August 10, 2007
You Dont Have To Be Afraid To Stop Drinking
There are so many people out in the world who are addicted to alcohol, and don’t know that there is a way of stopping, and that it will surely be in your best interest to do so. How many people drink after work, until they go to bed, wake up with hangovers, go to work, and do the same thing all over again? Or, we have the weekend drinkers who refrain during the week, and get smashed on the weekends. Usually these weekenders proceed to make fools of themselves in front of family, friends, and neighbors. They think they’re the life of the party, but it’s more like the clown of the party.
How many purses have been lost or stolen when one doesn’t remember what they did with it? How many cars have been lost in parking lots? How many drunk driving accidents have killed, hurt, and maimed? How many people lose their family because of alcohol? They get a drunk driving ticket, lose their job, lose their house, and their family moves on without them?
It happens every day to a lot of people. Well, then, why can’t people stop drinking? The first reason is fear. They are afraid of what they are going to do without alcohol in their lives. Much like a smoker quitting cigarettes doesn’t know what they’re going to do without a cigarette in their hand. But, although a smoker is endangering their lives, a drinker alters the way their brain thinks, and does things, and acts in ways that are inappropriate and unacceptable. A cigarette doesn’t do that to you. You don’t leave your purse in a bar because you had a cigarette. Or a pack of cigarettes.
A drinker can easily drive home on the wrong side of the road, sideswipe the garage door, and yell and scream for scrambled eggs and cheese! And then have to get up and go to work in the morning. So why not stop? Number one, it’s usually an addiction, so it’s not as easy as it sounds. Number two, without the proper guidance, it’s very hard to do alone. Number three, who wants to not only have to quit doing something they love to do, but do it in front of strangers, as in a twelve step program?
The people who want to stop behaviors and actions that occur when they are drunk, that don’t occur when they’re not! Many get nasty when they drink. If they’re drinking after work with their fellow employees, things can get pretty inappropriate. If someone happens to let them in on their little secret habits while drunk, it can get very embarrassing, leading to even lower self esteem and self confidence. As a matter of fact, there comes a lot of guilt and shame with being a drunk, and worse, to be a blackout drunk. Then you remember nothing, and the town remembers everything! Not to mention the damage it’s doing to your liver.
The addiction is always stronger than the desire to quit. But, it can be done. I did it. I have been sober for thirteen years. I got tired of blackouts and hangovers and acting like someone I’m not when I’m without alcohol. I knew I wanted to stop, but I had no clue how. I went to a twelve step meeting in my church, and kept going everynight to different meetings, for four and a half years. If you let the seriously sober men and women help you, you can beat this addiction. You don’t have to be afraid to go to meetings, some of the nicest people I have ever met came from inside those rooms. There is a silent camaraderie among fellow drunks, and we are more alike than different. There is a humbleness and an honesty that goes with trying to quit an addiction, and we all shared it. It’s the only place you can get your own sponsor who will work the steps with you, and share their experiences, hopes and dreams. They are usually men and women who have been in the program for a while, and can help you with the skills they learned, and turn around and teach you.
If your drinking is out of control, and you want to stop, in my case, the meetings were the way to go. I had support, and knowledge coming in so that I could learn to change my behavior, my way of thinking, and my attitude to a more calmer, peaceful way of life. This also affected my partner and my kids. I was more easy going, and of course, I didn’t drink.
I remembered everything about the night before. I always knew where my purse was, and my car! I didn’t have to worry about getting pulled over for drunk driving. I didn’t have to be embarrassed and ashamed after a party or a family function. I was getting my house in order. I was putting one foot in front of the other, and moving in a straight line. I was more focused, I didn’t put things off anymore, I did them and got them out of the way. I kept my word. I didn’t lie. I liked myself, and that allowed others to like me, too.
There’s nothing pretty about a fall down drunk. There’s nothing nice about a belligerent drunk. There’s nothing endearing about a blackout drunk. There’s just nothing good about drinking if you are an alcoholic, and if you are one, you probably know it, or are questioning it. There are meetings at almost every church. You can call a twelve step hotline. You can stop the nightmare, if you set your mind to it, and follow the steps, and put them into practice in your life.
You’ll be happier because everything will be going better for you. Your bills will be paid because you won’t let them go until you’re straight one night when you’ve run out of booze and the liquor stores are closed. There will be no heavy weight on your shoulders. You can hold your head up high. The help is there, you just have to want it.