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10 Reasons You Are Still Drinking Even Though You Don’t Want to Be

drinkingIt can come as a huge shock to break through the denial of addiction but still find that you are unable to stop drinking. This discovery can lead to a new level of suffering and being caught at this stage for years. There will always be reasons why individuals are still drinking despite wanting to stop but understanding and overcoming these reasons provides the key to freedom. Here are just 10 possible obstacles to a new life in sobriety.

1. You Do Not Have Adequate Support

If you are unwilling to consider any type of support in recovery, it will likely be much harder for you to break free. This is a major life change, so professional help does not only make things easier, but it can also mean a much stronger sobriety. It has been said that if you keep doing the same things, you will keep getting the same results; therefore, if you are struggling to give up alcohol, maybe now is the time to get some help. By choosing an option like rehab, you may be giving yourself the best possible chance for recovery.

2. You Are Not Fully Committed to Sobriety

It is common for people who have broken through some initial denial to still hold back from full commitment to recovery. This happens if you still hang on to the hope that there will be some way for you to drink safely again in the future. If you secretly view recovery as just a prelude to further drinking in a few months or years, once you have your life together then your attempt at sobriety is almost certainly doomed to failure. You need to let go of any hope that you can drink again in the future because it is only by doing this that you can fully commit to this new life and make it work for you.

3. You Don’t Have a Suitable Replacement for Alcohol

The chances are that you have been using alcohol as a type of coping tool to help you deal with life. Once this crutch is removed, you may find things a bit overwhelming so the temptation to relapse will be high. This is why it is so important that you begin working on a replacement coping strategy right away – something that will be more effective than alcohol. One of the other benefits of entering a rehab programme is that you would have plenty of time to pick up some new strategies and coping tools.

4. Anger and Resentment is Handicapping Your Efforts to Get Sober

You may have very good reasons to feel angry and resentful, but these emotions can destroy any hope you have of achieving long-term recovery. The problem is that anger prevents individuals from thinking rationally; this type of outburst is the most common cause of relapse. You need to understand that the only person your anger is hurting is you and, if you cannot let go of it, you will continue to suffer. If anger really is a problem for you then you will benefit from spending time with a therapist or attending an anger management class.

5. You Are Dealing with a Dual Diagnosis

A dual diagnosis means that you have some type of mental health problem (for example, depression) alongside your addiction. Until this other condition is properly managed, it may be difficult for you to remain sober. The likelihood is that you have been self-medicating with alcohol, so you need something to replace this with. One of the best options is to choose a dual-diagnosis programme whereby your addiction and mental health problem can be treated together.

6. You Are Allowing Others to Sabotage Your Efforts

If you continue to spend time with those who are abusing alcohol, it will undermine your efforts to become sober. Humans are strongly influenced by those they spend their time with; in fact, it has even been claimed that you become the average of the five people you spend the most time with. If you are serious about breaking free of addiction, you need to get some new sober role models as well as avoiding being with your hard-drinking friends as much as possible. These people not only demotivate you, but they may also even deliberately sabotage your efforts (for example, spiking your drink for a joke).

7. You Are Underestimating the Power of Addiction

Making any type of major change in your life will require a great deal of effort and commitment. Alcohol can be particularly challenging to overcome because it involves both a physical and psychological dependence. If you come at this problem with anything less than 100 per cent effort, you may not be able to get the result you need. Even if you do become sober, your recovery will always be at risk as long as you remain complacent.

8. You Are Overestimating the Power of Addiction

If you expect giving up alcohol to be incredibly difficult, the chances are that this is how you are going to end up experiencing this process. What you have done is create a type of self-fulfilling prophecy. The act of predicting difficulties puts you on high alert for any problems and it can make you far more sensitive than you need to be. There is also the risk that you will become addicted to the struggle, meaning that things will always appear more complicated than they need to be.

9. You Are Dealing With Low Self-Efficacy

The term ‘self-efficacy’ is a fancy way of describing your own beliefs in your abilities. If you have low self-efficacy in regards to alcohol, it means that you believe that giving up drinking would be beyond your abilities. This is an incredibly disempowering way to look at things and it means you will not be able to put in the required effort to break free of addiction. Low self-efficacy can occur due to repeated failures in the past, which is why it is so important to get the right type of help this time. You can also raise your self-efficacy be being around positive people in recovery or attending motivational interviewing sessions with a therapist.

10. You Are Waiting for the Right Time to Quit

Maybe you want to quit but are waiting for the right time to do so – sounds familiar? This is a common mistake and can mean remaining trapped in addiction for years. The only right time to stop is now; there is no reason to believe that things would be easier in the future. This type of confusion about waiting for the right time often occurs because of misunderstandings about what it means to hit rock bottom – you hit rock bottom when you decide to stop; it is not about losing everything or arriving at some special day in the future. Stop putting off your recovery until tomorrow because there is going to be a day when there is no tomorrow for you.

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