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Once you decide to stop drinking, emotional withdrawal can be quite severe. Alcohol has most likely become the your best friend. It is the one thing the alcoholic can always rely upon to take away his/her feelings. This "best friend," though, is the equivalent of a best friend that would sleep with your wife or husband, steal all your money and then murder you in the end. Even though this "best friend" was the furthest thing from that in reality, you will still grieve. Many experts believe that a person's emotional development is stunted at the time of use. If you have been drinking since you were a teenager, you will likely have a lot of energy and feelings with which to cope. To channel this energy - this combination of misery and euphoria you will experience in early sobriety - stay active and engage in activities that increase your self-esteem. Learn to run. Go for walks. Take up visual art. Join a cooking class (eating sugar is recommended, if you aren't diabetic). Take a different route to work. All of these things will replace your negative emotions with positive ones, as well as take up the time you would have formerly spent drinking.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|