What does it really take to stop drinking alcohol? Well if you are a real alcoholic then it takes quite a bit, really. In fact it is a major life change, and is probably the biggest undertaking that you could ever pull off. Most alcoholics who have done so and remain sober agree that it was the by far the biggest challenge of their lives.
Obviously the trick is to do a bit more than to simply stop drinking. If that was all that it took then alcoholism would not exist. But in fact it takes a great deal more effort in order to remain sober.
What, then, is the key? Part of the key is that you have to be sober, and be happy, and be happy about being sober. People who have genuine gratitude for the fact that they do not have to drink every day are the ones who are doing well in recovery.
Is there more to it than this? Do you have to be active in your recovery? Do you have to work with other recovering alcoholics on a regular basis? Do you have to challenge yourself to grow as a person in other areas of your life outside of alcoholism and recovery? Is it necessary to pursue holistic and personal growth on a continuous basis?
If you sit down and talk with those who have been sober for several years, they would generally agree that the answer to most or all of those questions is “yes.” You do have to push beyond the idea of mere abstinence and you have to “put in some footwork.”
Now for some people, this footwork will be different than others. There is more than one way to stay sober and there are a million and one ways to reach out and help others in your recovery. There are also many different ways to grow as a person and there are a million and one ways to define the spiritual experience.
In other words, there are different strategies out there for staying clean and sober, but the underlying principles are usually the same. If you want to stop drinking and find a new way to live then you have to grab a hold of a program and put your heart and soul into it. Taking directions should always be an important part of early sobriety because most of us are completely lost when we first get sober. If we knew how to do it ourselves we would do so. But we can’t. So we need to ask for help.
1) Ask for help.
2) Put in the work.
3) Help others.
Sort of a broad outline there but it certainly works for those who apply it.