How can a struggling alcoholic take responsibility and face their alcohol addiction problem?
Pretty much every alcoholic has made promises that they fully intended to keep about quitting drinking, but then later of course they go back on this promise and end up drinking again. So how can they truly commit to sobriety and change their life for real? How do they make the leap from broken promises to real recovery?
The first key for making this transition is that they must first hit bottom and truly surrender. Up until this point if the alcoholic has been struggling it is likely the case that they have not fully surrendered. Now what exactly does it mean to surrender?
In order to fully surrender the alcoholic must do two things: One, they have to surrender to the idea that they really are a true alcoholic. They must admit it to themselves and to everyone else, that they really do have a problem.
But then secondly, they must admit to themselves and to everyone else that they do not know the solution, and that they want help. This second bit is what trips most alcoholics up. It is a battle of self will. They don't want to hand over control of their life to someone else. They don't want to ask for directions as to how they should be living their life.
Again, the only real way that this will happen is if the hit bottom first and gain the humility that is necessary for them to fully surrender.
Now the second key in facing your alcoholism problem, at least in my experience, is to attend inpatient treatment. Generally if the alcoholic is asking for help then people will have a tendency to direct that person towards inpatient rehab. Sure, there are some other solutions availablea struggling alcoholic could attend counseling, for example. Or they might start attending AA meetings every day. But these solutions are not as comprehensive as going to inpatient treatment.
Many alcoholics feel a great deal of shame and guilt about their condition, and they are resistant to the idea of inpatient treatment. They don't want to admit that their problem is so severe and so serious that they need to be at an inpatient facility. And yet this is the best possible solution for pretty much any alcoholic who is truly struggling. All you can really do is to try to convince the alcoholic that there is no shame in attending inpatient treatment, and that doing so is much more acceptable today than it was, say, ten years ago.
Now if you have surrendered fully and also attended inpatient treatment then you are a very close to completely turning your life around from addiction to recovery. However, you need to successfully transition from inpatient treatment back out into the real world without relapsing. This is where many alcoholics experience difficulty. The key to making this transition successful is to follow through with the aftercare recommendations that the treatment center gives you. So they will likely recommend that you attend counseling, therapy, go to AA or NA meetings, and possibly do IOP or group therapy on a regular basis. You should do all of these things that are suggested to you and even more. Recovery has to become your biggest priority in life or it is going to lead you to relapse.
Many people who leave treatment believe that they are essentially cured, and because they have no immediate desire to drink alcohol, they believe that the problem is just going to fade away with time. Unfortunately it doesn't really work that way. In order to be successful in long term recovery you will need to have a very proactive plan of recovery that you consciously work on every single day of your life.
That might sound overwhelming at first, but once you realize that this level of dedication comes with massive benefits, you will see that it is ultimately worth it in the end.
What are these massive benefits?
In order to remain sober in the long run you have to actively work a program of recovery. You cannot just be idle or passive and expect to remain sober for the long run. It may work for a short while but eventually life is going to throw you a curve ball and you are going to need to react intelligently. You can only do this if you are actively seeking personal growth and recovery on a regular basis.
Many people who get started in sobriety even up relapsing because they get complacent and lazy in their recovery program. You don't want this outcome, obviously, so it is your job in early recovery to keep pushing yourself to find that next layer of personal growth. If you get lazy and you stop learning new things in life then this opens the door to a relapse. The secret of long term sobriety is to stay proactive, to keep learning, to keep pushing yourself for personal growth.
If you are struggling to get started in alcoholism recovery then that means that you are still stuck in denial. My suggestion to you at this point would be to start keeping a written journal of how you feel every day. Simply write down the date and then write about how happy you are in your life. Do this every single day for as long as you can stand it. Keep writing down your feelings.
What will this accomplish? Writing down your feelings each day will help to wake up your brain so that it realizes that it is in denial. Most alcoholics are telling themselves that if they only had enough money or enough booze or if the stars would just line up correctly for once, then they would finally be happy.
Well, prove it to yourself that you can really be happy if everything lines up correctly. Simply start measuring, start keeping track of every day, and you will eventually realize that you are stuck in denial.
What will happen is that for a long time you will probably complain that nothing is right in your world. But if you do this for long enough, eventually things will fall into place for you, and everything will go your way for once. And when that happens, when everything suddenly goes your way, you are going to have a massive realization at that time:
You will still be unhappy.
And at that time, you will realize once and for all that alcohol and drugs do not make you happy. Having an unlimited supply of your drug of choice is not the key to happiness. Your brain has been telling you that this is the key to happiness all along, but it was lying to you.
Once you reach this point where you break through your denial, you can ask for help and start to improve your situation. Ask for help, go to inpatient treatment, and start turning your life around. This is how to face your alcoholism and recover. You must look at yourself and your life honestly and realize just how unhappy your addiction has made you.
The post How to Take Responsibility and Face Your Alcoholism Problem appeared first on Spiritual River Addiction Help.