In today’s article, we’re going to look at 4 ways to stop drinking.
If you’ve tried to stop drinking in the past and failed, this article is for you.
I have personally tried each of these methods, so I’ll be sharing my own personal experience with you. Just because one thing didn’t work for me, doesn’t mean that it won’t work for others.
Make sure to read all 4 ways – as the fourth way is by far, the most important.
Precursor Before We Get Into The Best Ways To Stop Drinking
None of my posts are going to be very relevant if you are the type of person to drink 1 or 2 drinks a week and life goes on as normal.
My articles are written for people who have tried multiple times to stop and failed.
They’re written for people who are looking for different ways to stop drinking.
The whole mission of Soberclear is to offer an alternative way for people to stop.
Now, let’s get into it.
1. The Willpower Method
We will begin this post by starting with the most popular way people stop drinking, and that is the willpower method.
Willpower can be defined as:
“control exerted to do something or restrain impulses.”
And the willpower method is exactly how it sounds.
When you try to stop drinking using willpower, you are exerting control or restraining your impulses.
I have tried this method numerous times.
And, sometimes, it worked very well.
As many of you know, before I stopped drinking for the first time, I threw up blood on a Macbook Pro after a heavy night on an empty stomach.
It was a “rock-bottom” moment, and I couldn’t believe who I had become.
I had tonnes of ambitions and goals, but alcohol had somehow smashed me in the face and knocked me down once again.
When I woke up that morning, after realizing what had happened, I stopped drinking using will-power.
During that attempt, because I had hit rock bottom, it was quite easy. I just stopped, and the first few weeks were a walk in the park.
Any time I thought of alcohol or saw a friend drinking, I just used will-power to resist.
As time went on, the thoughts in my head got progressively louder. And, slowly but surely, the will-power got weaker.
And, the issue with the will-power method is that one day it can run out.
And that’s exactly what happened to me. During a party, my will-power method stopped working and I succumbed to the thoughts in my head.
I thought I could go back to moderating my drinking again.
Sadly, that didn’t work out very well, and after a 9-month relapse, I ended up back at square one again.
Whilst will-power can work for a period of time, it’s not a sustainable way to stop drinking over the long term.
2. Changing “The Habit”
The next method we’re going to look at is changing “the habit”.
Creating good habits is a very effective way of achieving great results in your life.
Aristotle said it best:
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.”
For me, creating good habits has meant I have become more consistent at:
- Making videos
- Intermittent fasting
And other things.
So, surely it would make sense that if you’re in the habit of drinking every single day, then breaking the habit would be the next logical step.
And if we listen to the likes of Harvard Health Publishing:
“Are you concerned about your alcohol intake? Maybe you feel that you’re drinking too much or too often. Perhaps it’s a habit you’d like to better control.”
I’ve also seen other quit drinking programs to be hailed as “habit-changing” programs.
For some people, drinking may well be a habit. They may well have one or two drinks every time they go to a bar.
And, that’s it.
So, for those people, breaking the habit of drinking may well be effective.
However, my drinking was far from a habit.
Let me explain…
For problem-drinkers like myself, drinking is not a habit.
What do I mean by this?
I’m in the habit of driving on the left-hand side of the road. If I go to France and start driving on the right-hand side of the road again, it’s a piece of cake.
Now, for the light drinker, they may well be able to do the same thing. One day, they just stop drinking and feel no sense of deprivation.
They see alcohol the same way I see driving on the right-hand side of the road.
However, back when I drank alcohol, if I were to “stop the habit” I’d feel extremely deprived.
I would have to exert tremendous amounts of will-power to not drink.
And then, let’s say I managed 30-days of using will-power, I’d get to the end of the 30-days and still feel deprived. I’d feel like I had been missing out.
So it would end up in a huge blowout.
And then, I’d be back at square one again.
For problem drinkers, drinking is not a habit.
Regularly drinking more alcohol than you want to is drug addiction.
