One of the biggest hurdles men and women who are new to sobriety face is coming to terms with the fact that in order to truly recover, total abstinence from all mood and mind altering substances is a crucial commitment. For most chronic alcoholics, the idea that drinking will never again be an option is too difficult to accept outright. Imagining a life completely sans alcohol is like imagining a life without hands – almost unfathomable, and unquestioningly overwhelming. For this reason, the age-old adage “one day at a time” has become a staple of recovery programs and treatment centers across the world, suggesting that ‘baby steps’ are not only accepted, but highly recommended when dealing with a life of abstinence.
Never Drinking Again… A Terrifying Concept
There is a major difference in knowing you are an alcoholic and accepting it. In many cases, an individual will know he or she has a serious issue with alcohol before ever admitting to needing professional help, let alone accepting that he or she is afflicted with alcoholism – a lifelong, chronic disease that can be put into remission but never cured in totality. If you have been desperately trying to control your drinking only to find that your drinking is, in fact, controlling you, you may know deep down that your struggle is real and very serious, and that you may be suffering from the disease of alcoholism. However, coming forward and calling yourself an “alcoholic” is terrifying – there is a certain level of commitment attached to the utterance of these words… “Hi, my name is _________, and I am an alcoholic.” Once you ascertain yourself as a true alcoholic, you know that the next step will be reaching out for help. Those who are not yet ready to do this frequently remain “problem drinkers” or “booze hounds”.
Another frightening aspect of accepting alcoholism is the knowledge that you will never be able to drink successfully, not matter how hard you try. This may take years for some alcoholics to fully accept, and unfortunately many continuously tempt fate, trying to control their drinking until they eventually kill themselves in the process. The daily reprieve standpoint has proven especially helpful in such cases. Every morning upon waking, simply commit to not picking up a drink for the length of the day. Tell yourself that if you still want to drink tomorrow, that is always an option. Delay the inevitable until it becomes the impossible.