What Benefits Do You Get From Alcohol?
Others may often ask why you don’t quit, or moderate, your drinking when doing so would have the benefits of improved health, relationships, freedom from financial and legal problems and so on. Or they will ask the mirror image question, “Can’t you see what your drinking is doing to…..?”
These are obvious questions that you know the answers to and, therefore, are meaningless to your continued misuse of alcohol.
There is only one question we spend any time on with you: “What are the benefits you are deriving from continuing to self-medicate?”
Let’s be realistic. If you weren’t benefiting from continuing, you’d have quit, or you never would have gotten to the point where you could use a bit of help in sorting out the tangled web you find yourself in.
We pretty much know the usual things which people medicate: anxiety, boredom, loneliness, depression, trauma, physical and/or emotional pain, unbalanced personal and/or professional relationships.
We also know that self-medication is a way to temporarily relieve these conditions while avoiding doing anything to actually address them. If we’re “lucky,” we can avoid until we die.
And then there is the fact that alcohol is cheap, legal, readily available, socially promoted, and effective! What not to like?
If you are a modest social drinker then the answer is, “Nothing.”
But if that was the case, then you wouldn’t be reading this, for the most part.
Why not honestly jot down your personal list of benefits? Does self-medication let you forget the loneliness? Does it fill the boring hours? Is it a great passive-aggressive weapon in dealing with controlling family members? Does it ease the pain of loss or obliterate the results of trauma?
Please, construct your own personal mosaic of benefits then let us help you construct an equally personal mosaic of alternatives that actually enhance your life. Imagine that.
As you begin to think about possibilities, remember that AA operates exactly the way alcohol does. It offers cheap medication of the aforementioned conditions, it’s a vastly better passive-aggressive weapon to use against others, and you can even use it to justify continuing to drink! (“I’m powerless over my disease!”)
As always, it’s your choice, including your choice to continue to “contemplate” rather than act.
The Illusion of “Alcoholism”
Many of us have been terrified to seek help managing our alcohol consumption because of the very real fear of being labeled an “alcoholic.” It’s not an unfounded fear.
The progression is all too common: mention to your physician, therapist, family member, minister, or almost anyone else that you are a bit concerned about your drinking and the immediate response will invariably be, “Oh. You need to go to AA! It’s the only thing that works!”
Should you be unaware that AA almost never “works,” and head off to a “meeting,” you will immediately learn that you are either an “alcoholic” or an “alcoholic in denial.” No exceptions!
And so could begin your endless descent into the most damaging, boring, and life-diminishing cult imaginable. Vulnerable, you will be victimized, exploited, brainwashed, terrified, and isolated even more than you have been.
To make things worse, all of these negatives are magnified should you make the mistake of going off to “facilitated 12 Step” rehab – which makes up 90+% of the “industry.”
Why would you do that to yourself (or anyone else for that matter?)?
If you want to stop misusing alcohol then you need a research based model, not a cult. That includes understanding that over drinking is a symptom, not a “disease,” and that the problem goes away when you address and resolve the conditions you are medicating.
While alcohol prevents you from fixing problems, and AA forbids you to, we suggest that you stop living an alcohol focused life, regain your independence, and develop – or regain – the skills necessary to manage your life.
That’s what we help you do. So what’s your choice? Alcohol? Cults? Or, as a long ago client phrased it, getting a grip and getting a life?