This is adapted from something written by a SMART Recovery volunteer, describing the experience he and a group of his online peers shared.
“At one time we all thought the most difficult thing in the world would be to stop drinking. Since then, I have learned differently: it is not really all that hard to stop. The only reason there is a discussion is because an industry has developed that requires you to believe it is hard and dangerous. All of this flies in the face of reason, does not hold up in research and is not hold true for most individuals. Yes, there is a segment of the drinking population that needs help very badly, but they are a minority.
So here is my list of easy and hard things to do, with the caveat that the hard things may not really be that hard.
1. Stop drinking on your own.
2. Stop drinking with the help of your doctor.
3. Stop drinking at a 3-5 day detox center (usually involves a 12 Step approach).
4. Start taking care of yourself.
5. Start exercising.
6. Start eating better.
7. Start walking.
8. Start relaxing, letting things go.
Difficult (but not impossible things) to do:
1. Forgive yourself for treating yourself the way you did.
2. Ask forgiveness of others.
3. Repair the damage done.
4. Think rationally.
5. Recognize activating events.
6. Distract and Disarm the activating events.
7. Imagine a life without alcohol, drugs.
8. Live that life
Impossible things to do:
1. Change the past.
People who drink are not really that much different from people who don’t. You can be an ******* sober or drunk. It is also true that you can be kind and loving in either state.
The difference appears to me to be our beliefs about the different conditions. Do I need to intoxicated to feel love and affection and if so, why do I feel that need? Do I need to be intoxicated to express anger, sorrow, grief, frustration, etc., and if so, why do I feel that need?
I believe it to be learned behavior and behavior that (with some effort) can be replaced by more rational thoughts and emotions and therefore by healthier behavior. “