Eight important things for you to ponder

One of the biggest causes of failure is not being thoroughly prepared when you try to stop drinking, whether you're getting outside help or not.

I've compiled a list of things you should consider very carefully before you start.

1: BE STRONG & COURAGEOUS

Giving up alcohol successfully, and for the long run, is a difficult business.

2: BE OPTIMISTIC

Although it's difficult to stop drinking - it's do-able. You can manage it, however stuck you might feel now. Drinking can kill all your positivity - If you feel overwhelmed at the moment, remember that once you get a little way with not drinking, you should be able to find hidden reserves of energy and hope.

3: MAKE IT IMPORTANT

You will need to make not drinking the number one priority in your life, and pay attention to it every day. For melodramatic effect, write 'the most important thing today is not to drink' in lipstick on your bathroom mirror. I'm serious.

4: BELIEVE IN IT

You need to believe that if you don't drink, everything will, in time, fall into place. And that if you do drink, everything will deteriorate and fall apart.

5: DO IT PROPERLY, DO IT ONCE, DO THE WORK

Trying to stop drinking and then failing is a miserable experience. It only makes you feel more trapped and more hopeless. So when you're going to start trying to give up alcohol, you need to give yourself every chance. Have a definite plan, with some structure, some goals, and some method in what you're doing. There's a lot of help available, and there's a lot of good advice for you, but it's up to you to use it properly.

6: TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOURSELF

You’ll need to be 100% sure that you are doing this for yourself. It’s unlikely that you’ll succeed if it’s to please someone else, or if you feel you’ve been cornered and pressured into it. You also need to take responsibility for yourself.

If you blame other people or your circumstances, you render yourself helpless.

Until you take full responsibility for your drinking, you won't be able to take control and stop drinking. You're not a passenger, you're the driver.

7: MAKE BIG CHANGES

You should be prepared to make significant changes to your whole life. Drinking has, in all likelihood, woven its way into the very fabric of your day-to-day living. You should be prepared to unpick everything you do, all your habits & routines, your social life, the way you think and feel about things, how you react to how you feel, how you react to things that happen to you, and make a new way of living for yourself.

8: GET SOME HELP

Whatever help you get, whatever advice you take, make your own mind up about what you need to do. Taking full responsibility for yourself includes choosing your treatment. Research all the options, decide what is most likely to work for you, and then put your all into it.

Think it through carefully

Now go back and read those points again. Slowly. Fully understand and digest them. Print them out and make some notes.

Go for a walk, come back, and read them and think about them again. Discuss it all with a friend or a professional.

Being ready is the foundation on which you'll build the rest of your campaign.

"I don't think I'm ready yet.."

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