6 Fears that Helped Get Me to Quit Drinking
Why did I quit drinking?
There’s no denying that I loved drinking. It was a way of life for me. However, toward the end of my relatively short drinking career, the writing was on the wall. I was headed for jail, serious health problems, constant money problems and a life of personal solitary confinement.
We all have our reasons, but for me it was a combination of emotional, physical (health) and financial consequences of continuing to drink.
The number 1 reason I quit drinking alcohol:
Before that I had woken up from drinking binges soaked in shame. I had run my mouth and been an idiot. I had done things that were not good. I was overwhelmed with shame. It was so bad it physically hurt. I never wanted to feel that shame again (and I haven’t).
Shame was my bottom. Yes, I could tell my health was taking a hit and I was broke. But those consequences of drinking weren’t enough to get me to face an AA meeting. But the shame, the shame steered me straight into an AA meeting. There was only so much shame I could take.
Framing shame as a fear, I feared that I would wake up and live in shame over and over and over. I didn’t want that. The fear of future shame compelled me to get sober.
Additional fears and reasons that drove me to sobriety are as follows:
2. Hurting people
I hurt people emotionally (broken relationships). I also could end up driving intoxicated and physically harming someone. It happens to many alcoholics. I could have happened to me. It would be very difficult to handle having hurt someone because of alcohol.
I had many friends who went to jail. It’s a hazard of being an alcoholic. I didn’t want to go to jail, especially for a long time as a result of doing something that physically harmed another person.
4. Health problems
My hangovers were becoming unbearable. I hated them, yet endured them because I needed to drink.
My worsening hangovers were no doubt a sign that my body was becoming less able to process alcohol. It wouldn’t have taken long until permanent damage resulted.
I also had bloated up to being overweight. While I still worked out, no amount of cardio and weight lifting could handle the massive alcohol calories I consumed. Upon quitting drinking I lost over 30 pounds in 3 months.
I had a good job and was in the midst of an advanced degree when I stopped boozing. However, I knew that there was no way I’d be able to handle a demanding job or start my own business if I drank.
Drinking alcoholically would mean a life of poverty and potential financial disaster. The writing was on the wall and I didn’t want that for myself. I’m not saying that money is happiness, but I believe poverty isn’t all it’s cracked up to be either.
6. Being Alone
I motored through several relationships with great women. My drinking ended those relationships.
After getting sobered I found an amazing woman who I married, but had I been drinking, there is no way she would have married me. I’d be alone with a bottle. It’s a cliche, but that certainly would have been my life … and it’s not a life I want nor ever wanted.
While reasons 2 through 6 above were contributing reasons for my putting a plug in the jug, they weren’t the most important. Living in shame was the number one drinking consequence that got me sober. There was only so much shame I could live with.