Paradoxes and Contradictions: Alcoholism
Dr. James Strawbridge Says...
You've decided to quite the insanity. Congratulations! Okay, this is it---”I'm want to be sober” you say. Do you go to AA and say, “Hello, I'm Sam, and I'm alcoholic”? Do you head for your family doctor or see an empathetic psychologist? Do you check into a treatment facility and put yourself in expert hands?
Anyone who has ever tried to kick an addiction knows, recovery is a lot easier when you have a good support group
Going It On Your Own
Every study shows that this is the rockiest road. Occasionally someone does decide to “just say no,” and it works. But there's more to sobriety than abstaining from alcohol or other drugs. You said you'd been drinking for years, so you need to learn new ways to cope with life, and that won't be easy on your own. From your remarks, I have concluded that you are physically addicted at this time. You may need medical attention in coming off, or withdrawing from alcohol. This is called detoxification, or detox. Going into withdrawal solo could be dangerous.
If you live in an environment that encourages drinking, you're likely to find working on sobriety on your own a lonesome business. As with dieting, most people have a better chance of succeeding in a compatible peer group.
Many who do manage to become sober on their own later find that their recovery is shaky and that being dry is not enough. The wise ones head to Alcoholics Anonymous for additional support or sign up for inpatient or outpatient treatment. The bottom line is this: Do not try to get off the alcohol alone. It can be dangerous. You need to detox first. The county in which you live probably has such programs as a public service for its citizens. Your idea of weaning yourself off alcohol by your self is a bad idea. You need help in detoxing.
Sharing the Burden
The basic therapy in AA is group “sharing.” Members share their past experiences with alcohol, their fears, and hopes for the future. It's been around since 1935 with the original members of AA, who were amazed to discover that after sharing their stories and feelings with one another, they experienced relief from previously insatiable compulsions to drink. AA members---each of whom also works through the 12 Steps at his or her pace---have been making the same discovery ever since.
Right now, go to your telephone book, look-up AA, call the number, tell your story. Ask for help. They will.
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Page last updated Apr 15, 2012