An Easier, Softer Way
I was going to title this post “The Book that was Most Effective for my Sobriety”, but I decided on “An Easier, Softer Way” because it was closer to the point I wanted to make.
The book that helped me the most was Allen Carr’s “Easy Way to Control Alcohol”, but probably not in the way that the author would appreciate. I will explain this, but first I would like to say that it was not the first book I had read on solving my alcohol problem, not even close.
I had read many books on alcoholism: AA’s Big Book, memoirs, how-to books, and science books. I had watched many movies, both fictional accounts and documentaries. I had endlessly investigated the many options for quitting and from what I have seen on several on-line forums, I am not the only one to bury myself with sobriety material looking for the magic solution that will work.
This brings me to Allen Carr’s book. I was reading his book, sort of hoping for the solution, when it finally it hit me. I just did not want to read another book on how to get sober because I knew that there was no magic solution. There was only one way I was going to get and stay sober and that was to take responsibility for my drinking and never, ever pick up another drink. That’s it and that is the basis of EVERY approach available for quitting drinking.
I had been hoping for something to appear that would get sober for me, either a higher power or group to do it for me, or an approach that would somehow allow me to avoid exerting my own effort. I had buried myself under so much information on sobriety that I was actually making things worse for myself. I had convinced myself that quitting was some dramatic, extremely difficult, hard to achieve, endeavor. It’s not. It is a straightforward process involving a very clear act: Don’t Drink.
That doesn’t mean sobriety is easy. It is as difficult as any other bad habit to change. Perpetually exploring the different paths to sobriety is a waste of time. It is simply a way to over-think and over-explore the issue, which is really just procrastinating getting started. All methods are based on the same fundamental act: Don’t Drink.
The best thing is that by taking responsibility for my sobriety and realizing that it would be based on the simple act of never picking up another drink, I had actually found an effective easier and softer way. There would be no meetings to attend, no steps, no CBT worksheets to work, no therapy sessions, no online meetings, no monsters in my head to tame, no sitting in the corner rocking back-and-forth seeing if my hand was shaking like Sandra Bullock’s in 28 Days, nothing. I was truly free.
The key to sobriety is: Realizing that there is no magic solution, only not drinking, and we have to take responsibility for that. Now, get started!