Full recovery from an alcohol addiction can be a long and frustrating process. To make the already difficult alcohol rehab journey more feasible, it helps to establish a solid alcohol detox timeline. This article will guide you through the most important steps to recovery.
1) Acknowledge the Addiction
Successful alcohol rehab always begins with acceptance of the problem. Without first acknowledging your addiction, you won’t be able to take any of the following steps. To accept and acknowledge your alcoholism, even if only to yourself and a few trusted friends or family members, is to begin regaining control over your addiction and your life. While it is not absolutely necessary, many people find it helpful to commemorate the beginning of their journeys to sobriety in some personally meaningful way. Starting a recovery journal is a great way to commemorate achievements at the beginning of your alcohol detox process.
2) Plan Your Alcohol Detox Strategically
Many people make grandiose declarations of giving up alcohol once and for all only to fall off the bandwagon and become discouraged. This pitfall can be avoided by taking the time to strategize the recovery process, and thoroughly plan your alcohol detox timeline. Recovery may seem like a simple thing to achieve, but there are plenty of obstacles, both large and small, that can get in the way of living a sober life. Full recovery is never easy, but carefully planning healthy and sober alternatives to problems you would normally solve with alcohol is a great way to facilitate recovery. Any timeline should include this important step since it is much better to plan for potential roadblocks in advance rather than waiting until you’re in the middle of a stressful situation.
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3) Find a Support System
Having friends and family to rally around as you work through the items on this alcohol detox timeline is a great way to facilitate a full recovery. Studies show that social-support networks are a great way to build the confidence people need to successfully carry out a goal. If you don’t have support to lean on in your everyday life, consider joining an alcohol rehab support group in your area. There are numerous rehab groups filled with recovering alcoholics at every stage of recovery. While support from loved ones is a wonderful thing, sometimes it helps to be surrounded by others who have been through addiction, and who truly understand what you are going through.
4) Clean House
This may seem like an easy step, but many people wait until much later in their detox timeline to get rid of all alcoholic beverages in their homes. Ideally, you should have a friend help you with this step as they can provide some much-needed support and accountability. Remove all the booze from your home as soon as possible because having easy access to an alcoholic drink is one of the worst obstacles to a full recovery. Most of those who succeed with a full recovery do so by quitting cold turkey and creating a home environment that is safe and sober to facilitate the detox process. You can speed up your recovery by prioritizing this important step and putting one more gap between you and alcohol.
5) Manage Withdrawal
Nearly everyone who goes through the process of detoxing experiences withdrawal symptoms. Although withdrawal can occur at various steps on the timeline, it tends to occur within the early days and weeks of the recovery process. Your body becomes physically addicted to and psychologically dependent on alcohol, so you may experience both physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms that can potentially impede a full recovery. Some of the most common physical withdrawal symptoms include nausea, headaches, tremors, and sweating; anxiety and depression are the most common psychological withdrawal symptoms. Other more serious withdrawal symptoms include hallucinations, vomiting, paranoia, convulsions, and even seizures. Withdrawal symptoms can be extremely serious, so many people choose to visit an alcohol rehab center for a short period of time. An alcohol treatment center is a great place to begin your recovery journey since these centers are staffed with knowledgeable medical professionals who can help you in your quest for a full recovery.
6) Replacing Old Habits
You’ve learned to deal with your withdrawal symptoms and manage your alcohol cravings, but now what do you do? One of the most important steps is to replace your damaging alcoholic behavior patterns with new and healthier coping mechanisms. Just winning the battle of physical addiction to alcohol is only half of a full recovery. True rehabilitation involves identifying the behavior and thought patterns that led you to alcohol addiction in the first place and learning to address those problems in a healthier way. Whether you choose to take up a new hobby, maintain an active role in your community, or pursue an intellectual passion, there is something that will match your personal interests and skills and help you to continue your sober lifestyle.
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7) Maintaining Sobriety
Once you’ve developed new coping skills and found healthier outlets for the struggles you previously dealt with using alcohol, the path to a sober life is wide open to you. In order to maintain this new life, you should work hard at maintaining the support systems that helped you succeed through the earlier steps in your detox. These steps to recovery may be simple, but they are not always easy to follow. Maintaining the support that helped you in the early alcohol rehab process can help to ensure that you make a full recovery that lasts a lifetime.
8) Reward Yourself
Look for some sober activities that you can participate in. There are thousands of sober vacations that you can go on. There are sober events around all the time, like dating groups, dances, and hikes. Don’t forget there are also lots of things that are accidentally sober, like library book clubs and movie theaters. If you decide to do something that might involve alcohol, like bowling or golf, have someone who can run interference for you. Give them permission to pull you out if you start heading to the bar.
9) Share Your Story
One of the most powerful ways to stay sober is to start helping others to get sober. Your success story is an inspiration to other, but it can also be the thing that keeps you on the road. If you’re in a world where being sober is a badge of honor, you are far less likely to fall off the wagon. Look at being a sponsor or even a drug and alcohol counselor.
10) Get Back Up
You might fall off the wagon. Most people do, but you should get right back on. Don’t stop. Find someone to talk to and have them help you bounce back. A mistake is not failure. Failure is stopping trying.