Alcoholism Self Help
We need outside help, but we also have to help ourselves!

Seeking alcoholism self help information? It is, after all, no one's business but your own. Who says you have to announce to the world that you are an alcoholic and you're going off to rehab?




alcoholism self help

This was my question back in 1995 when it was suggested that I go off to treatment. I had just officially hit bottom, and foggy as my thinking was, I did know one thing: I did not want to go.

Mostly I didn't want to leave my children. Then my pride stepped in. I would have to take a leave of absence from work, and I did not want my employer to know, not to mention my family, neighbors, friends . . .

SOUND FAMILIAR ??

alcoholism self help

Alcoholism self help may mean different things to different people, but for me it meant beating this thing with as little disruption as possible to my normal routine. I wanted to go low profile, with minimum humiliation. (I was already humiliated enough as it was!)

And that's how it worked out for me. Why? Because self help for alcoholism came for me in the form of meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Anonymity (that word we all have such trouble pronouncing)

It was indeed no one's business but my own and my family's that I was attending meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous. Anonymity was extremely important to me in the early days of my sobriety, and in certain settings, it is still important to me today.

Unfortunately, there is a certain stigma and misunderstanding out there in the "real world" about alcoholism. I don't know about you, but I have no desire to be labeled a disgrace.

For the most part, we A.A.'s try very hard to protect each others' anonymity. And if we bungle it by opening our big mouths, one of our fellow members will likely be right there to point it out to us.

I will write more about the subject of anonymity in another page, but let's get back to alcoholism self help. Alcoholism, they say, is "cunning, baffling and powerful. Without help, it is too much for us." That, by the way, is a quote from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and a truthful, straightforward way to describe things for us alcoholics.

It is indeed too much for us!

No Such Thing as Going It Alone

I do have to admit that my underlying goal in seeking help exclusively from A.A. was to beat this thing by myself. Well that bright idea went straight out the window, smashed into little pieces by my fellow A.A. members. I soon learned that I would have to get real with them. No way around it.

So if you have landed on my page by searching for alcoholism self help, and you are looking for ways to beat the disease of alcoholism totally on your own, you might as well exit this website right now! You won't find that kind of advice here.

I know from painful experience that there is no such thing as going it alone when it comes to recovery from alcoholism. At least not for this alcoholic. I needed other recovering alcoholics to make it, and I still do today.

Tips for Alcoholism Self Help

But apart from the hours on end I spent attending A.A. meetings and working a 12-step program, there were certain things I did do on my own.

  • JOURNALING

I know, I know ... you HATE to write your thoughts and feelings. But what a great alcoholism self help routine to get into. For me they were just scribbles. I still have my original journal I kept starting in September, 1995 when I started attending A.A. meetings. I can barely read my own writing.

What I did was after every meeting, I would write about what the topic was and some of the things that were said. Or I would write about how ticked off I was because no one acknowledged me (self-pity) or how I shared on a topic so eloquently...(pride and ego). It just seemed to help me process what I was learning about recovery in those early days. Now I'm able to look back at my writings and see just how sick I was!

  • READING AND STUDYING
alcoholism self help

I studied this stuff like I was preparing for some major exam or writing a Master's thesis! All these little self help activities made a huge difference for me. The more I learned, the more confident I became in my newfound sobriety. I couldn’t get enough of this stuff. Better addicted to recovery-related material than alcohol, right? I had this craving to learn more - about myself, about the Twelve Steps, about God, and about recovery in general.

I read and studied, highlighter pen in hand, the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and other A.A. materials. I read all kinds of things about recovery, and still do today. I like non-fiction books about recovery-related topics and the twelve steps, but I especially love memoirs! To see some of the books I read, click here.

Something else I did: I read all the stories in the back of the Big Book (stories written by recovering alcoholics about "what it was like, what happened, and what it's like now".) I highlighted everything I related to in these pages. Amazing how much we alcoholics have in common. You should try it. You'll be amazed how YELLOW the back of your book will be!

  • SURFING THE NET
alcoholism self help

Yeah, just like you're doing right now! There's an amazing amount of information out here in cyberspace about recovery-related topics, a great resource for self help for alcoholism.

Also, consider participating in online recovery meetings.

  • MAKING A 12-STEP NOTEBOOK
alcoholism self help

What I did was collect all kinds of information about each step as I was working it and put it behind 12 tabs in a notebook. I cut and pasted and made my own notes about little things I learned. Basically, it's my 12-Step Scrapbook. Crazy, I know, but it was sort of my own little alcoholism self help activity and it sure helped me understand the steps better.

alcoholism self help

Now for the little things I did in the early days of my sobriety.
Sort of my own little alcoholism self help program.

  • Every morning, without fail, before I even got out of bed, I asked God (what little I understood of Him at the time) to please just keep me sober that day.
  • I changed my playmates and playpens. At first, I had the idea that I'd continue to hang out with my drinking buddies on Friday night, usually around my sister-in-law's kitchen table. I'd just drink a Coke or club soda. All went well for a time until something strange began to happen. I began to be so turned off by the drunkenness and the same old conversation and rhetoric that went around that kitchen table a thousand times before. It wasn't long before I began to make excuses for why I couldn't join the "fun".
  • I treated myself to Slurpees and milk shakes. (Eventually I had to give this practice up to keep the excess pounds at bay, but it sure was fun while it lasted. And it beat stopping at the liquor store.)
  • Speaking of stopping at the liquor store. Every time I passed by the liquor stores I used to frequent, especially on my way home from work in the evenings, I would say a prayer. I simply said, "God, please get me past that liquor store!"
  • I took seriously this H-A-L-T suggestion I heard in meetings. I tried not to get too hungry, too angry, too lonely, or too tired.
  • I told my close friends and family members about my resolve to quit drinking. A little bit of extra accountability was a very good thing.
  • At any kind of social gathering, I made sure I had a drink of some kind (non-alcoholic, of course) in my hand at all times. I still do this today. I prefer to have a short glass with Perrier water or club soda and a lime. Then I never get those harassing comments about why I'm not drinking. Great trick!
  • I made a habit of saying a prayer of thanks every night. I always prayed while I was getting my coffee ready for the next morning. It was just a routine thing that would serve as a trigger to remind me to thank God for keeping me sober that day. I have done this almost every night since September of 1995.

DON’T ASK ME TO GIVE UP MY COFFEE!
It may just be the only addiction I have left.

alcoholism self help

Want to know the very best alcoholism self help tip I can give you? Go to lots and lots of meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous! It will work for you just like it did for me.

alcoholism self help
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READ MORE: Self-Recovery

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READ MORE: Help & Solutions

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READ MORE: Dealing with Cravings for Alcohol

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READ MORE: Alcoholics Anonymous

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READ MORE: The Serenity Prayer

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