinking. Learn to spot the triggers that typically will make you want to have a drink, such as spending time with certain people or going to specific places where you were used to drinking.
It would be difficult to overstate the importance of having a strong and stable network of support to help you get sober and maintain your sobriety. You need people you can talk to about the thoughts and feelings you experience while working to recover. You need people who will speak up when they see something is not right, and reach out to you if they haven’t heard from you in a while. You need people who know how important it is for you to stay sober and would not do anything to jeopardize this.
Getting started on treatment
Heading into treatment, make sure that you have the right attitude and know what to expect. Realize that it’s not a sure cure, and that results won’t happen on their own. Know that your recovery depends on more than just drying out, and that you will have to work on a variety of issues that caused or contributed to your addiction. Be willing to continue in rehab no matter how difficult it may be at times. And realize that there are people who want to help you get sober.
The full article at helpguide.org includes an enormous amount of detail on these points, with tables that guide one in evaluating the costs versus the benefits of continuing to drink, questionnaires to help one lay out goals for getting sober, recommendations for implementing these plans, and background explanations of how any why the process works. But whether you follow this guide in full or not, know that the first step is deciding to quit now!