Alcoholism is an addiction and it is one of the toughest for people to break. For many people, the realization that they actually haven’t had any alcohol for an extended period of time can be quite the shock. After all, many people with an addiction to alcohol realize quickly that they have lived a significant portion of their adult life with the beverage. There are countless reasons why people start drinking. For some people, it starts by drinking in an effort to make it easier to socialize. Then, it evolves to become a way for people to deal with the bad days during the week. Many people have a beer or a glass of wine as a way to wind down after a long day or to celebrate a big moment in life. Combine this with the peer pressure that many people feel during their young adulthood to drink and the ingredients of addiction are all there.
Breaking the Addiction: Dealing with Social Situations
Gradually, this evolves to become a crutch that people cannot live without. This is where the disease starts to take hold. Without alcohol, many people experience withdrawal symptoms ranging from emotional issues to shakes, sweats, and even seizures. For this reason, the early days of sobriety can be a challenge. In addition to getting past the withdrawal symptoms, many people also face the challenges of situations where they used to drink but no longer do. The social situations are some of the hardest. Showing up to an event where individuals are drinking can be difficult. For the many people who used to drink to help with these situations, it can be hard to find something else to hold in the hand instead. A soda or a glass of water just don’t feel the same. Any thoughts that simply putting the drink down would be “easy” quickly fade away. It is hard to learn how to behave in a social situation without the comfort and crutch of an alcoholic beverage.
Learning that Drinking Alcohol is a Choice
For many, alcohol almost seems like an integrated part of the adult world. One of the most helpful ways to break from this part of the world is to listen to other stories of sobriety. Learning how others deal with challenging situations can help people learn how to live a life without alcohol. Yes, alcohol was, at one point, a big part of life. It is still a major part of society, reflected in stores, on commercials, and in its presence at social gatherings. On the other hand, everyone has a choice. Part of sobriety is making the conscious decision not to drink. It is not only possible, but realistic, that it is possible to exist, live, and thrive in this world sober, despite the presence of alcohol.
Accepting What Cannot Be Changed
In order for people to succeed in this venture, it is vital to place sobriety at the top of the list. Make decisions that will make this process easier. Think carefully about the situations, the people, and the location. People must be placed in a position to be successful. Cut out the things that lead to drinking and accept what cannot be changed. It is impossible to change the past. It is difficult to change the thoughts and perspectives of other people. Simply make decisions that will ensure the decisions of the past will not be repeated. Maintain control over oneself and everything else will fall into place. That should be enough for anyone to find solace.
There Is Power In Saying No
One of the most important steps in early sobriety is learning how to say no. This is simply a must. There are going to be plenty of situations that must be avoided during life in recovery because sobriety is always the top priority. This might be a special event. These could be certain situations. It might even include specific people. This can feel like a major sacrifice but it is a necessity for maintaining sobriety. Those who are recovering need to do what is best for them. This involves saying no.
Honesty With Oneself and Others
Finally, it is very important, to be honest during the recovery process. This means being honest with others being honest with oneself. The ability to share honestly and openly about the addiction, the struggle, and the recovery is a key part of sobriety. There is no shame in overcoming a struggle. In actuality, it makes someone stronger as a person. It feels like a weight that has been lifted off of one’s shoulders. It is this change, this honesty, that often has the greatest impact of all during the recovery process. These are the keys to not only surviving but thriving, in life without alcohol.