The Benefits of Drinking.
Is This An April Fools Day Joke?
No, We’re Serious.
One of the first things we ask clients to do is to make a cost/benefit anaylsis of their drinking. But we suggest that they skip the “costs of drinking” and the “benefits of stopping”– since these are generally obvious to everyone –and focus on the “benefits of drinking” and the “costs of quitting.”
After all, it’s the benefits that you’re going to have to replace and the quick alcohol fix is going to be the primary cost of quitting.
So what are the benefits?
For most of us these include escape and passive aggression.
That’s right. Escape. Escape from anxiety, inhibitions, spouses, children and other assorted relatives, boredom, loneliness, and intolerable lives.
All of those things we’re too lazy, or too scared, to fix.
Passive aggression towards dominating spouses and families usually also appears on the benefit list. That’s right, it’s a big “screw you” towards the demanding spouse or parent when we don’t have the nerve to stand up for ourselves.
Alcohol’s benefits are always obvious and delivered instantly, effortlessly, effectively, cheaply, legally, and passively.
The costs of quitting require you to engage assertively in solutions that require effort and a willingness to delay gratification.
That’s too big a cost for many people who’d rather be miserable than assume responsibility for themselves and their lives and happiness.
Pick your preferred “A” — Alcohol or Assertiveness — and accept responsibility for the consequences.
You’re not powerless, you don’t have a disease, and genetices aren’t destiny. Nor is there any magic or higher power to rescue you effortlessly.
But there is help, help in planning your escape from alcohol and/or an intolerable, unhappy life, help in learning to live, not hide.
“A Thousand Regrets That Don’t Add Up To A Single Decent Remorse.” – E. Wilson, 1984
I coined that phrase nearly 30 years ago to describe what I didn’t want to find at the end of my life; that I had accumulated a 1000 regrets about what I hadn’t done, all of which didn’t equal the remorse over even one mistake I had made.
That’s right. It’s a lot easier to live, and die, after living our lives doing things, not after avoiding doing things.
As Kris Kristofferson noted in a parallal lyric, “I rather be sorry for something I done, than for something I didn’t do…”
Alcohol abuse is all about collecting regrets and being sorry for what we never got around to doing.
Procrastination in a bottle is what we actually stock our wine cellars, liquor cabinets, and beer coolers with.
The top five regrets of those close to death?
- “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me;
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard;
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings;
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends;
- I wish that I had let myself be happier.”*
What are the top regrets you don’t want to have when it’s your turn?
Now’s the time to get them off your list, don’t you think?
We can help you with that…
“How I Stopped Drowning In Drink” by Paul Carr as it recently appeared in the Wall Street Journal.
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