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Popular culture likes to recommend AA and 12 step rehab but they really aren't evidence based. I liked SMART much better. It'll help you reset your perspective instead of labeling yourself helpless and broken. The meetings are great if you are feeling down and need some social support:
But I got the most out of reading and writing out the exercises in the handbook.
Moderation really isn't viable once you've gone full alcoholic for awhile. Everyone has a story about it. It comes down to reward pathways in your brain. The connections may atrophy but they're still there, fire them up a bit with some moderation and you'll be back to the old habits sooner or later.
if you didn't like AA you might look at SMART recovery as an alternative that has a different take on how to work through recovery and be more engaged with yourself and motivated towards your goals as a way to move beyond alcohol. Their handbook has lots of great exercises for this and really helped me:
You can still get the Smart Recovery Handbook for Kindle on Amazon for about $8. I ordered it and did a lot or reading on my own.
When I was feeling low, SMART recovery online meetings really helped out. They don't force any type of participation and the whole program is based in good psychology science (CBT), much different than AA which can be kind of dogmatic and force a lot of assumptions on you (a bit like the comment here). Give it a try:
I also found their handbook really helpful. Doing some written exercises made a big difference for me:
Also in case you are having withdrawals, you really don't want to end up with kindling.
Good luck! Posting and talking to people can be really great too so maybe that's all you need.
The SMART Recovery Handbook is very helpful. Articles and Essays offers some short helpful information on addiction recovery. I found addiction recovery books on the Amazon website, those can downloaded instantly to a Kindle app on any device.
Have you tried writing down the reasons you don't want to repeat the cycle? What is important to you that you risk by drinking in this pattern? Writing things down can make a difference as far as remembering them later.
There's a bunch of good exercises in the smart recovery handbook. Made a difference for me:
or kindle (I got this one and used kindle app screenshots from my phone to print worksheets):
To second this: OP, I think SMART is as close as you're going to get to therapy without spending a bunch of $$. You can go to their online meetings for emotional support but I think what would make a bigger difference is to get the handbook and do the exercises.
If you can't afford even that, let me know. I'm also finding meditation to be a big help but that requires a bit more of a lifestyle change to get started. I've been liking "The Mind Illuminated" as a guide. For that one, the physical book has some nice pictures that don't translate well to kindle so I'd recommend that.
Save yourself the trouble of trying to moderate your habit. For anyone who has gone far enough to be worried about it, you've already build the brain pathways that will make moderation nearly impossible (and always uncomfortable).
Yes you can absolutely keep going and keep your job but, as Andrew Huberman so succinctly put it, addiction is a progressive narrowing of the things that bring you pleasure. Basically you're going to enjoy life less and less the longer you continue. In case you need more motivation to quit, here is a science-based podcast on exactly how alcohol negatively impacts you (the intent of the podcast is not to be negative but the reality of alcohol is just that).
Once you're ready to quit, there's tons of different types of support but, for an engineer especially, I'd stay away from AA. Ideally you stop drinking, feel comfortable with that and move on with your life -- instead of making recovery into your identity. The best resource for the actual quitting process for me was SMART recovery. They have a handbook. Do the written exercises and really write them:
And if you need some social support (you'll be feeling down/anxious while you withdrawal):
If you drink heavily, you may need to taper. Don't kill yourself:
For changing your mental perspective around chasing rewards, meditation is a great thing. I found the mindful review process to be especially helpful. Here's a good summary of that which comes from a subreddit based around the book The Mind Illuminated:
Good luck my friend! You're smart to be seeking help. Maybe of us spend years and years struggling alone.
You can get the kindle version for free
Well that's cool. One way or another, getting some support is a great idea. I found a therapist I liked by writing a blurb and searching psychologytoday.com for my insurance provider and then messaging every single therapist within a 20 mile radius that would potentially be covered by my insurance. Only about 20% responded and some said "I'm not right for you" or they were full but I found one I liked! Here's some other resources I just sent to someone else:
5-8 a day and you've never quit before? You probably have nothing to worry about going cold turkey. If you have the will power to drink 3-4 light beers today, 2 tomorrow and 1 the next day, that would be easiest on your system. Maybe I'm paranoid but getting prescribed detox meds may not be the best if you ever have to go and buy your own health insurance.
Also I personally think smart recovery is really helpful with their handbook and online meetings.
That's a pretty fast taper. You might want to consider also trying to work on building motivation (so you can be successful with a slower taper) using something like the SMART recovery handbook and maybe some online meetings. SMART is pretty non-dogmatic/non-prescriptive recovery program that won't try to force anything on you. I think it fits pretty well with the philosophy of this sub and I can say that doing the SMART handbook exercises (with actual writing) really helped me from a rational standpoint (it is based in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and that attending the online meetings helped me emotionally.
Handbook (physical and kindle):
Is this it?