Being dependent on alcohol can bring down your life. What begins as a social activity or a way to enjoy yourself from time to time can spiral out of control.
If alcohol has caused a strain on your relationships or poor mental or physical health, you know the consequences of it first-hand. Hopefully, you also know it’s time to take overcoming alcoholism seriously.
But, it’s one thing to recognize the importance of giving up alcohol and another to actually accomplish this. It requires a daily effort and a constant willpower to be a better version of yourself.
For those trying to overcome alcoholism at home, there are a few different ways to approach this goal. Here are five tips to keep in mind while you work to put alcohol in your past.
1. Get Rid of Everything That Reminds You of Alcohol
Before you put in the real work of overcoming alcoholism at home, you’ve got to create an environment in which you can succeed. This starts by getting rid of all the alcohol in your possession as well as the things that cause you to think of drinking.
Dump out every ounce of liquor, beer, and wine. Put all of your shot and wine glasses in a box to give away to someone who can put them to better use. Even get rid of your favorite mixers, as drinking these alone may make you crave the taste of them with alcohol.
Do you smoke when you drink? Cut down on smoking. Do you drink while you entertain guests or watch your favorite television programs?
You’re going to find ways to substitute this habit. Plan ahead for this in order to be proactive about the alcohol cravings that pop up. These will still occur from time to time, even without alcohol in the house.
2. Do a Food and Drink Cleanse
One way to curb your taste for a drink is to change the way you eat in general. You don’t necessarily have to go on a diet or cut out certain foods entirely. But, there are some things you can do to keep alcohol cravings at bay.
At the end of the day, alcohol is a sugar. The more sugar your body consumes, the more it craves this. Your blood starts to get used to a certain amount of sugar and will experience slight withdrawals without it.
Luckily, there are many kinds of sugars you can consume in place of alcohol. Knowing which ones work for you will play a big role in overcoming alcoholism.
Stock up on natural sugars like fresh fruits and fruit juices. Keep a chocolate bar handy in case you get a particularly bad craving. If you’re worried about maintaining your body’s figure, get creative with things like honey and agave.
3. Have Someone Hold You Accountable
As much as it works to have the right food and drinks in the house, it pays to have another person to lean on, too. Having accountability with someone is a major part of overcoming alcoholism.
Be upfront with your roommate, your family, or your significant other. Whoever it is that you share your home with needs to be onboard with your plans to put alcohol down for good.
They’ve likely noticed the toll alcohol dependency has taken on you and thus should be more than happy to help. Talk openly about your alcohol tendencies so this person knows what to watch out for.
Also, establish some barriers.
Make it clear that you don’t want any alcohol in the house, at least not in the beginning stages of giving it up. Tell the people you live with if you expect to need specific support, too – like someone to be with you at certain hours or knowing you can reach them in the event of an emergency.
Even if you live alone, tell someone about your overcoming alcoholism efforts. This may be your neighbor or a loved one that you can phone when cravings kick in. Such support is crucial to staying on track.
4. Establish a Routine at Home
Accountability works best when you can establish it with yourself. Then, it’s usually called discipline.
The best way to maintain and develop your discipline is to create a routine.
Establish a clear set of activities and habits to do in the morning and the evening. Make a whole plan for the entire day if you work from home or otherwise stay home most of the time, like on the weekends or to care for someone.
Keeping to your routine is what will keep you from falling off the wagon. You won’t have time to make a beer run or go to the bar with old, influential buddies if you’re focused on your daily plan.
As you’re creating this routine, make sure it is something you enjoy and not just something you force. Consider picking up a new hobby or jumping back into a healthy interest of yours.
5. Educate Yourself on Alcoholism and Addiction
If you really aren’t sure how to spend all of your time, make time to read and research. Read books you’ve been meaning to pick up and encourage the curiosity within you for the things you care about.
When you’re particularly at a loss on things to read about, turn to alcoholism studies and success stories. Such accounts of others who have been in your shoes will serve as a sense of inspiration. They will remind you why you’ve committed to overcoming alcoholism in the first place.
This kind of motivation is the boost many people need to keep going.
If you ever find yourself with a particularly tough craving or withdrawal, turn to this. Think of the others who have gone before you and left examples of how to beat alcohol dependency. Then, find the will in you to keep going and overcome it yourself.
Overcoming Alcoholism in and out of the Home
Once you’re an alcoholic, you are always an alcoholic.
Even if you never pick up a drink again, those old tendencies will be things you’ll need to consistently manage. This is not to place shame on yourself – it is to always keep things in perspective and maintain a certain level of discipline.
Thankfully, the longer you go without a drink, the easier it gets to move forward. Overcoming alcoholism begins in the home and becomes a part of you as you enter different social environments throughout life.
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