How to Go Sober
Written by Emma Burbidge Posted in Alcohol and drug addiction, Health
If you drink too much, then going sober can be really difficult and there may be times when it seems impossible. It is not something that happens overnight. Recovery is a gradual process and sometimes the first step is admitting you have a problem and seeking help.
If you would like to cut back on your drinking, then one way to do so is to assess the benefits and disadvantages of drinking to find out whether drinking is worth the cost.
Benefits of Not Drinking
While drinking may allow you to forget your problems. It can be a lot of fun when you are hanging out with your friends and there is expectation among your peers to drink. It can also be a relaxing way of unwinding after a stressful day.
However, not drinking can have many benefits, including:
- Relationships may dramatically improve
- Improvement of mental and physical well-being
- More time and energy for the people and activities you care about
There is also the cost of drinking, whether this be problems in your relationship, feelings of depression, anxiety or shame, or poor performance in your job or school work.
However, the cost of not drinking might unleash potential problems, including:
- Finding another way to deal with problems, such as counselling
- You may have to change your social circle if your friends are also drinking and you cannot resist the urge to drink when you are with them
- You would have to face any responsibilities you have, face any guilt you may be feeling and take control of your life.
Setting Goals and Preparing for Change
Once you’ve made the decision to change, the next step is to establish clear drinking goals. These should ideally be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Bound.
If you just want to cut back a little, then decide which days you will drink alcohol and how many drinks you will allow yourself each day.
Also, set yourself a time when you will stop drinking - maybe tomorrow, maybe next week. Set this date and stick to it.
Once you have set yourself these goals, think clearly about how you are going to accomplish them. This could be to get rid of temptations by removing alcohol from the house and trying to cut yourself off from people and things which might remind you about drinking.
It can also help to inform friends, family members and co-workers that you’re trying to stop drinking.
Reflect on past experiences to constantly remind yourself why you are doing this and what you hope to achieve.