If drinking is a problem for you and you have decided you need to quit, then quitting must become your absolute top priority - or your chances of success are slim. Sound a bit extreme? Consider this:
Has drinking ever come before your family? Perhaps you have chosen to drink instead of spending quality time with your kids? Perhaps you let drinking cloud your relationships, or cause conflict between you and your loved ones?
What about your finances? Have you ever spent more money on drinking than you meant to? Have you ever regretted your spending after drinking too much? Have you ever missed work because of drinking, or perhaps under-performed at work, therefore negating your chances of a raise?
And then there is your health. How many times have you ignored signs of illness (short-term or chronic) due to drinking? Have you ever picked up a brochure about drinking and read about the health risks and told yourself, that won’t happen to me? Have you lied to yourself and others about your physical well being for fear you might have to consider reducing or quitting drinking, in order to get better, or even to live?
And your mental health? Feeling depressed or anxious? Feeling shame or disgust about your own behaviour? Noticing yourself deny signs of poor mental health, so you can keep on drinking?
Have you turned your back on groups, activities or communities you were once glad to be a part of ?
Has drinking come before every other priority in your life at some point? YES?
Well then, if you have decided to quit drinking, you must make recovery your highest priority. As you heal from your addiction, you will find yourself getting back in touch with what truly matters to you - but only after you give sobriety your utmost respect and commitment.
There is no half-ass, part-time effort involved here. It is a big, big deal.
There is an exercise the SMART Recovery group uses to demonstrate the concept I am discussing here. It is called the ‘hierarchy of values’. I suggest you check it out, as part of your exploration of sober living. The SMART Recovery people are great - wonderful group with really practical tools and strategies for recovery from addiction of all kinds. Go here to learn more www.smartrecovery.org