Addiction to Alcohol/How to quit?
I'm at the same time ashamed and willing to ask for your advice. I'm 35 years old, and I started occasionally drinking wine when I was a student. I never liked any other alcohol, never used to drink even with friends in clubs and parties at the time. Ocassionally, once in a few weeks, I liked to enjoy the hard day's evening with a glass of nice dry red wine. And I admit, this glass of wine was also there when I felt lonely, and that was my problem. I dealt and deal with episodes of depression and at the time turned to the wrong confort.
Then I met my ex, my ''big love'',8 years ago, and the man had an obvious alcohol problem which I thought I could help him to solve (it was my first experience with a drinking person, except with myself). An ambitious, smart, funny, educated lawyer could drink, except at work, from dawn to dusk,little by little, but all together, a loooooot. He and his family didn't want to admit his problem and a few times I searched for him late at night in a park of a suburb, he was to drunk to know where he was, or once had a car crash. Our 3-year-relationship ended mostly because of his drinking. Sadly I started drinking more with him than before, he always brought home wine, he was the one who always filled my glass again, I was the one who willingly accepted, and so on. After our break up I was devastated, both by the end of the relationship and because of having to move to a new city without friends, family and support. I started drinking every evening, two glasses of wine. It was pretty much for me, I do not eat too much and exercise a lot. The top was when I once fell asleep sitting on a toilet, after drinking wine. Then I sought help, counselling.
Well, the counselling stretched to 3-4 years, it was mainly focused on the depression, so drinking problem was still hanging behind. Even when I was given prescription drugs for depression, I continued drinking wine, 2 glasses every evening. One bottle always somehow lasted for two evenings. At family gatherings people started to notice and I was told from a few close relatives that they were concerned.
Then I met a wonderful guy, everything went better, the relationship bloomed in several years and finally we got married last year. Sadly, I didn't stop my evening drinking habits. And I'm ashamed that my in-laws noticed it too and started making bad jokes. My husband does not drink, and he warned me too that my drinking worries him. But I became good at hiding wine bottles and it went unnoticed. Recently I started to think of it a lot, I started to see this stupid drinking as a very bad and harmfull habit. I only do not know how to quit. On occasions when I get a flue or stomack problems, I can't drink for days. I wish it could remain forever without drinking! I have a lot of hobbies, interests, nice work, art, love, etc., I do not understand myself and this problem I put myself into. Four days ago I cought a cold and since then I haven't taken any wine. I do not crave for it, just it is like an evening ritual what I miss. What happens if I try ''cold turkey''?
I would appreciate your advise very much!
Sorry for the long text!
Good day Ella,
Often we do things to comfort ourselves and these things such as smoking or alcohol become our substitute for feeling our very human feelings. The pain is part of living and personal growth.
Once we turn to a substance to feel better we have started on the long road of chemical addiction.
The evening "ritual" you describe may be a comforting habit or maybe a full blown addiction in denial.
Addictions do have the quality of being repeated and having a loss of control over when and where you might engage in them. Also craving can be a sign of a serious addictive illness.
If you try to control this problem and it persists then you need to address your powerlessness over it.
Will power has only a small part in getting well due to the power of alcohol addiction.
I would suggest only participation in alcohol counselling and better yet in a twelve step program in your area. This is necessary because you need to substitute the time you spend drinking with something more positive such as sober friends and better thought patterns developed and learned in these groups.
Everytime you feel like repeating the drinking rituals you must substitute that time with other activities. First thing is be still and just feel your feelings, try to identify them.
Do you feel hurt,resentment, fear, or sadness? Let these feelings happen inside you without
judgement or resistance or avoidance through drinking.
These feelings are energy that needs to flow through you and dissipate naturally.
Next, get support through friends and alcohol support groups like AA when you feel down.
Learn how to surrender your self-will to life and God. Give up control.
Every time you feel like drinking say "No excuses" I have given that up now.
Do not allow yourself to make excuses for drinking ever. You may have times when you
are blind so make sure you have someone or somewhere to go when the urge to drink comes.
Once the urge passes you will regain the ability to say no to it.
You must repeat the above until you no longer care about the ritual anymore
and be vigilant after.
You will be free again at some point and alcohol will no longer be am issue.
You will sense the danger of drinking but will lose interest in it.
These addictions do kill people all the time so they are serious business.
Give up all your excuses for drinking and give up self-criticism and give up blaming anyone.
Learn to feel without judgement. These spiritual principles will get you on the road to recovery
from your problems. Make a list of your negative thoughts and behaviours.
Be willing to let them go over time.
Good luck dear,