Which path will you take?
Do I need to quit drinking?
I wish I had $5 for every time I read this question in the alcohol recovery forums. This would allow me to claw back some of the $150,000 I’ve squandered over the years on beer, wine and spirits. As a general rule, if you are asking the question then it’s likely there may be a problem. But I don’t want to create panic stations just yet, maybe you’re just a worrier who has no problem at all.
Do a quick test first
The first thing you should do is head over to Smart Recovery and do a quick test. This will provide you with some objective feedback on your current drinking. This may confirm what you already suspect. But not always. I would have scored okay on this test in my early years of drinking. But I was already aware, even back in my early 20’s, that I wasn’t like others when it came to drinking. I enjoyed it a little too much. But others would always laugh and put my mind at ease by saying something like “it’s just youthful exuberance” or “you’re just having a bit of fun with boys”. I wish I hadn’t listened but I did.
So the point I’m trying to make is that no-one else can tell you it’s time to stop. You need to make that decision yourself.
Some worrying signs to watch out for
- is your drinking increasing in frequency?
- is the quantity of drinking required to give you that same buzz increasing?
- do you find yourself feeling guilty about your drinking?
- do you do stupid things when drunk?
Should I just taper my drinking?
This is a common choice made by alcoholics. They know they need to stop but don’t want to for many reasons. So the middle-ground is to reduce their intake. I’m not saying it can’t be done, because it can. But I don’t know anyone who’s successfully been able to taper. Alcohol is a powerful drug that is very good at manipulating you. You’ll probably taper successfully for a week, a month, maybe a year: but eventually the odds are good that you’ll be back to your old ways at some point in the future. Worse still, you’ll make up for lost time by increasing your intake even further.
Are you ready to make the big decision?
Making the decision to stop drinking is a big one. Don’t underestimate it. Show it respect or it’ll spit you out and you’ll be back drinking before you know. Give the choice 100% of your energy and you’ll start to enjoy life like you never thought possible. Enjoy life you say? Yes, there are some huge benefits and you need to consider these before you decide to dive into your new life. Consider the page you’re about to visit as a little motivation to get you started.