It’s hard to overcome an addiction to alcohol. After all, it’s not a simple case of wanting a bottle of beer or two to ease your worries away. Instead, addiction entails drinking so much to the point where your brain chemistry changes.
Drinking affects the dopamine activity in your brain. When you consume so much alcohol, your brain’s reward center becomes flooded with feel-good hormones. This change causes you to experience a euphoric feeling, something your body would always want to chase. The sensation makes you want to drink more often, regardless of the consequences.
Over time, these pleasurable feelings fade, but you’re still left constantly drinking to prevent withdrawal symptoms. These include sleep disturbance, low energy, and even depression. But to avoid those adverse effects, you become dependent on alcohol. It’s a repetitive cycle.
Seeing a therapist will help you in your journey to overcome your alcohol addiction. But it won’t be easy. Sometimes, even if you’re aware you should cut off the unhealthy substance, it’s still difficult to follow through. But with your willingness and perseverance, you can start your journey forward with the help of therapy.
Getting To The Root Of Your Unhealthy Alcohol Use
Unhealthy alcohol use may stem from peer pressure, financial problems, family arguments, or relationship conflicts. It may also be caused by stress, low self-esteem, mental health problems, or regular binge drinking.
You don’t need to be at your lowest point in life to develop an addiction to alcohol. Alcoholism may be caused by growing up with family members who exhibit unhealthy alcohol use. Or, you may have picked it up in an environment that tolerates and encourages excessive drinking. Anyone can become addicted. So, you should know that you’re not alone in your journey.
Getting to the root of your addiction will help you figure out where to start. You may talk to your therapist about your experiences, so they could help you point out factors that trigger your addiction. By pinpointing those events, you can figure out influences in your life that you need to cut off.
Sometimes, it may hurt to let go of people or places that have impacted you so much. However, your therapist will help you process and understand the effects these things had on you. Therapy will also aid you in learning how to make healthy decisions for yourself. You must be aware of your behavior and take responsibility for your actions. Then, you can begin developing and sticking to good habits.
Building A Healthy Lifestyle
It’s essential to build a healthy lifestyle, especially for those struggling with alcohol addiction. After all, alcohol detoxification may cause withdrawal symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. It may also induce cravings, especially if you’ve been dependent on alcohol for a long time.
To address those adverse effects, your therapist may suggest some lifestyle changes. These shifts may include avoiding triggers like drinking establishments or people who drink excessively. They may also advise you to have a more balanced diet, build healthy sleeping habits, and exercise regularly.
Exercise counteracts the effects of excessive alcohol on your body. Substance abuse weakens your muscles, slows down your metabolism, and causes fatigue. Overall, these effects contribute to a lower quality of life. Thankfully, movement can help you reverse these consequences.
In addition to promoting physical strength, exercise is also beneficial for your journey to mental well-being. When you work out, your body releases endorphins or happiness hormones. These help you deal with stress and regulate your mood.
Overcoming alcohol addiction is not a one-step process that you complete after you decide not to drink. After all, detoxification often comes with withdrawal symptoms. For many, these symptoms are not easy to fight off.
Your therapist may suggest multiple ways that could prevent you from relapsing. For one, they may recommend you to attend sessions with support groups. Unhealthy alcohol use often causes emotional and mental trauma and, sometimes, even a feeling of isolation. Meeting with people who’ve had the same experience may help you heal from emotional pain.
Alcohol addiction may also come with mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Your therapist will help you address these concerns for your psychological well-being. If needed, they may recommend you to professionals who can give you medication to help with your healing process.
Therapy can also help you work on healthy coping mechanisms. With your therapist’s guide, you can find activities that would help you in your journey. You can try picking up a hobby, discover new interests, or engage in meditation. It’s up to you.
Repairing And Cultivating Relationships
Unhealthy alcohol use has a lot of consequences. Often, these effects may extend to your loved ones. You might develop behavior or anger issues because of your alcohol addiction. Sometimes, it could result in neglecting yourself and others.
With therapy’s aid, you can control your life again. Your therapist will support you in taking responsibility for your actions and repairing your relationships. Your situation may have damaged some bonds and friendships, but therapy can assist you in mending them.
The goal of your therapist is to help you feel better and achieve a good quality of life. That’s not limited to your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It also extends to all aspects of your life, including your social relationships.
To Wrap Up
It’s not easy to overcome an alcohol addiction because of how it affects your body and mind. If you stop, you’ll often experience withdrawal symptoms, making it harder to let go of the substance. Becoming alcohol-free will be a tedious process. But remember that your therapist will be with you every step of the way.
They’ll help you get to the bottom of your unhealthy alcohol use to pinpoint where to start. Your therapist may suggest you cut off triggers, like people, events, or environments. Then, they will guide you towards positive influences. Therapy will also aid you in building a healthy lifestyle, both to provide you with direction and prevent relapse. Lastly, your therapist will be there with you to help you mend relationships.
It’s going to be a challenging journey. But with your effort and determination, the support of people with the same experience, and your therapist’s guidance, you can achieve sobriety. When times get tough, remember all the time and effort you put in will pay off in time.