How to quit drinking without full abstinence
You may have a problem with drinking but may be too embarrassed to enter an AA meeting.
Here a few simple steps to help you kick the habit without going full turkey.
Firstly, as cliché as it may sounds, acknowledge that you have a problem. You need to first accept that you are an alcoholic. Then we can proceed to the next step. You need to understand why you drink. Do you start drinking when you had a bad day at work? You have an argument with your spouse? Identify the little triggers that set you off and have a game plan of what you will do when faced with that trigger. Be it, when having an awful day at work, going for a spa or a massage or calling a friend out for a coffee. Know your triggers and know yourself.
Secondly, commit yourself to the goal of ridding yourself free of alcohol. You are a smart human being who does not need alcohol to function. Yes, it may be difficult for you to get through the day at first. Do not listen to the little cravings or little commands that your brain sends to you demanding for alcohol. You are the master of yourself. You have lived once before and functioned perfectly well without alcohol. There is no reason you could not do it again. Make your mantra: I will quit for good. Repeat it to yourself every time a trigger presents itself to you.
Thirdly, learn to say NO. If a friend asks you out for a drink, be absolutely ready to be firm in your reply. Say no thanks, I’m quitting. Tell your friends of your intentions and tell them that you need them to be there for you. If you have to avoid your group of drinking friends for a certain period of time, do that. Tell them you are not burning bridges, you are just trying to quit alcohol. They will respect you for it and help you in your road to sobriety.
Fourthly, be patient. Enjoy your recovery from your addiction and do not be afraid if you relapsed. If you relapsed once, that does not mean you will fall all the way down and hit rock-bottom. It takes time and patience. Do not be hard on yourself if you relapsed after a certain period of time. After that relapse, say to yourself, I will try harder and this time I will succeed.
Most of all, remember that you are doing all these for yourself and your family. These should be the biggest motivation and inspiration of all to keep on moving forward.