Tips for staying sober

Dear Annie: I wanted to offer a few thoughts for your readers regarding alcohol awareness. The truth is that any method that helps someone reduce their alcohol consumption has to be commended. People with alcohol dependency come from all walks of life and demographics.

These phrases are the basis of Allen Carr’s “Easy Way to Quit” and Holly Whitaker’s “Quit Like a Woman” (based in part on the first program). They have been my mantra for more than two years. The two methods helped me to cut my alcohol dependency completely. I have them written on an index card. At first, I read it every day. While that became less necessary after the first year, I still occasionally reread them and maintain my commitment to being a non-drinker.

Fundamentals to ­Abstinence:

Make a vow to quit forever.

Define yourself as a non-drinker.

Take away the desire to drink.

There’s no such thing as one drink.

One drink is all it takes to hook you.

Never doubt your decision to quit.

To stop feeling the need, stop use.

Definition of Alcohol:

It’s not a weakness; it’s a trap.

It doesn’t bring pleasure or a crutch.

You cannot control alcohol; it controls you.

It’s an addiction, not a habit.

The tendency is to drink more, not less.

Cutting down results in drinking more.

It’s a poison.

Advantages to Quitting:

Choose a life of health/happiness.

You have everything to gain.

Start with a feeling of elation that you have quit.

You have improved self-respect.

Rejoice to not be enslaved.

You have more money, time and clarity.

Drinking Disadvantages:

It removes your ability to know when you’re dull, rude, obnoxious.

It takes away your power.

It impairs your sleep.

It makes you more stressful and fearful.

It causes a deterioration of looks.

It causes horrendous hangovers.

It causes arguments/violence.

It causes dread.

It is your worst enemy.

Your ability to deal with stressful situations is reduced.

— Alcohol Awareness

Dear Alcohol Awareness: Thank you for sharing some of the teachings that have helped you stay sober for two years. Other readers have used different messages, particularly the 12 steps from Alcoholics Anonymous. As you say, any method that helps an alcoholic get sober is good for that person.

— — —

“How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?” is out now! Annie Lane’s second anthology — featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.


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