The problem with 'getting better', getting to the point where it seems so normal being sober that you can't remember what the problem was, is that the Wine Witch immediately senses the chink in the armour and dives in there with the question.....
......did I overreact?
Bet you've been there! It goes like this: so now I've been sober for x days I realise that I'm perfectly able to cope without alcohol. It's great! I'd never, ever want to go back to drinking x bottles of x per week. That would be madness!
.....But, typical me, in my all-or-nothing way, I overreacted with this 'total abstinence' malarkey. Now I see the light, I can have just one drink on special occasions. After all, I'm not a 'proper' alcoholic. I never did x or y. Luckily I nipped it all in the bud just in time. Phew!
I have this one playing on an endless loop. At least once a week it reappears.
At this point I often re-read Jason Vale. But I'm bored reading the same book over again. So I've found 'Alcohol Lied to Me' by Beck. So far it's the same argument, just put in a different way, which makes a refreshing change.
So, the next time you get the 'did I overreact' bug, remember this:
The word 'alcoholic' is a red herring. Everyone who drinks alcohol (an addictive poison) is addicted to some extent, the question is just 'how badly?'
The issue with separating people into 2 camps: 'normal' and 'alcoholic' is, firstly, we spend stupid amounts of time trying to work out which camp we're in (remember all those ridiculous questionnaires?!?) as absolutely no-one ever wants to be in the second camp.
Secondly, the accepted conclusion is that if we're in the first camp we should carry on merrily, regardless of our doubts and the problems alcohol causes us.
But, if we're in the second camp, we HAVE to stop. No free will involved. In fact, according to AA, we should 'surrender' our free will and give ourselves up to a 'higher power'.
Here's how I think about it instead:
I don't care (any more) whether or not I am, or you think I am, an alcoholic.
I was, definitely, addicted to alcohol. No shame in that. Millions of people are.
I didn't HAVE to stop drinking, I CHOSE to stop drinking, because I realise that my life is immeasurably better without it.
I CHOOSE not to have even one drink because I know that that will allow the addiction to creep back in, and also because I've realised that I DO NOT NEED IT.
Alcohol took away my free will, but now I have it back and I am strong and fearless (most of the time!)
So long as you see quitting as being something you 'have' to do, so long as you envy the 'normal' drinker and see yourself as 'abnormal' it will be hard, if not impossible.
It doesn't need to be. CHOOSE to do this, for yourself, because it's better. You are not denying yourself anything; you are giving yourself a wonderful gift.