Many people begin drinking casually and to have a fun night with friends. Then after a while, we find that we need to drink to relax and enjoy ourselves and then it gradually becomes every night and then during the day too.
What started as just a bit of fun can often become something that begins to control us. If this is something you are struggling with then you are not alone – many people struggle with this, men, women, young, old, married, unmarried, those who believe in a God and those who don’t. Alcohol is a powerful substance and it is easily available.
Chat to a Christian to discover some answers that can bring help and hope.
We are all more than just a physical body we also have a spiritual aspect to us. When seeking help we shouldn’t just ignore the spiritual side of our life. We really need to think about how to help the whole of us and not just our physical bodies.
It is good to think about why we do it and why we want to stop doing it. What is it that we feel we are missing that drives us to alcohol and needing to drink?
Often there is something we are trying to mask or cover up, something we want to run from or forget.
Also we need to be clear about why we want to stop – what is motivating you to want to break free? Motivation is important in breaking free from being addicted to alcohol – why do you want to be free? Are you just trying to stop for you? For someone else? For God? The stronger our motivation, and the more it isn’t just about us, the greater the power the motivation has.
Think about how you most often purchase the alcohol – is it at a bar, at a supermarket, do you plan to buy it, or just see it there on a shelf and suddenly just want to buy it?
Think about where and when? Is it normally at night when you are alone that you drink? Or is it when you out with friends? Or when you get home from work?
Once we have noticed the times and places where we find it hardest to say no to the temptation to drink or buy alcohol we can begin to think about avoiding these places, or making sure we are not alone at these times.
If we are with someone who knows we want to stop drinking then they can be an added outside influence and motivation to keep us from buying or drinking when we are at our weakest.
Sometimes we find it particularly hard to break out of a pattern of drinking together with friends – every time you meet up you drink or get drunk together, and it’s so hard not to do that when they are still wanting to carry on.
If you are really serious about stopping you will need to explain this to your friends and even ask for their help – if they laugh and mock you and won’t join in the battle with you, then you need to think of some different people to spend time with. A church could be a good place to find new friends with a different aim in life – one where getting drunk isn’t the only way to have fun.
Do you believe there is a God? Have you ever spent time trying to learn about who Jesus is, what he did and why he did it?
When you believe that Jesus loves you and is deeply interested in you it gives you a different picture of the world around you and of what your life is all about. It gives you a new hope and a new focus outside of yourself.
The more you get to know the real Jesus of the Bible, the more you will want to live to make Him happy and this will also then become a great motivation to saying no to the thing you are addicted to.
Find something new to fill your free time, spend time with other people, start a new hobby, keep yourself busy, volunteer at something. Find new, rewarding things to do and people to make a difference to – the more the focus is moved away from you and onto others, or God, the better. The less “spare” time you have the less opportunities you will have to give into the temptation to drink.
Set yourself small achievable goals – 24 hrs free, 48hrs, 3 days, 1 week. Keep something that you enjoy to do, read or eat – and when you reach these goals give yourself the reward! Positive motivation is so important in wining the battle to say no to your addiction.