If you have been drinking too much for too long, you may want to stop drinking on your own, without going to an AA meeting or checking into an inpatient facility. This is very commendable. After all, all help is ultimately self-help.
However, one of the key things you need is patience. If you try to rush things and look for immediate results, you will get frustrated. This will build up tension, which then needs to be released – usually by drinking again.
In addition, it is important to have a support structure around you to give you the support and encouragement to keep going. Usually, people who have done what you want to do – and who have done it successfully may be able to help you.
Here are some steps to stop drinking on your own
1. Speak to your medical practitioner
One of the key things you need to be sure about is if it is safe to go “cold turkey” or if you need to withdraw slowly. If your body is physically addicted to alcohol, a sudden withdrawal could actually be dangerous so it is important to be clear that you are not putting your long-term health at risk.
2. Decide on your goals
Never is a long time so you may want to learn how to moderate drinking or to stop forever.
Whichever you choose, usually stopping for a fixed period, maybe 30 days, is a good way to give yourself some space and time to make a decision and to learn about yourself.
3. Keep a drinking diary for the past month
By doing this you can identify when you usually drink, with whom, at what times and then most importantly – why. Then you can project this into the next month.
What will you do at those times when you used to drink? What will you do instead? How will you make sure you avoid the need to drink? In addition, what can you do to have more fun and to release stress and tension over the next month? This is important in order to be able to understand that by planning, you are making sure success is likely or at least more likely.
4. Reminders of why you want to quit drinking
When temptation and fatigue get in the way, it may be tempting to revert to old habits. If you can remind yourself of why you want to give up and the benefits you will be receiving, then it will give you strength.
If you used to drink every day and now have gone one or two days without drinking, that is cause to celebrate – in a healthy way, without drinking. If you can do this for one day, then you can do it for two days then three, then four… This will give you the belief that it is possible.
Using these steps and in particular using the tools from the How to Give up Alcohol Course you can learn to quit drinking on your own.