You have found the motivation to change your drinking habits, so now it is time to make a concrete commitment. Often when making a commitment, it helps to let other people know about your plan and to help hold you accountable while supporting you in accomplishing your goals and changes. It also means that you need to break out of isolation.
So why do we feel so compelled to hide our drinking problem? Of course there are many reasons. Perhaps shame is keeping you stuck in your own self-imposed prison. And where there is shame, there is a need to self-medicate and to try to escape from ourselves. You have to begin to change the way you see and think about yourself and your use of alcohol.
Perhaps you know that your professional credibility would be shot if someone knew that you had a drinking problem. Or it may be that the other moms / parents in the neighborhood or school would never trust you with their child if they knew. We all have very valid reasons…but they will keep us locked away in our dungeon, unable to work our way out until we get rid of this bondage.
Breaking Out of Isolation – Where to start:
Step 1- FORGIVE YOURSELF!!! There’s nothing bad, evil or wrong with you because you have a drinking problem! The faster you can realize that and move on, the more successful you’ll be in gaining control over your drinking.
Step 2 – Find someone safe with whom you can share your secret…not someone that will feel compelled to fix you or dish out “shame” or “condemnation” – or someone that could throw it back in your face next time you have a disagreement.
• Your doctor – if you’re concerned about it showing up in your medical record, ask your doctor not to record it in your file. Doctors see addiction problems all the time, and they usually don’t judge you or your character. They may have some good advice…
• Someone that you trust that you know has dealt with addiction – be patient with them though because they’ll probably try to get you to use their method of treatment or support group. Thank them, but let them know that you have a few different programs that you are considering using.
• Your counselor or therapist – ideally a behavior modification professional or someone that supports moderation as an option.
• An internet community where you can remain anonymous, such as the MODER8 Support Community, HAMSNETWORK.ORG or MYWAYOUT.ORG.
• A priest or pastor (this can be a little bit tricky, depending on your religion, the size of your church, etc. – listen to your gut first. You need to know that you will not be judged or feel condemned.)
Step 3 – Know that you can overcome! Trust me, if I can, I know that you can!!
Step 4- Start working on a plan:
• Put together some life goals and determine what your drinking should be like in order to support accomplishing those goals.
• Create drinking goals to fit into your overall plan.
• Start working through some of the exercises in your MODER8 Workbook or in the MODER8 Jump Start Plan section of this website.
• Start taking MODER8 or other brain modulating dietary supplements and begin incorporating some regular exercise into your routine.
Finding Support & Staying Accountable
Support doesn’t always have to be about drinking. You can find a support group that focuses on the other aspects of your self-improvement program. For instance, posting your diet on a diet and fitness support site – occasionally mentioning how much you drink contributing to empty calories, or on a professional goals site – for instance if you put things off because you are foggy headed from a hangover, etc.
If you are a member of the MODER8 Support Community, start posting – or start posting again. Or you may want to join the 7-Day Alcohol Free Challenge.
Commit to YOU
• Write it down!
• Keep a journal
• Write your goals
• Record your actual consumption
• Try these log sheets: Drinking Logs
You may be surprised what letting go of these skeletons will do for you. But if you don’t at least take the first step, you won’t know what an incredible freedom there is out there waiting for you, and what strength and support you can gain to reinforce your commitment!