You realize you have a drinking problem and you want to stop. How to stop drinking on your own is the next question you need to answer. There are many recovery centers and organizations around that can help you cut down on or quit drinking, but what if you want to stop drinking alcohol on your own?
The first thing to note is that quitting drinking on your own can be risky – if you suddenly stop drinking heavily, your body can experience severe withdrawal symptoms which may be life-threatening. If you’re concerned about this, then your first stop should always be your doctor, as he or she can give you sound advice and guidance.
If you really want to stop drinking on your own, then read on for some helpful strategies.
How to Stop Drinking on Your Own: Step One – Motivate Yourself
Finding the motivation to quit drinking is an incredibly important step. Look at your reasons for making this decision, and write out a list of ways in which your life would improve without alcohol. You can read more of our advice on how to motivate yourself to control your drinking here.
How to Stop Drinking Alcohol on Your Own: Step Two – Get Support
Quitting by yourself can be incredibly difficult, so let your friends and family know what you’re trying to do. Not only will you be able to turn to them for support if you are tempted to give up, but they will also know not to offer you alcohol at social occasions or suggest going out for a drink on the weekend.
You may be worried that letting people know that you are having problems with alcohol could affect your professional life. If this is the case, then consider just telling a small circle of friends privately – especially anyone that you regularly see in a social situation.
How to Stop Drinking Alcohol on Your Own: Step Three – Don’t Give Up
Just like any task that requires willpower – going on a diet, exercising more, or cutting back on your spending– it is very easy to slip up when you’re trying to stop drinking. There might be (in fact, there almost certainly will be) days when you feel like giving up. There might even be days when your resolve does break, and you end up drinking more than you would like.
The key to succeeding is perseverance. One slip-up doesn’t have to be the end of all your good intentions. Take things one day at a time, and remember that every morning is a new beginning. If you made a mistake yesterday, don’t let it affect your plans to quit drinking today.
How to Stop Drinking Alcohol on Your Own: Step Four – Reward Yourself
If you cut back on your alcohol intake, then you will probably find that you are spending far less money. Create milestones for yourself – one month without any alcohol, three months without any alcohol, etc. – and use the money you have saved to reward yourself when you reach them. Buy some new clothes, a new gadget, or a weekend break… anything that will motivate you to stay on track. Learn about Positive Reinforcement here.
For even more information and advice on quitting drinking without going to AA or expensive counselling, check out our Give Up Alcohol course.