Alcoholism is a disease that affects millions of people all over the world, with various levels and intensities. There are those that are addicted to alcohol and can still function quite well in society, holding down a job, raising a family, and so on. There are also those that aren’t functioning that well, losing their job, loved ones, and perhaps even their home.
In a world where alcohol is promoted as a necessary ingredient for fun, sobriety can be challenging. Surely, you’ve heard the following:
The pressure to drink is all around.
Maybe you’re wondering if you’re addicted to alcohol. Or, you wish you could cut down. Or maybe you’ve tried cutting down or quitting plenty of times before, only to find yourself drinking again for one reason or another.
For others, you may know straight up that you’ve been relying on alcohol far too long as a coping mechanism. You use it as a crutch to help you take breaks from reality, numb the pain, loosen up, and so on. And, you’re ready to do something about it. You want to put the booze down and figure out how to live life without relying on it.
Perhaps you’ve already put the drink down, but you’re still struggling in various areas of your life. Those in the substance abuse field teach that sobriety is one thing, but recovery is another. It’ll help you to learn some of the differences as you go about navigating your alcohol addiction recovery journey.
There are various avenues for alcohol addiction treatment that include residential treatment centers, sober living houses, intensive outpatient counseling, and support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous. These treatment modalities agree that recovering from alcoholism involves abstaining from alcohol. They also agree and promote navigating through any emotional pain, mental health issues, and negative coping skills in order to live free and happy. The consensus is that just stopping drinking is simply not enough to experience complete freedom.
Let’s look at an example.
Todd began drinking when he was a teenager and wrestled with addiction for 15 years. He coped with his pain and life in general by drinking. He ran from pain and didn’t have any desire to grow emotionally or personally in any way. His wife kept telling him to stop drinking or she was leaving with his two children. He would quit for a while, but still stay out with his buddies at the bar and act aloof at home. He would end up relapsing time and time again.
Todd ended up losing his family and he was devastated. It was then that he decided to quit drinking and reach out for help. He realized he needed help to do the necessary inner work and get a firm foundation in sobriety.
See, Todd never learned how to resolve conflict because when it showed up, he drank. The moment he felt anger arise, he’d think, “I need a drink!” But after running from his inner pain for so long, he decided to surrender.
Determined to grow mentally and spiritually, he began diligently working a 12 Step program and attended an outpatient treatment center. Over time, he began to learn some positive coping and conflict resolution skills. He began healing. It took him taking action, being accountable to his sponsor, counseling, and admitting his powerlessness over many things in order to progress in recovery.
When you begin your life without alcohol, it is then that you have some choices to make:
You can recover from alcoholism and you can live a life of freedom and joy, but it won’t come without quite a bit of effort on your part. In a world where we tend to want things instantly, you’re going to have to learn that some things take time and effort. If you’ll approach alcohol addiction recovery as a journey where you progressively learn and grow, you’ll be well on your way to positive changes.
Are you willing to do what it takes to progress on your journey?
Sobriety involves more than just putting the drink down. Embrace the inner healing work too, reaching out for help along the way. No doubt you’ll look back down the road and be glad you did.
Ready to get your recovery started? Give us a call now. We’d be happy to help you.