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Avoiding relapse

You have to make a conscious effort to avoid linking pleasure with the thoughts of your old drinking.

health and fitness Updated: Jun 16, 2003 18:51 IST

Change old routines. You have to make a conscious effort to avoid linking pleasure with the thoughts of your old drinking hangouts and drinking cronies. Don’t pass by these places. Avoid parties where liquor is served.

Stay with people. Alcoholism is often referred to as a lonely disease. When you seclude yourself, you may feel the need to drink again. Spend time with family members or non-drinking friends and relatives. Share your problems with a counsellor.

Be Active. Use the time spent on drinking on other interests. Pursue your hobby (like music or reading). Spend more time with your family or non-drinking friends. Adopt an exercise regimen. You have to find a way to spend your time actively and harmlessly.

Attend AA Meetings. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an organisation of people who help alcoholics recover. Many members have been through the experience themselves. Rather than moralising, they will help you individually to cope with your situation.

Learn to say ‘No’. This is the critical part. You cannot run away from people who drink or places where drinks are served forever. There will always be some source of temptation. You should learn to say ‘No’.

Speak in a clear firm voice when you say, “No, thank you.”

Make direct eye contact with the person who is offering you a drink.

Don’t feel guilty or apologetic. It is your life and you are taking charge of it. You do not owe an explanation to anyone for not drinking.

Offer to drink coffee or tea or a soft drink.

If a person keeps offering you a drink repeatedly with words like” Come on yaar, just one drink won’t do any harm. For old times’ sake…” It may be that this person is just trying to test the strength of your resolve. Do not give in and make him feel secretly triumphant. Just be cool and say you’d prefer a soft drink, anyway.

Abstinence requires enormous effort. But believe us, you will feel much better for it.


First Published: Jun 16, 2003 18:51 IST