Quitting drinking for good can certainly be tough. It’s no secret that it can take many relapses to finally make that break for good and when you do, it can feel quite amazing. Keep in mind, however, that quitting drinking is just the beginning of your road of recovery. Here are a few things that you may have to contend once you say goodbye to your last drink.
Reality Sets In
When you were drinking, you may not have been dealing with reality. In fact, many alcoholics live in some sort of altered reality where they deny their true feelings and run from the tough stuff. But once you quit drinking, you start to get more clarity and life becomes quite real. For example, if you drank to drown your marriage sorrows and run from the toxicity of such a relationship, when you sober up you will have to contend with the reality that your marriage is a mess and needs some help and that’s not always easy to do. Is it possible? It sure is, but it will require you being honest with yourself, your spouse, and getting some help, if needed. Quitting drinking will prompt you to face your reality on life’s terms without using alcohol to numb, run, cope, and so on.
Dealing With Emotions
When you stop drinking, don’t be surprised if some emotions rise up from years of stuffing them away. You may have layer after layer of repressed emotions that could stem all the way back from childhood. Now that you’re sober, it’s time to peel back the layers and face the pain or shame that you’ve been hiding. This will help you move forward in freedom and peace, so that you won’t be tempted to cope by drinking. If you cannot contend with your emotional state by yourself, see a counselor or work the 12 Steps of AA with a sponsor. There is emotional healing that needs to be done on the road of recovery, so being proactive in this area will certainly help you along your journey.
Learning All Sorts of New Skills
Putting down the drink is a wonderful thing, but if you continue to go on with unhealthy coping skills, you could end up relapsing or encountering negative consequences. Now that you’re on the road of recovery, you have the chance to learn all sorts of new skills that will help your mind, body, and spirit. For example, if you deal with your anger by drinking, it’s important that you learn some healthy anger management skills so you don’t end up relapsing. If you find yourself struggling with things like anxiety, anger, depression, guilt, etc., consider seeing a counselor and learning effective life skills so that you can continue to grow on your road of recovery.
A New Circle of Friends
Quitting drinking will probably change your social scene some, including your friends. You may have to cut ties with those who don’t want to stop drinking. It may be too much for you to hang around them because you may be tempted to join them. Rest assured that cutting ties with old drinking hangouts and some friends is to your advantage and you can always begin building a new circle of friends who value sobriety. Even just one sober friend may be all that you need to help you through this time of change, so go ahead and begin thinking about who you may want to add to your friend circle.
The best part about quitting drinking is that it puts you on a path to an incredible life. On the other side of alcoholism, there really is a beautiful life that awaits you. You simply have to be willing to do your part in manifesting it.
Dominica Applegate is dedicated to the art of self-discovery and creative expression with a passion for creative art. She’s got a deep-rooted passion for helping others heal emotional pain and trauma, as her own journey through love addiction has served as a catalyst for her own healing and beautiful transformation. Find out more at www.dominicaapplegate.com.