For many people, quitting drinking revolves around hitting the proverbial “rock bottom”. This is followed by seeking recovery through peer-support groups or in-person treatment centers. At least that’s how many used to think about recovery from alcohol use disorder. These days, you don’t have to lose it all or label yourself an “alcoholic” to re-evaluate your relationship with alcohol. Questioning your relationship with alcohol doesn’t need to be seen as a negative thing.
Questioning Your Relationship With Alcohol
It doesn’t need to be a scary or intimidating process. Just as you might think to yourself, “maybe I should get more sleep this week,” you can think, “maybe I should check in with myself about my drinking.”
Here’s how to start.
You might not think about alcohol as a glaring problem in your life, but it’s still a great idea to assess your relationship with alcohol from time to time, says Ruby Mehta, LCSW, director of clinical operations at Tempest, a digital recovery program.
“Ask yourself, is alcohol interfering with the way you want to live or the things you want to do?”
Mehta advises that it can be helpful to think about the effects of alcohol on the four quadrants of your life. These include your:
- mental well-being
- physical well-being
- work and daily routines
To determine if alcohol is having a negative impact on your health, relationships, work, school, or mental health, think about what happens during and the day after drinking:
- Are you getting into more arguments with friends and family when drinking?
- Is your hangover keeping you from enjoying a sunny day outside?
- Is how much you drank the night before impacting your productivity at work or at school?
“Some signs that alcohol is having a negative impact on your life could include relationship turmoil, prolonged withdrawal, feeling out of control, drinking more in order to feel the same effects, and legal involvement related to alcohol use,” says Aimee Ellinwood, LPC, LAC, of Marisol Solarte-Erlacher, MA, LPC & Associates.
Resources That Can Help
If you’re having difficulty finding support systems as you experiment with quitting drinking or aren’t sure how to make sober friends, Stewart recommends connecting with sober folks on social media.
There are so many amazing accounts on social media and little challenges you can do. Annie Grace has a variety of challenges that range from 30 days to a year. These are helpful in recognizing how alcohol affects your brain. You learn how to rewire neural pathways with compassion for yourself.
If you suspect that you have a more serious case of alcohol use (also known medically as alcohol use disorder), Ellinwood recommends exploring and reading the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website, which provides support and a 24/7 hotline.
However, if you’re sober curious and want to explore your relationship with alcohol and some of the impacts that alcohol is having on your body and mind, then a great place to delve into is “quit lit.” This is a fairly new category of self-help literature that’s filled with books by those who have given up or reduced their alcohol intake.
Read this if you’re questioning your relationship with alcohol
If you’re questioning your relationship with alcohol, reading This Naked Mind is a great place to start. Download the first 40 pages for free right now!