Alcoholism is among the most rampant of addictions. Alcohol is a natural part of being an adult in most cultures. When you socialize, you drink. Everyone has their choice of drink. One day, you’re someone who drinks at parties and events for a bit of fun and relaxation. The next day, you’re faced with significant pressures and broken dreams. Then, before you know it, you’re someone who takes alcohol to avoid an otherwise unbearable experience.
Effects of alcohol
When alcohol starts to build up in someone’s system, they take even the most alarming concerns lightly, and they enjoy the gradual weakening of their attention and alertness. When that build up exceeds a certain limit, there is poor judgment. For example, the person may do things that are aggressive, reckless, dangerous, foolish etc. At this level, there’s also what practioners refer to as labile mood which is irregularities in one’s moods and emotions for no apparent reason. For instance, someone may burst out with a screaming insult or a really loud song from a perfectly normal conversation. At the very extremes of one’s tolerance limits, alcohol literally begins to kill your consciousness. It slowly puts you in a “sleep” state and eventually causes a black out.
“Withdrawal symptoms” is a term for what happens when you try to stop drinking after becoming addicted to it. In the first 24 hours, there is shaking, vomiting/vomiting sensation, a heartrate of over 100, sweating and a little bit of restlessness. About 2 days later, signs of hallucinations start to occur, and if you manage to go for 5 days straight or more, then you become extremely restless, extremely hallucinatory and have sudden spells of losing consciousness. Eventually, there may even be death. Yes, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be fatal. Due to the severity of alcohol withdrawal symptoms, it is never — I repeat — never a good idea to quit drinking in one go. Never.
What can one do if they want to stop being an alcoholic?
Sustained alcoholic recovery is a complicated journey. It is one of the most difficult things to achieve in life, bordering on being nearly impossible. That’s not being pessimistic. It’s simply acknowledging that trying to reverse an alcohol addiction is an extremely courageous and monumental effort.
The following remedies have shown real results:
Having a loved one keep you on track
It doesn’t matter who. Just someone who can make sure that you do not return to old habits and, at the same time, make sure that you do not provoke your withdrawal symptoms with a disastrous intensity.
The biggest deterrent with any effort is… sucking at it. I’m sorry about the language, but it’s true. If you try to change and you suck at it, then you’ll go back to the old way. So whatever direction you try to change in, you have to make sure that you’re reasonably good at it.
For example, I was addicted to many things, which we won’t get into right now. But when I began attempting change, I worked in the direction of tech at first. I sucked badly at it. So I went back to my addictions in no time. Eventually, I realized that I should try a different direction. So, I worked in the direction of becoming a psychologist, and I was reasonably good at that. Pretty soon, I had built skills. Skills which gave me self-confidence, something to do and something to look forward to. Skills are crucial, but always be sure that you are working only towards something that you are reasonably good at, not something you absolutely suck at.
There are two big tasks, as far as relapse prevention is concerned:
Deeply familiarizing yourself with the urge
We know a lot of things about the urge. We know it’s strong. We know it is tempting. We know it is damn near impossible to overcome. But this sort of knowledge is not deep enough. To really stand a chance, one must go deeper into the urge. For me, I learned that the urge caused acute tension in my gut and my mind. I learned that it bent my posture. I learned that it worsened my mood, and wore me down like a 10 ton brick. I learned that it made my skin flutter in a few places. You see, knowledge of this kind is deeper than just “it’s difficult/it’s tempting.” This is what I’m talking about. Familiarize yourself with the urge not theoretically but practically. Go deeper than what your thoughts are telling you on the surface. Go deep into your body and feel what is happening.
We all learn, one way or another, that we need to get along i.e. we need to cooperate with one another. Now, this experience of doing what it takes to get along with someone can be mindless or mindful. If you feel like “I don’t know why I put up with him/her” then it’s mindless. If you know exactly why you put up with him/her, it is mindful. A big part of relapse pressure comes from the way we cooperate with others. We need to have clarity regarding the reasons for our cooperation. Otherwise, we feel taken advantage of, and that feeds the urge. I, for one, had to cooperate with my father. At first, it was a lot of mindless obedience which had me running back to my urge in no time at all. But later, I scienced the shit out of any cooperation with my dad. I decided that I would sacrifice a few of my principles for him since he was too old to change. At the same time, I decided that there would be limits to my cooperation. I clearly defined those limits. From that moment on, my cooperation became mindful. I knew exactly when, how and why I was putting someone else before myself.
Medical management of withdrawal symptoms
Do not go to the internet for advice on withdrawal symptoms. Go to a doctor. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms, as I’ve mentioned before, can be fatal. Yes. They can kill you. So, don’t take any risks. Go to a doctor and get the necessary medication and lifestyle changes prescribed to help you through the withdrawal symptoms.
That’s it. Thank you for reading.