For some people, stopping drinking is as simple as breaking the habit.
But, for me, and hundreds of thousands of other problem drinkers, it’s not that simple.
3. Alcoholics Anonymous
My Mother has been a member of Alcoholics Anonymous for over 20 years. For my Mother, it totally saved her life.
She managed to stop drinking, and she’s built the life of her dreams. She owns a house, has a great job and a fantastic family.
I’ll be forever grateful to A.A. and the work that the organisation has done and continues to do.
If my own Mother hadn’t found a solution to her drinking problem, then who knows where she would be right now.
That being said, A.A. isn’t for everyone.
And, I am one of those people.
There were a few flaws that stopped me from going the A.A. route.
The first thing I didn’t like was the labels.
If you stop drinking using A.A. and 12-steps, you’re supposed to say you’re an alcoholic. You’re also supposed to admit powerlessness over alcohol.
I really didn’t like this. I’m not an alcoholic.
I drank too much and alcohol caused me considerable amounts of problems. That doesn’t mean I’m an “alcoholic”.
Most of my friends wouldn’t consider me an alcoholic, but I still wanted to stop drinking.
I’m also not powerless – and I found it self-deprecating to have to say this. Now I am sober, I feel extremely powerful.
If I had continued to go to AA, I’d be 5 years sober and still calling myself an alcoholic and saying I’m powerless.
That approach wasn’t for me.
I wanted to stop drinking, and immediately start building my life again.
I spoke with a new Soberclear client last night, and he said it like this:
“I want to face the school-yard bully head-on. I want to defeat the bully, and get on with my life.”
I really, really like this.
It’s the approach I talk about on the Soberclear website again and again.
Quitting drinking has to be about stopping drinking, and then building a better life for yourself.
It should be about putting the bad stuff behind you and moving forward with your life.
The second thing I didn’t like about A.A. was having to give myself to a higher power.
For some people, they’re totally okay with that.
For some people, giving themselves to a higher power works better than any other method.
But, for me, God and quitting drinking don’t seem related.
I just wanted to stop drinking. I didn’t want to have to ask God for help during the hard times.
So, that was another thing I personally didn’t like about A.A.
The final thing I didn’t like about A.A. was the meetings.
I found it embarrassing to have to say:
“Hi, I’m Leon and I’m an alcoholic”
before I spoke.
And I didn’t like the tone of a lot of meetings. They were often uncomfortable, and people would just complain about their problems.
It was always a relief to get out of a meeting and get home.
For some people, they enjoy being able to offload their problems in a meeting.
However, I’m all about positivity and striving for more in life.
So, I didn’t particularly enjoy the A.A. route.
Whilst it definitely works for some people, for me, it didn’t work.
I had to look at different ways to stop drinking.
4. Studying and Introspection
The final method that we’ll be discussing is a mixture of studying and introspection.
This is the method I used and the method that seems to resonate with a lot of other problem drinkers.
Studying and introspection involves understanding alcohol for what it is.
This might shock some, but:
Alcohol is a highly addictive poison with zero benefits.
The only benefits alcohol has for humans are:
- Being used as a fuel
- Killing germs as a detergent
- Being used as a mild anesthetic
Any belief that a drinker has around alcohol can easily be dismantled through proper study and introspection.
So, that means watching the videos, reading the blogs, taking the programs, and reading the books.
Once a drinker is able to peel back all the layers surrounding alcohol, they see alcohol for what it is.
It’s the approach I talk about on this blog again and again.
And, it’s the approach that you can see many other people using here.
For me, and those people, this is the one of the most effective ways to stop drinking.
It radically transformed my life, and people are waking up to the truth every day.
Stopping drinking with will-power works, but it can often run out
“Breaking the habit” of drinking can work for some people, but for problem-drinkers, it’s unlikely to work
Going to alcoholics anonymous can be effective like it was for my Mum, but there are certain things a lot of people don’t like about it
Studying alcohol and doing introspection is a fantastic alternative that can work for many people