The secret to quitting drinking alcohol is to make a decision and follow it up with massive action. Following this, you have to create a whole new life for yourself and live with passion and purpose. Sounds like a pretty big task, right? It is. But it can be managed if you break it down far enough.
For me, quitting drinking started in rehab. This is the best path for most people, even though it has a really high rate of failure overall. It is still a good option for people who are looking to get sober. If you really want to stop, and you are putting forth a genuine effort, then rehab can certainly help.
Let’s take a look at the whole process:
1) Make a decision – many people who do go to rehab have not really made the decision to stop drinking. They might think it would be nice to be sober, and they might think that it could possibly work out for them, but they are not really committed to change. Really making this decision is about complete surrender. You have to abandon all hope of trying to control your drinking and just accept the idea of complete abstinence. If you are hanging on to the idea that you might some day be able to enjoy alcohol in moderation, then you have a serious reservation and this will eventually sabotage your recovery. Making a decision for recovery needs to go beyond these reservations and completely eliminate them. The decision must be absolute.
2) Massive action – if you just make a decision, then nothing has changed. You need to follow it up with action. Going to rehab is action. Going to meetings every day is action. Working with other recovering alcoholics is action. Living in long term rehab is action. Pushing yourself to grow in recovery is action.
You have to take positive action every day in order to recover. Anything less than this will result in relapse.
Short term recovery is all about taking lots and lots of action.
3) Creating a new life in recovery – long term recovery is all about balance. Eventually you stop taking massive amounts of action every day and you start to find your passion and purpose in life. You still take positive action but now you are concerned with balance and holistic growth. Recovery is about living, not about meetings. Finding this subtle balance between life, growth, and recovery is what long term sobriety is all about.