For some people, kicking back with a glass or two of wine is just that. Youre out with friends, you pour, you sip, you get that warm, relaxed feeling, and thats it.
For others, one glass becomes many, one night out becomes every night, and drinking starts taking up major mental space that becomes a focal point of your life.
If youre addicted to something, it doesnt mean youre weak or bad at willpower. Addiction lives in your brain circuitry its not a personal shortcoming.
Addictive substances like alcohol activate pleasure receptors in your brain. The more often you switch on your pleasure pathways, the less pleasure you feel over time. So, your brain will crave stronger and stronger stimuli to get those happy chemicals. Your brain grows accustomed to the stimulus after so much repetition, and over time youre so used to it that you have to have your fix to function.
Whether youre starting a new habit or breaking an old one, success hinges upon three things:
Changing your behavior either starting a new behavior or stopping one
Willpower being physically and mentally resilient against weak moments and temptation
Often you must change the way you see yourself in the world
Alcohol addiction recovery is a whole different animal, but there is some overlap. Quitting drinking, specifically, has three distinct phases:
Detox get all of the nasty stuff that built up from years of drinking out of your system
Start the path of holistic recovery
With the understanding that you need all of these to work together, you can put together your plan to drop the bottle.
Most people with alcohol problems do not decide to make a big change out of the blue or transform their drinking habits overnight. Recovery is usually a more gradual process. In the early stages of change, denial is a huge obstacle. Even after admitting you have a drinking problem, you may make excuses and drag your feet. Its important to acknowledge your ambivalence about stopping drinking. If youre not sure if youre ready to change or youre struggling with the decision, it can help to think about the costs and benefits of each choice.
Avoid using the word alcoholic due to the negative connections associated with this word. Instead, show you concerns by stressing the fact alcoholism is a disease that requires treatment.
If you feel you lack the ability to communicate your concerns in the manner, then another option is to stage a professional intervention. For a moderate fee, a professional interventionist will travel to your home in order to conduct this intervention.
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