This is what I did to stop drinking to excess. This process did not happen over-night. It took years. About 4-5 years…maybe this can help someone who is where I was, and can give them hope and maybe save some precious time.
First, I quit going to AA as a result of some research I did regarding its roots.
Second, I used the tool-box tools here — it took some time (years), but they are finally ingrained into my everyday thinking processes.
Third, I got off the Zoloft. That was not easy, as I’d been taking it for 13 years. I decided to do so because I read somewhere that Zoloft can actually increase cravings for booze in some people. No wonder I had such STRONG INTENSE CRAVINGS FOR BOOZE! I am one of those people. Now I no longer suffer debilitating cravings. I did this under my doctor’s supervision.
I am grateful for SMART Recovery website. Without it, my journey to peace and happiness would have been much, much harder.
Fourth, on my doctor’s advice, as I had been diagnosed as clinically depressed and was going off the Zoloft, I began sessions with a psychiatrist, not a psychologist. She told me to read “Forgive for Good” by Luskin, or Lufkin, or whatever his name is. I went to the library to check it out, and also found “Forgive Your Parents, Heal Yourself” by Grosskopf while searching. I read them both. Grosskopf’s book really spoke to me. I was able to understand why my parents did such a lousy job raising me, and why I was so angry all the time (some believe that depression is anger turned inward. I believe so, in my case. I just got tired of being angry all the time, and became depressed at the state of my life and how I never could seem to get ahead, and felt hopeless and alone…)
Fifth, I remembered Harm Reduction from my days in re-hab. I discovered a web-site called HAMS Harm Reduction for Alcohol http://hamsnetwork.org/ and tapered off the booze using the method described therein.
Sixth, I am learning to parent myself in an emotionally healthy way, and utilize U.S.A. (unconditional self acceptance). I no longer have to use booze to silence the negative, shouting voices of my parents calling me a good for nothing piece of sh*t, as I now realize that is a lie. I rarely hear the negative internal dialogue I had for the majority of my life. I used/use STOP THOUGHT and also a technique called “blue-sky” meditation, as well as doing an ABC on it. It took some time, years even, but I never gave up because I and my life are worth it, because I SAY IT IS. I don’t rely on others for my sense of worth, I know that I have intrinsic value simply because I am a human being, worthy of dignity and respect. I learned this by studying REBT and CBT. I have much to contribute to society, I am committed to trying to make my little corner of the world a better place, and I know that I was not put here to be miserable.
I am grateful for SMART Recovery website. Without it, my journey to peace and happiness would have been much, much harder. SMART Recovery tools enable me to take control of my life, and live a richer, more happy and content life, feeling appropriate emotions and being present in the moment, living the agony and the ecstasy that is our existence. Yes, even the humdrum boredom is beautiful to me…and also the satisfaction of knowing I am capable of making sound decisions, and forgiving myself and accepting myself when I make mistakes, which is the human condition.
I would also like to say that I am glad that SMART has shown me that I’m not “diseased” or powerless. Drinking like I did was/is a maladaptive behaviour, a learned coping-mechanism, one that does not serve me well. It is not a moral failing, and I am not immoral. I was simply acting in an irrational manner. I would be better served, and am better served, by learning new and effective ways to deal with my emotional disturbances.
I hope my experience can help someone who may be struggling as I did.