It is common for individuals to evaluate their drinking habits when things get out of hand and they have to go to a rehab facility. However, you do not need to be an alcoholic to evaluate how alcohol has impacted your life. With initiatives like Sober October or Dry January, people have realized how cutting alcohol for a while can benefit their lives. Evaluating your relationship with alcohol is not a scary process. It is the same way you may decide, ‘maybe I should cook more often than getting take out.’ Here is how to start.
Ask Yourself if Alcohol Serves You Still
While you may not consider alcohol a big challenge in your life, it is great to assess your drinking habits. Ask yourself whether alcohol interferes with a particular lifestyle you envision or activities you want to do. Also, assess how alcohol affects your relationships, mental health, physical wellbeing, and daily routines. To get an answer, think of your actions while or after drinking. Do you pick petty fights with loved ones? How productive are you after a night of drinking? Is a hangover making you cancel plans? The https://www.myrecoverycorps.com/ recommends answering those questions honestly to see the impact of alcohol on your life.
Evaluate the Benefits of Alcohol
It is usual for one to feel uncertain about cutting off alcohol. However, you also have the power to choose. Analyzing the pros and cons of alcohol is a big step in acknowledging how that relationship is working. It will help you decide whether you should reduce your intake or completely stop taking it. You also need to be realistic about the changes you need to make to support your new lifestyle.
Think of the Risks Associated with Drinking
Drinking comes with various risks, including impaired judgment, sleeping problems, vulnerability, and recklessness. If you consume it heavily, you increase the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, liver disease, cancer, and heart disease. On top of that, alcohol affects your mental health. Therefore, to reduce these risks, evaluate your drinking habits.
Take the First Step
You may have thought, ‘maybe it is time I get sober,’ but you do not know where to start. The first step is getting help. Join a support group like Alcoholic Anonymous, where you can share your experience and listen to others. Here, you are likely to meet people that can help you stay accountable. If you are not comfortable with a group, you can go for therapy. You will be taught about things likely to trigger your drinking and how you can manage cravings. If alcohol was helping you cope with something, you would need to find an alternative. Some healthy coping mechanisms include finding a hobby or exercising.
Form a Support Network
For some reason, when one stops drinking, the people you were drinking with tend to feel judged. This means you will have to set boundaries and be ready to lose some relationships. Focus on enhancing relationships with people who are prepared to support you on your sobriety journey. Social media can also be a great place to find people going through the same things with whom you can build connections.
Accept You Might Need Professional Help
Cutting alcohol may not be easy, especially if it has taken control of your life. In such situations, you may have to seek professional help. When you stop taking alcohol, your body undergoes many changes, including intense withdrawal symptoms. When that happens, get help even if it requires you to take some time off and go to a recovery center.
Throughout this process, learn to be kind to yourself. Admitting you need help has never been a weakness. Choosing to cut off something in your life that does more harm than good is a brave decision.