I have to be honest with myself and you, dear reader. I didn’t quit for me, at first. It took a few weeks of self-examination and experience to reach the point of quitting for me.
I have quit drinking many times, as I think all addicts have. I had an inkling that I had a problem, but I would never truly admit it to myself. It was always in the back of my mind. But, I was too busy lying to myself and to others to truly hear that tiny voice of reason. It was like trying to hear the buzz of a mosquito over the roar of a jet engine. “I can put it down anytime, I don’t have a problem, I’m not drinking liquor, such-and-such drinks more than I do, they can’t tell I’ve been drinking, I’m fine”. The string of self-justifying lies never ended.
My girlfriend gave me an ultimatum. It wasn’t the first one she had delivered. I would show up drunk, we would fight, we would cry, I would make promises that I would get help and quit. In my defense, I did try to quit every time. But I was too prideful and cocky to ask for help. It’s that plain and simple. I had this falsely conceived sense of independent masculinity that I was tough and didn’t need any help. Was I ever wrong!
The short answer to why I quit drinking is because the best thing in my life had threatened to leave me and for once I really listened and observed that she was far from bluffing. I still scoffed at the idea of attending an AA meeting. What did I have in common with a bunch of crusty old geezers lamenting about how booze lost them their fourth wife? (More on my first AA meeting later).
The long answer is I knew I had a problem and I finally realized that I had to have help. I couldn’t keep pushing the envelope anymore. I couldn’t do it alone. And that it was perfectly normal to need help. In truth, it is brave and courageous to seek help. My journey began….