August 20, 2021
Q: Is it possible to stop drinking or using on my own?
A: Everyone is different, which makes everyone’s wellness journey different. There are many people who are able to get well without formal treatment or other forms of support.
Before I share my own experiences, I want people to be aware that stopping a substance without any supervision can be very dangerous. Withdrawal, particularly from alcohol, can be incredibly unsafe and even fatal. If you’re planning to stop using a substance, please take the necessary steps to ensure your safety. There’s no shame in getting help, especially if it will save your life.
For me personally, it wasn’t possible to quit using without help from others. At that time, my only coping skill was using. And I was carrying around so much pain and shame – there was no way I would’ve been able to dig myself out on my own. I needed to hear from others who understood what I was going through and wouldn’t judge me for the things I’d done during my addiction.
I finally acknowledged I needed help, support and connection in order to get well. That awareness saved my life. I was able to find a supportive community, try new things and move forward into recovery. I also learned a lot about my disease. For so long I didn’t understand why I continued using or even why I started in the first place.
Plus, getting advice and feedback from others provided much-needed perspective when I was still new to wellness. Things that seemed so overwhelming at the time weren’t nearly as bad or scary when I was working through them with someone else. Even if every suggestion wasn’t for me, some of them were and they made a lasting difference. I was able to slow down, stay present and approach challenges more rationally. I was also introduced to new activities and groups that have ultimately kept me well.
I couldn’t be happier with where I am today, but I wish I would’ve accepted help sooner. There were many people in my life who wanted to support me in my wellness but I wasn’t ready for them. Talking to others helped me realize I wasn’t alone and there were people who cared. It was just a matter of me letting them.