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25 August, 2012

Quitting Alcohol and the Art of Positive Thinking

"Positive thinking should embrace reality, knowing when to move forward and when to stop." - Aliyah Arsiton

I Believe I Can Quit Alcohol
"It is easy to quit drinking alcohol, the book told me, just put your mind to it and you can overcome any form of addiction, including your alcohol addiction. You just have to believe that there is a way out. You must also have that… that… strong faith in the art of positive thinking. You need to have a firm determination, optimistic outlook in life, and the right motivations, and I am sure, you can get out of that awful condition."
Is it?

Can you easily quit alcohol even if you have trouble sleeping at night because your system is trained to have booze before going to bed?

stop drinking quotes

- I have difficulty sleeping. I've tried all those “home remedies” – drinking a glass of milk before going to bed, reading a good book, listening to relaxing music, taking a hot shower, counting thousands of sheep but no luck. I still find myself wandering in the night. And if I managed to fall asleep, I feel exhausted the next morning. My body is aching similar to the feeling of a person who gets beaten by ten drunken barbarians. The thought of having few shots of whiskey at night always pops up on my head. But deep inside me is the resistance because I know it is not the solution. And that instance makes it very difficult for me to quit alcohol. Because the fight is within me.

- I don’t want to take sleeping pills because it’s habit forming. I might get addicted and I am sure will only worsen my condition. Probably, this is only a part of those alcohol withdrawal symptoms that I have to deal with. I must be persevering in trying to have a good night sleep. Who knows, I might get lucky tonight.

Can you simply quit alcohol even if you already consider it an escape door from family related and work related problems, daily stress? And that it has become a part of your instinct when dealing with everyday issues in your life?

- I used to drink whenever I feel grumpy. For example, after a stressful day at work, dealing with complicated situations, facing difficult decisions, I put my head on alcohol’s shoulder. I binge drink believing that it would ease my burden (at least for that instance). And now that I am trying to quit drinking, whose shoulder will I put my head on?

- What I didn't realize is that abusing alcohol and engaging to binge drinking only add another problem in my life - a huge, unnoticeable problem. And that is becoming hooked with alcohol. And THAT problem slowly became the root of all my problems. Until I woke up one morning I can’t live without alcohol. And that makes it very difficult to quit alcohol. The habit manages to go through my system gradually, creating a strong addiction.

- I regret the time that I've wasted. If only I was smart enough to deal with those little problems, I would not have experienced THIS huge problem. If only I learn to deal with those stressful situations, I would not have encounter difficulties in life now. I guess I learned it the hard way.

Can you get out of alcohol addiction easily even though you are physically and psychologically dependent to the addictive chemicals and substances in alcohol?

- I made a research on how long alcohol can stay in the bloodstream and my system. This is to allow me to monitor the timeline of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. And it will also make me stronger and more motivated in that span of time of quitting alcohol.

- The chemicals and the addictive substances present on alcohol can stay in the bloodstream as long as two years or more depending on many factors. (Those I will discuss in future post.) If a person has a chronic and severe condition, he needs medical attention or detoxification programs and stronger medications to get rid of the last trace of alcohol in the body. In my case, I need to maintain my sobriety for two long years before I can actually say that I am alcohol-free. And if landslide occurs, I will need to start counting all over again to meet that status. Not easy obviously.

Can you get rid of alcoholism effortlessly even if you are constantly drinking and abusing alcohol for the last 25 years of your life?

- I tried to quit alcohol several times in the past but did not manage to maintain it. The longest time that I have been alcohol-free is a period of a month. That’s all I can do. I cannot easily ignore the cravings - that strong desire to drink. Now, I realize that it is the addiction that dictates the strength of the cravings. Dealing with it is next to impossible.

- Even if you have a firm mind to quit alcohol, cravings for alcohol and the urge to drink again can destroy your plans. Even though you have that put-your-mind-to-it principle in your pocket, if you are already addicted to something and that something has already created a huge and tough connection within your system, you cannot get out easily. You must take it one day at a time, go through the process.

Can you easily quit alcohol even if you are experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms?

- One of the most dreadful parts of quitting alcohol is the stage of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Anyone who has tried to quit drinking will agree with me that these symptoms can bring back the bad habit. Physical and psychological, as well as, emotional withdrawal symptoms, whether these are short-terms or long terms in nature, can absolutely affect an individual’s resolute mind in quitting alcohol. This is normal as the mind is seeking for temporary solutions to make the body feel better. It tells you that if you drink alcohol, it will make you feel better.

I guess, it is not that easy to quit alcohol. There are more realistic things to be considered and there are other things that should be focused upon than just thinking positively. Although positive thinking can help in accomplishing these tasks, it is not only the solution. Now that I am familiar with the fact that the effects of alcohol addiction are the reasons why it is very difficult for a person to quit alcohol, I realized now that I must concentrate on doing this - try not to add more to the negative effects by simply not drinking.

I know there are many ways to combat alcoholism. I know there are many effective programs, support groups, quitting alcohol procedures, treatments and medications out there that can make me easily quit drinking alcohol. I am also aware that there is NO program or procedure that can instantly or quickly stop my drinking problems. Better yet, I should take the necessary actions to quit alcohol rather than relying ONLY to positive thinking.

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