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Alcoholic's Testimonial

A Plan To Stop Alcohol Abuse

I considered myself to be the ultimate loser in life. Yes, I was in a mid-life crisis and I was sinking fast.

Drinking had become my reliable buddy to the exclusion of everything else that mattered to me. My wife of 22 years had left me because the drinking was accelerating despite the state of denial I was living in.

Drinking felt good to me. I enjoyed it and the hell with what anyone thought about it. It was my business.  My children were becoming distant because they could stand the constant bickering between their parents. My once promising legal career was in tatters because I wanted to drink more than I wanted to practice law. My income plummeted as a result.

Old friends seemed to disappear and debt was everywhere as I floundered with my problems. I continued in this miserable situation for many more months before I began to realize that the excuses I was making for myself were nothing more than whining and the only person that I could count upon was myself. I was the last best chance for my survival.

Yes, this was a very difficult time for me, but I have a stubborn streak that would not easily admit defeat--and I know that defeat would probably kill me. I decided that tomorrow would be a sober day and I would begin to fight back with a battle plan that made sense.

The following day I began by brutally analyzing my life--past, present and future and I reached some startling realizations. I asked myself where I wanted to be in 5 years and what I would be doing. I wanted to know what I was looking forward to and I did not under any circumstances want the status quo.

I also tried to determine if I was enjoying myself as a drunk--I wasn't. I wanted to know if my goals would find happiness for a reasonable person or if I was just too picky. Was I afraid of new commitments that might bring joy and happiness? Do I intentionally sabotage myself by making happiness harder to achieve than it should be? I determined that changes had to be made and the biggest change was going to be change itself. 

Yes, I was determined to positively reinvent myself from the self-absorbed, unhappy person I had become. The new me would  have new friends, new interests, new hobbies and probably even a new diet that would take 25 pounds off in a short time. I would begin this challenge immediately. I would not wait or delay my project. I would take charge of my life now--not after the holidays, or my birthday, or some preconceived excuse for delaying the inevitable.

I knew this would be the most difficult decision of my life and there were many chances for disappointment, but I was up to the challenge. No way would I be denied the new me. I decided there would be a priority of goals set, and each goal had a time limit. I began by quitting drinking. There would be no scaling back--this was cold turkey all the way!

I joined a support group, Smart Recovery, and committed myself to weekly meetings with others who were trying to get alcohol and other addictions out of their lives.The meetings and support were quite helpful.

Next I looked at who my friends were and whether they were truly friends or enablers to my drinking addiction. In most cases they were drinking buddies and they had to go. I knew my upcoming plan would help me to meet new people and make new friends and I was right. Within weeks I had a new circle of positive people who did not drink.

For my hobbies and fun I chose tennis and the Sierra Club because I needed the exercise and enjoyed the outdoors. Both have worked out very well and I look forward to the sessions of each club.The physical aspects of my new hobbies have helped me in my goal of losing weight as well. I am now concentrating on my new diet that is low in carbs and high in protein.

So now it is time for my report card. I will try to be honest and put my overall grade at B+.There is room for improvement but I have not had a drink in 63 days. Staying sober that long would have been miraculous just a short time ago. I have developed an enjoyment for two new hobbies and I have met many interesting new people some of whom are my new friends. I also feel great, have lots of energy and have lost 17 pounds.

I can't wait for tomorrow.

Mike     2007

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