If you were diagnosed with a health problem like high blood pressure and your doctor told you needed to exercise more, eat right, quit smoking and take a particular medication religiously or else you won’t last long, you’d get serious no? Why would treating your excessive drinking be any different?
If left untreated, your abusive drinking will only get worse and eventually kill you just as surely as if you ignored your physician regarding high blood pressure. The only difference is alcohol will be a painfully slow demise littered with familial collateral damage caused by your inability or selfish refusal to formulate and stick to plan of recovery.
When you are convinced you have a problem, either by your own insight or the forceful will of others imposing it upon you, it’s important to seek a treatment plan that will work for you. Choose one you will be able to believe in and commit to based on your circumstances, your personality, and the severity of your problem. Failure to follow the plan you choose may or may not be something you can control by yourself, so surrounding yourself with as much support as possible is crucial.
Many alcoholics are control-obsessed, so be in command of your treatment program by following the principals that make it work. Control does not mean reinventing the wheel or choosing only the easy parts of your recovery program. Your plan must be followed precisely in order to get the full benefits from it. For example, many people fail in the Alcoholics Anonymous program because they stop working the 12 steps of the AA plan. They skip certain steps because they are impatient, or because a step is too difficult or boring, never truly getting into the rhythm of it. When this happens to an early stage AA member, failure is almost inevitable.
Once you have a plan, follow the plan exactly as stipulated, no wavering. This will require discipline - something that alcoholics aren’t really renowned for.
As a recovering alcoholic you must first admit defeat.
By admitting defeat you are admitting you have a problem and need help, something else many excessive drinkers steering toward alcoholism aren’t good at. This will help smooth the way to opening yourself up for a reasonable chance of successfully adopting an action plan and taking it seriously. Understanding the serious nature of your situation will inspire you to make a conscious effort to comply with the plan as it is set forth.
If choosing private counseling or in-patient rehabilitation to overcome alcohol dependence, you or someone else will be spending a good deal of money to assist you in your recovery. Spending money to get the help you require should be enough of a motivating factor to work your plan if regaining your life isn’t enough of a reason to do what it takes to get sober. If someone else is footing the bill for your recovery treatment and you just don’t have the discipline or moral fiber to stay the course, all the external support available will not help you find your way out of the fog of alcohol addiction. There is a bigger problem at play here stopping you from getting sober.
Let’s face it: The programs and action plans available for alcohol recovery aren’t rocket science. These plans are all offering pretty straight forward measures for getting sober and staying sober. Human failings being what they are, there is really only one prerequisite for getting and staying sober when you are immersed in a sobriety program.
Being honest with yourself and especially others who are supporting you in recovery is essential to moving forward.
It’s difficult to be honest when confronting issues with problem drinking and alcoholism. Learning the reasons why you drink and looking deep within yourself to find some understanding for your alcoholic behavior is tough, but necessary for recovery. Fortunately, the people who are tasked with supporting you have heard pretty much everything so your honesty won’t shock them; though their sterile reaction to your admissions may surprise you.
Their role is to keep you focused on your plan. Understanding is something they’re good at - sympathy or coddling won’t get and keep you sober and they know this. The secret to success in recovery, what gives you your best shot at beating the odds, is being honest when you must take a moral inventory of yourself, what brought you to this point in your life and being disciplined enough to follow the treatment plan of action as it presents itself.
There are probably hundreds of reasons why you stop drinking alcohol if it has brought you to the point of reading this message. Statistically the odds are stacked against you for regaining your life and living a sober existence. Your chances of relapse are great and the suffocating urge to drink is like a weighted vest on a drowning man. You’ll wonder if there is an end in sight, and will recovery ever be any easier. Many problem drinkers face prolonged years of pain and suffering because they couldn’t accept the conditions of sobriety; giving up that which was at times a comfort but in reality is a thief in the night.
Something controlling your life that is this cunning, perilous and life threatening must be confronted with a strong desire to prevail and a plan to see you successfully achieve the results that will transform your life.
To set up an appointment with Michael Pearlman, M.D., Call 1 (866) 285-3400 toll-free or (617) 620-2230,