In just a few short weeks Macmillan Cancer Support will be asking you to commit to 31 days of sobriety in their annual Go Sober for October campaign (click here). It’s a fun way to be healthy and helpful. But for some people, that commitment isn’t as easy as it sounds. What do you do if you think you have a problem with drink? What do you do if you don’t think you can stop?
Thankfully, both cognitive behaviour therapy and clinical hypnotherapy have proven track records in helping people who have problems, not only with alcohol but with any pastime that can get a little out of hand: drugs, gambling, food, sex, you name it.
When it comes to alcohol, most people want to return to what they consider an acceptable level of drinking without actually giving anything up, which is easier said than done. You’re asking for help in getting under control that which is not currently under your control.
The ideal goal is for abstinence. Not forever but, for a period of time somewhere between three and six months (preferably more towards the latter).
If you successfully stop drinking for six months you will have ably demonstrated that you now have control over your drinking and you are free to bring alcohol back into your life. But, you set yourself guidelines: how much and how often.
If you stay within those guidelines, you can consider that you no longer have a problem with alcohol. However, if you regularly break your own drinking rules, you might need to accept total abstinence as the only solution.
When it comes to drink (or drugs, or gambling and so on), a therapist needs to not only break the automatic urge to drink that you have developed, but to also look at the reasons why you began drinking so much in the first place.
Going sober for October in support of MacMillan is an excellent thing to do if you want to support a good cause and give your liver a break. People with a drink problem however, might want to consider psychological support.
If you consider yourself an alcoholic or think that you might be one, you will definitely need psychological help and probably access to a support program. This will include a staged withdrawal from drink, as cutting out completely from the get go could be hazardous to your health.
If you would like to get your drinking under control you will find a therapist that is the right fit for you (Goggle is a great start and there are plenty of online directories). But, your motivation will need to be higher whomsoever it is you work with.
So, what do you want to do, go sober for October and have a month-long detox, or go sober for longer and demonstrate some real control?