Getting sober may mean that you talk with your doctor first about your intentions. He or she can refer you to an addiction treatment program or make recommendations about how to approach getting sober. Whether you take the rehab approach or go to private therapy, get involved with self-help groups, or prefer a more self-directed approach, the most important thing is that you do something to get help.
First, examine your motives for wanting to stay sober through an addiction treatment program. Have you reached a time in your life where you feel that you’ve wasted your opportunities, not taken advantage of what came your way? Is it because you spend much or all of your leisure (and other) time drinking, thinking about drinking, reminiscing about the good times you had drinking – and then suffer the inevitable hangovers, lost time from work, blackouts, auto accidents, DUIs, arrests, injuries, even violence to loved ones? Maybe you’ve had to reach the bottom before you get serious about getting and staying sober.
Still, is it just a brief hiatus from drinking that you’re after, or are you genuinely committed to giving up alcohol? If you’re racking up serious negative consequences due to alcohol, it’s only going to get worse. Once you are addicted, alcoholism is a progressive disease, but you can learn how to overcome it and live a life in sobriety.
Imagine that. Being able to wake up clear-headed and in full grasp of your faculties. You have goals, are eager to tackle projects, spend quality time with loved ones and close friends, engage in healthy physical and recreational activities – all the things we associate with a good life.
You can achieve this goal – if you really want it and work very hard to get it. No, your future isn’t guaranteed. But if you don’t get help to overcome your problem with alcohol, that future is pretty much predictable: you could wind up losing family, friends, job, home, suffer increasing medical problems, wind up in jail, bankrupt, or even die.
Ask yourself these questions. The answers may tell you how committed you are to staying sober.
- Do I regularly drink more than I intend to? Is this something that I really want to stop?
- Do I need to drink in order to relax or feel better? Is this something I want to get a handle on?
- Do I feel guilty or ashamed about my drinking habits? Is this an issue I want help with?
- Do I lie to others or conceal my drinking habits? Isn’t this a behavior that I want to quit?
- Are my friends or family members concerned about my drinking habits? Do I want to do something to change my behavior?
- Do I blackout and/or forget what I did while I was drinking? Has this happened more than once? Isn’t this enough to convince me that I want to do something to overcome drinking?
If you answered yes to more than one of these questions, you have a drinking problem. If you truly want to get help from an addiction treatment program, you are in the right frame of mind to do something about it.