What should you expect when you quit drinking? If you’re thinking about developing a sober lifestyle, you may be wondering this question. There are a few things you can expect, so we thought it would be helpful to share a few things with you here today.
In this article, we will be taking a closer look at what to expect when you quit drinking so you’re prepared.
What to Expect When You Quit Drinking?
You have probably heard how difficult it can be to quit drinking alcohol. Maybe you tried to quit before and had some terrible symptoms you do not wish to experience again.
If this sounds familiar, then you have been trying to quit drinking the wrong way.
Yes, there are right ways and wrongs ways to quit drinking. When you do it the right way, you can expect a much better transition through the different stages.
Here’s what to expect when you quit drinking.
Find Your “Why”
The reasons you quit drinking are just as important as the actions you take. If you are quitting because probation made you or your family is threatening to disown you, do it. These reasons are just fine.
Quitting for someone or something else can help you get started. Once you quit, you may be able to change your reasons to some that are more personal.
Eventually, you want the reason you quit drinking and stay sober to reflect your desire to have a better life. You want to feel better, look better, and feel stable mentally and physically. Your heart, liver and other organs can function properly, you can sleep well and reap the benefits of good sleep.
Finally, you can mend relationships and make new ones that are healthy and offer benefits to your overall well-being.
Once you have found a reason, any reason, to quit drinking, then you can develop a plan to quit. Your plan can tell you what to expect in each stage of your journey to becoming sober. The steps listed below are based on obtaining the right kind of help to help you quit drinking.
Keep reading to find out where to get help and what type of help they can provide.
Quitting alcohol for good requires detoxification to rid your body of the alcohol and its effects. This should not be done on your own or cold turkey. Detoxification from alcohol requires medical supervision.
Depending on how long and how much you have been drinking, your body’s organs can react negatively when it no longer receives the alcohol it needs to function. Medical doctors and nurses can monitor your detoxification non-stop until your body has adapted to not having alcohol.
They can also treat unwanted symptoms like headaches, nausea, vomiting, or muscle aches. In some treatment facilities, doctors can prescribe medicine to help you with cravings for alcohol.
The negative symptoms can last four to five days. For some, a week or longer.
After a medically supervised detox, you can go to inpatient rehabilitation. Here your medications will continue as needed. However, by this point, you will already be feeling better. You will have more energy but, on some days, you may struggle emotionally and physically. Some symptoms like cravings may linger but surrounding yourself with others in treatment can help.
You may even continue to have withdrawal symptoms, but the intensity should be less.
You remain distanced from temptations that would cause a relapse. You have access to treatment tools that can help you deal with cravings.
Some days you will feel emotionally well and like you can conquer the world. You may even feel like you have zero desire to drink ever again. The next day or so you may spend the whole day fighting off cravings.
Because this is a time of ups and downs, it is more important than ever to stay in treatment.
It would be extremely rare for you to be discharged from inpatient treatment and be ready to go back home. This hardly ever happens because a few weeks of sobriety are not enough to help you maintain long-term sobriety.
Most people stay from two weeks to a month in treatment. Depending on your level of addiction, you may still be fighting with cravings. Alcohol can damage the brain and until it is healed, it will continue to think about ways to feel high.
Going to sober living allows you more time to cope.
Think of treatment as ammunition against addiction. Detoxification gives you a little ammo. Inpatient treatment adds to your ammo. Sober living, because you can stay for six months to a year, provides you with not only the ammo, but the practice and experience using that ammo.
After sober living, you are a skilled professional who has learned how to live without the use of alcohol.
Staying the longest possible time in sober living gives you the best chance of success when you are ready to return home. Some people realize they can be more successful with sobriety if they don’t return home.
Returning home can mean an overload of triggers and temptations that can include the people, places, and things that remind you of when you used to drink.
There will be people in your life who don’t want you to be sober. They will work to get you to relapse. There will be struggles such as trying to overcome your old reputation, which can hinder you finding a good job immediately after you return.
Returning home and staying sober can happen, however. The most successful people who quit drinking and stay sober are the ones who have a plan and support.
Creating a Plan and Building Support
In sober living, you will be able to practice handling situations that could make it hard for you to remain sober. Each time you struggle, you can create a plan of action to overcome that struggle for the rest of your life.
For instance, you run into someone on the street who got drunk with you many times in the past. Your cravings kick in and your brain begins developing ways to justify having a drink.
Instead, you call your sponsor who can help you overcome this trigger.
You deserve a life that is filled with positive relationships, rewarding employment, and good physical and mental health. And you can have all this when you quit drinking alcohol.