If you have never tried to quit drinking before, you may not be aware of the obstacles that could present themselves in your attempt. If you have tried to stop drinking in the past, but were unable, you may be able to point to the reasons you were not successful.
As with anything else in life, quitting drinking may not be easy. There may be things that could impede you. Going into the endeavor knowing what these obstacles are can help you avoid them. If you tried to quit drinking before, what were some of the things that hindered you? Let’s take a look at some common road blocks that keep people from their goal of an alcohol free life.
What is a trigger? They can be several things. They are a person, place, emotion, or event that causes you the urge to drink. During the time you are drinking, they are often the excuse you use to reach for alcohol. During your recovery, they are the things that could derail your attempt to quit drinking. They are what you need to watch out for and avoid.
Let’s look at how each category of triggers can affect you.
You may not think a person could cause you to drink, but you would be surprised. Think about the people that you know. Do any of them cause you stress or anxiety? These two things may be part of your drinking pattern. A person that brings out those emotions might be someone that you will have to avoid during your recovery – until you learn to deal with them and the emotions in a healthier way.
Then there are the people that you drink with, your drinking buddies. Some of these people may even have an alcohol problem themselves, but are not ready to admit it like you are. You may have to avoid these people as well. You may be fond of them, but if the only thing you have in common is alcohol, they will not have a place in your new life. At least, not one that helps you avoid alcohol.
The obvious trigger places for someone with an alcohol issue would be bars. There are other places though that you may have to avoid until you feel more comfortable with your sobriety. They me be restaurants that serve alcohol, sporting events, or parties. Alcohol does not have to be the focus of the place, but until you can enter them without the urge to drink then you need to stay away.
Feelings like sadness and anxiety maybe triggers for a person who drinks. Even happiness can cause a person to celebrate with alcohol. When you quit drinking you are going to need to learn a new way to deal with your emotions. By joining a therapy group, visiting a therapist, or leaning on a friend or family member when emotions arise, you can avoid this trigger. Talking about how you feel instead of reaching for alcohol will be your defense.
Some events you will know to avoid when you stop drinking. Parties are the obvious ones. But what about the not so obvious ones? Holidays may be a trigger for you. A funeral that brings about emotion may be another. These types of events are not easily avoided. Again relying on others to help you make it through might be the best option for you.
Remember that there is no shame in asking others for help. In fact, people in your life are probably just waiting to support you. Let them be part of the positive changes you are making in your life.