So you have decided to stop drinking. You have looked at when and why you drink. You have looked at what alcohol has been doing to your life. You have identified the triggers that have caused you to drink in the past and may still threaten you. And you have decided on who you want to be and what you want to do when you stop drinking.
But how do you stop drinking?
Make a Commitment
Answer this: Do you have a problem with alcohol? OK. Do you want to stop drinking? Now tell yourself that you are quitting drinking now. If there is alcohol in your home, get rid of it. If you have family, tell them you are stopping drinking. If you have friends, tell them too. Get your journal that we talked about and write in big letters that you have quit drinking and put today’s date and time. Now go back and reread or write down the reasons you drank, the triggers that may derail you, and the notes about the new you that you want to be. Make a promise to yourself that today is the day you stop drinking. Sign it and date it. Now is the beginning of your new life.
You need to listen to yourself. But be careful. You know that you have two voices. There is the one that is negative and the one that is positive. The one that is negative is telling you that you are going to fail. It is going to tell you to take a drink. Tell this voice to go away.
Your positive voice is telling you that you can stop drinking. This voice believes in you. Tell it to speak up. You can help your positive voice help you. Have you ever heard of affirmations? These are positive statements that you write down to remind yourself that you can accomplish your goals.
Your goal is to quit drinking. Use post-it notes to remind you of your goals. Place the notes where you can see them. On your alarm so it is the first thing you see when you wake up. On the bathroom mirror. On the refrigerator. On the front door. On the steering wheel of your car. On your computer. In fact make it an affirmation the screen saver on your computer or phone. The point is, let the affirmations and your inner positive voice tell you:
- I believe in me.
- I have quit drinking.
- I can accomplish anything.
- I can control my life.
- I have a bright alcohol free future.
Past, Present, and Future
As I have said earlier you can learn from your past. One thing you can use from your past is the memories of the bad times with alcohol. Try to remember a few times when your drinking led you to a problem. You may have missed an important event because you were drinking. Or you may have hurt someone you cared about because of alcohol. Or you may have hurt yourself. Remember those times when you feel the urge to drink. Those memories can remind you of what you stand to lose if you turn back now.
You are living in the present. Make the most of it. Use your alcohol free time. Spend time with family. Try new things. Go new places. Enjoy your life. You may realize that your life spent drinking wasn’t as fun as you thought. This will help wipe away all of the illusions of that life. It will help you stay alcohol free.
Your future is whatever you want it to be. We have discussed this before. Take a look back at what you envisioned for your future. Now set your goals to achieve them. Write them down and work on them every day. Before you know it, you will be living your alcohol free future.
Note: For a program on how to stop drinking alcohol I recommend Alcohol Free Forever