How to Give Up Alcohol on Your Own
How to give up alcohol on your own.
This can be dangerous. Seizures and brain damage are the most significant risks. Asking for medical help is sensible. Cut down gradually over ten days if medical care is not available.
People who drink alcohol to the extent that they become dependent on it, and get withdrawal symptoms when they suddenly stop, took a long time to get to that state. They did not become physically dependent overnight.
The crucial realisation for them is that they have a chronic illness, not an acute one. They can give up for a time but then they go back to it. Or they may develop the ‘dry drunk’ state in which they have all the abnormalities in mood and behaviour without the comfort of alcohol.
Giving up alcohol on one’s own is certainly possible – with the appropriate safety precautions already mentioned – but the psychological acceptance of having a chronic illness is far more important than the short-term relief of acute symptoms.
Accepting that one has a chronic illness is always difficult. Nobody votes for that. We all want acute illnesses – in/out and finish like appendicitis – but that isn’t what we get with alcoholism, any more than it is with diabetes, asthma or thyroid deficiency. We want someone else to wave a magic wand but there isn’t one. By all means we can give up alcohol on our own. But that’s only a short-term issue. The long-term challenge is how we stay off it comfortably. The answer to that riddle is in the Twelve Step programme of Alcoholics Anonymous.