My life would have been easier, and I would have come to the idea of sobriety much more quickly and with less angst, if I had found a stop-drinking questionnaire that said something like: “It’s OK to Quit Drinking. Nobody Needs to Drink.”
In my fictitious world, the questionnaire would go like this:
- Do you drink more than you want to? It’s OK to stop.
- Do you think about drinking all the time? I did too until I stopped.
- Do you find it hard to quit? I did too. All the more reason to stop now.
- Do you feel better when you don’t drink? Not at first, maybe, but later—after seven to nine days sober, once all the booze and bullshit is gone, once you’re hydrated again. Do you feel better then? Good. It’s OK to stop.
- Do you feel better sober than on a day with a hangover? Good. That’s enough of a reason. You can stop.
- Does your brain tell you to drink again to celebrate your sobriety? Mine too. It’s OK, you can stay stopped.
- Can you plan to drink again in some mysterious future time like 20 years from now if that’s what it takes? Yes, you can NOT drink NOW.
- Do you have to be an alcoholic to benefit from quitting drinking? No. Booze is an anaesthetic. It changes who we are. It numbs and dulls and ultimately poisons.
- Does anyone HAVE to drink? No.
- Do you maybe need some advice and help and support to stop and stay stopped? Yes, I did.
Note: If you score 1 out of 10 or higher, it’s OK to quit.
[This is excerpted from my ‘how to quit drinking’ book, Tired of Thinking About Drinking: Take My 100-Day Sober Challenge, pages 56-57]