Want to know if you need an alcohol breakup? What do your ex, alcohol, and that at-home haircut from quarantine have in common? It’s possible they are no longer serving you. Just like relationships with people (colleagues, partners, friends, and family), our relationships with substances can become unhealthy with time. While breakups can be challenging, drifting apart can create space for personal growth, and pave the way for more positive habits and experiences.
When You Need An Alcohol Breakup
At Monument, the leading online alcohol treatment platform, they invite everyone to reflect on their relationship with alcohol. They recognize that there is no singularly “good” or “bad” definition of drinking, and that like many things in life, alcohol use exists on a spectrum. Understanding your relationship with alcohol can be overwhelming and complex, which is why Monument connects you to expert clinicians to diagnose alcohol use disorder and provide guidance for making a change. If you’re wondering if your relationship with alcohol has become unhealthy, you can start by reflecting on this question: is alcohol like my ex?
Characteristics Of An Unhealthy Relationship (With People OR Alcohol)
- Excuses: If you find yourself lying or making excuses to the people you love when you spend time with a partner, or spend time drinking, that might indicate that you feel stress about your relationship, and that your friends and family don’t approve. Reflect on why that is, and if it’s because you’re navigating feelings of shame related to your relationship.
- Isolation: Unhealthy relationships are often all-consuming. They drain you of emotional energy, and redirect the time and care you would ordinarily spend on other relationships to the unhealthy one. Isolation is very common in unhealthy relationships, especially when that relationship is with alcohol.
- Change In Routine: In addition to pulling away from friends and family, cutting back on activities that were once important or interesting to you is also a red flag. This could indicate that your relationship with another person, or with alcohol, is controlling too much of your time, energy, and attention, and ultimately depriving you of the things that once brought you joy.
- Happiness: In brief, healthy relationships should make you feel good. While your relationship with alcohol or another person might be exciting and positive at first, it’s important to observe how it evolves with time. If you don’t feel happy after spending time together, it’s worth investigating. For example, alcohol can intensify depression and anxiety. Ask yourself: what is this relationship’s effect on my physical and mental wellbeing?
These questions can be challenging to navigate, especially in the context of your relationship with alcohol. That’s why the team at Monument has created a suite of virtual tools that provide expert guidance and community support.
Caption: Monument invites their Instagram followers to write a breakup letter to alcohol
Alcohol Breakup On Your Own Terms
- Know that breakups, breaks, and distance are all valid. At Monument, they meet you where you are. You don’t have to quit alcohol cold turkey to build a healthier relationship with drinking. Explore options for sobriety or moderation by asking yourself these questions.
- Connect with others. Whatever questions you have about your relationship with alcohol, someone else likely does too. That’s why Monument provides free virtual therapist-moderated support groups and an anonymous community to ask questions, share updates, and seek advice from people with lived experience.
- Try therapy. Therapy is a superpower. Online alcohol therapy can help you build healthier coping mechanisms, restructure negative thought-patterns, build self-efficacy, and so much more. Monument’s virtual therapy program is designed specifically to empower people to cut back on drinking from the comfort of their home. Evidence shows therapy can have incredibly meaningful results, and the benefits extend far beyond sobriety or moderation.
- Medication. Medication to stop drinking is an evidence-based tool that many people aren’t aware of. Medication can help reduce alcohol cravings, which enables people to be more in control of their drinking habits, and make choices that more closely align with their ideal selves. Medication can support goals for sobriety or moderation, and is prescribed by a licensed physician.
If you’re ready to change your relationship with alcohol, you have options. And if you’re not quite there yet, that’s entirely okay too. Reading this article and reflecting is a meaningful step in itself. You can join the free Monument Community at any time to learn more about how drinking less can give you more. You are not alone.
By Sabrina Spotorno, LCSW-CASAC, Therapist and Support Group Moderator on the Monument platform