Been trying to stop drinking but habits and crutches keep stopping me. What are the first steps?
Hello and thank you for your question! You have not provided with specific information that can help me give you a more specific response. That being said, I will be as thorough as possible to assist you. First, per the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Alcohol misuse Alcohol misuse describes alcohol consumption that puts individuals at increased risk for adverse health and social consequences. It is defined as excess daily consumption (more than 4 drinks per day for men or more than 3 drinks per day for women), or excess total consumption (more than 14 drinks per week for men or more than 7 drinks per week for women), or both. Alcohol misuse is a pattern of drinking that results in harm to one’s health, interpersonal relationships or ability to work. Alcohol dependence, also known as alcohol addiction and alcoholism, is a chronic disease and is associated with experiencing withdrawal symptoms, loss of control, or alcohol tolerance. This, is a general definition, but you can see the description and assess if this resonates with you in any way. Consider, if by drinking alcohol, you are encountering difficulties, physical, emotional, relational, and connected with your functioning. The second point I will bring, is that I would encourage you to consider the interest you are presenting in terms of your choices. Change or decisions connected to change, ideally, should come from you. I can completely understand the notion of "promising" other, significant others in your life, but usually this does not help your process. This, because the commitment or the motor of the change process should come from you; this, of course, could be supported by others- friends or family members. However, your choice should be yours. From the limited information you are presenting, I think it would be worth considering if you are open and interested in exploring what is occurring or how are you feeling and the possible connections to other instances or situations in your life. For example, you mention the connection between drinking and work stress. In all fairness, it is possible to get to the root of your concerns and to discover and understand where this is coming from. A mental health professional is prepared to assist people with concerns such as yours. At the minimum, you will be able to clarify how you are feeling and at the same time you will be able to acquire coping skills to deal and manage with your emotions, ideas and behaviors. This, if you consider this is a positive step for you. Hope this helps in terms of your question or concern. Good luck in your process and take care!