When you accept Abstinence as an essential part of your life, you win. When you integrate a sobriety plan into your Addiction Recovery Goal Setting, you win.
ABSTINENCE. Why Is this so important?
Sobriety... Lets face It
Abstinence, Alcoholism Treatment, Alcohol Rehab, and the Addictions Recovery business isn’t like selling popcorn.
Many of us aren’t rushing forward to buy it.
We are not sure we need treatment or rehab, or want it, or can do it. We want someone to meet us on our terms.
So we seek self help.
However, in the lives of the individuals with addictive behavior, some get past the point of being able to do it by themselves.
If you are getting started alone or if you are someone caring for them recognize they may require a period of structured living to become stabilized.
These individuals require help with initiating their addictions recovery or substance abuse treatment. Abstinence and serenity are just words at this point in their lives. This is where alcohol and drug detox come in.
More about Drunk Driving and Alcohol Addictions Recovery later.
Abstinence is the answer to Alcohol and Drunk Driving.
Abstinence is definitely the answer to alcohol and drunk driving.
And, yes, alcoholism is a disease. But, alcoholism as a disease doesn’t let us off the hook as individuals. It is still our life. The disease idea has helped to remove some of the stigma from alcoholism.
But still the responsibility for conscious choices about our life, and our disease, is our own. With Alcohol and Drunk Driving we have the responsibility to believe that we can change. That we can practice abstinence and sobriety.
So how does it happen?
We may decide to “take stock” of the pros and cons of our drinking or not drinking because of the intervention of others.
Something to think about: With the Veterans Administration, my experience, and VA Research showed medical concerns as the least effective reason which encouraged the alcoholic to accept detox and treatment.
More effective are family, friends, colleagues, bosses, and social associates. Peer to peer, would be my guess.
One more factor: Regardless who or what, wife or court, does the confrontation, those who quit or reduced drinking, on their own or had help through treatment or AA, the successful ones had “taken stock” of their drinking.
One of the best questions is, “What could I get back if I gave up drinking?”
You can decide to stop by yourself. The majority of individuals do. You have to want sobriety for your self. Don’t worry the SNUPs, Martians, And Drain People will always be there waiting to help you relapse.
Abstinence snips Snups, Martians, and Drain People.
You’ll just have to let go SNUPs, Martians, and Drain People recovery sabotage and if necessary, let go those who sabotage you as well. Have no illusions.
Those who make a firm commitment to not drinking, abstinence, are more likely to remain abstinent, sober, than those who make casual, less serious or vague commitments.
Simple as that.
How do you do this?
This is the best statement we have ever seen:
“Alcoholism is a permanent condition, I make no long-term promise about staying sober. It is more realistic for me…and has been successful…for me to say: “I am not taking a drink just for today.”
Day by day. One day at a time. We might add: “I will do whatever it takes, short of illegal or immoral, do anything, except drink.”
Experience shows that the more you state your abstinence/sobriety commitment to others, the stronger it becomes. You can use recovery groups to share your commitment with others.
There is an element of accountability in this action.
Many who are successful at abstinence and recovery participated in the recovery-group route. The major drawback is that their approaches may seem rigid in some areas. Some find one-to-one counseling fits their needs better.
AA offers the one-on-one sponsor system, sharing with an individual rather than a group appeals to many. Of course, there are a number of other recovery groups. Find what fits your personal needs.
Great Resource List at Well.com. Find What Matches Your Needs.
Consider A Steps Approach to Sobriety and Recovery
And you might try the “steps approach.” That is, choose the less intensive option and progress to a more formal/structured one, if and when it is needed. Regardless which you choose, you have to do it to fit you, your recovery and your life.
Genuine recovery support can come from those who have been there, or it can come from family, friends, a counselor, or simply other sober people.
You must fill the blank space which alcohol used to occupy. Otherwise, it is too tempting to refill it again with alcohol. That is why group participation, support from family and friends, and increased interest in the spiritual aspects of life all help.
These involvements can to some degree fill the place of alcohol. How big a space probably depends on how you let them into your life.
We are often asked, “How to deal with relapse, or how to prevent lapses?”
It is like a football game. If you fall down, or are knocked down, you get back up and go on with the game. Drinking is somewhat like obesity. If you over-eat today. You’ll have to do different tomorrow. Not Next Week!
Abstinence is only moment-to moment. A slip is a slip. Don’t make it the end of the world. Just don’t do it again. Prevent short-term lapses from becoming repeated and turning into a return to the old days.
No Pity Pots, No Gunny Sacks, Don't Play the Blame Game.
Fix the problem, without fixing the blame.
Satisfaction begins when comparison stops.
Keep in mind that what happens in you is more important than what happens to you. It is never too late to make a change in your life. You can let go addictions and you can let go codependency.
No pity pots. Lapse. Renew your commitment. Remember those affirmations. Go back and take stock of the costs of drinking and the rewards/benefits of not drinking. Make a renewed plan for recovery.
Get support. Go back to your group of helpers and supporters.
Relapse is when you cease doing what is needed for your sobriety, your abstinence.
No “stinkin thinkin” was a favorite saying of my colleague
and dear friend William R. and a sober AA member for over 30 years. Let go the resentments, even those toward yourself. No stuffing the “gunny sack.”
One of the best statements about abstinence-sobriety goes like this: “I like sobriety. I have self-respect, better reasoning, fuller enjoyment of pleasure, no guilt feelings, and the ability to appreciate myself and others.”
If alcoholism is a chronic disease, then alcohol addiction recovery is also a life long process. Recognize you can’t get holy in a hurry. And neither can you “recover” in a hurry. Of course, you’ll get better at it.
But, direction is more important than speed.
First of all, deliver yourself from relapse temptation. Let go the extra stress of sabotage from the SNUPs, Martians, and Drain People. Discover here how to let Self-Sabotage go.