When one takes that first sip of alcohol, they are never sure if alcohol will be a thing they will be indulging in from time to time or if it will become an addiction. It’s usually an act that an individual never puts much thought into.
People quit alcohol for several reasons. Others quit for health reasons, others quit alcohol because they do not simply like it, others also quit because they realize they can have fun without alcohol, others because their loved ones have asked them to quit and others quit because of addiction.
If you are looking to quit alcohol especially because of addiction, then there are a number of challenges that you may encounter. These are the challenges that you may encounter.
1. Fighting the urge to drink every day
As one gets used to drinking every day, it may be a hurdle to wake up and stop one day. One’s whole system can get used to this intoxicating liquid and not be able to function without it. The constant urge to take alcohol even when you are trying to quit is not just a random happening but a scientific process of three stages involving brain cells.
The first change in your brain cells as you take alcohol involves the release of a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Dopamine is associated with pleasurable and rewarding activities. This means that your brain will start releasing dopamine whenever you take alcohol. The more your brain becomes exposed to alcohol, and it gets used to it. Here, the brain associates feeling good and, therefore, transitions from liking alcohol to being addicted to alcohol. The third and final stage is where the brain responds to becoming more excited by the presence of alcohol. So that even when one is not drinking, they continue staying in that state of excitement.
That is why leaving alcohol can be very difficult. The first few days of recovery are very hard since the cravings are intense.
2. To quit alcohol may mean dealing with feelings of loneliness
Another thing that one should consider when quitting alcohol is that friendships with fellow drinking buddies will stop making sense. These are people you were connected to through alcohol only; now, there would be nothing more connecting you and them. It can take a toll on you when you hang out with your friends and they make fun of you not drinking anymore.
Loneliness might set in. If one is not careful and find other ways to deal with not taking alcohol, this might act as a trigger and lead to a relapse. Things will have to change, and the process will not be easy.
3. Feelings of emptiness when quitting alcohol
You’ve spent most of your free time drinking alcohol, and at the moment, that seems to be the only constructive way to spend your time. If you are still working and living with family, you constantly yearn to get out of that family or work meeting and sit in your favourite position while sipping your favourite drink.
Then, here comes a new way of life where alcohol is not in the picture. You have decided to quit alcohol, and there is no going back. Without a doubt, days will be long and tedious. Sometimes, feelings of emptiness will crawl in.
When these challenges come, it does not mean that quitting alcohol is impossible. It will require a change in perspective to the whole process, and going a little extra in your attempts. Here are a few things to do when you encounter the above-mentioned challenges.
- Remind yourself of your reasons for quitting alcohol often.
- Talk about the challenges you face with your loved ones from time to time.
- Make time for self-care to ease the stress that you encounter as you go through the process of quitting.
- Look for activities that will keep you occupied during the time you would have been drinking. Get a new hobby or look for people you can hang out with who don’t drink.
- Remind yourself that these challenges are a part of the whole process of quitting alcohol.
- When you feel overwhelmed, reach out for support.
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