The reason for this belief is, I think, that alcohol is so endemic in our society, and those who've given up are so shy about shouting about it, that we truly believe that life without booze is going to be utterly miserable.
We are so used to associating good times with booze that we think there will be no good times ever again without it.
We imagine that we'll spend the rest of our lives huddling anonymously in church halls, talking about how miserable we are, with the few people that will understand.
When the prospect of being teetotal (even the adjectives describing it are ghastly) is so horrendous, it's no wonder that we have to be at the point of losing everything - our homes, our husbands and children, our jobs, before we can gather the courage to quit.
Well, bollocks again.
There's a fabulous blogger who I've been reading for a while - The Wino That I Know (TWTIK).
(To read her blog click here)
I followed TWTIK's on-off struggle with booze, feeling the frustration and depression behind every word, and then something changed.
After years of managing just days at a time, TWTIK has done more than five weeks sober and she sounds amazing - happy, confident and energised.
Then I found an e-mail in my inbox - from TWTIK!
She wrote I started believing that life can be better without booze and I am no longer looking at it from a place of deprivation. I believe that is why I always failed as I felt I was giving up something I loved so much and that was so awesome, until it wasn't.
And she's right - giving up booze is hard, so if you believe that you're going through all this hardship, just to end up in a place that is miserable, you will never succeed, or - even if you do - you won't be happy.
The only way to make it through the tough times is to truly believe that a life without booze is AWESOME! Then you can do it, easily. Because you know what you're fighting for.
Every day I receive e-mails from people telling me how amazing their lives are without alcohol and how they can't believe they waited so long to quit. Here's an example from Ang75 on day 54:
My life, my health, my attitude and everything else has changed so much for the better!
We've just been on a skiing holiday and we had sat laughing about something silly one night at tea, and my eldest daughter said "Mummy, you're being funny, it's like you have had a drink, but you haven't"
Honestly that meant so much. I realised I am just being me, and everyone loves me just being me!
Isn't that just awesome? And Ang sent me a photo of her with her kids - all of them looking so happy, healthy and rosy cheeked.
I know it's hard to turn around your thinking and to believe that sober is brilliant, so here's some things that might help:
1. Read Jason Vale's book: Kick the Drink, Easily. It's very clever neuro-linguistic programming that will completely change the way you view booze, as do Alan Carr and Annie Grace's (This Naked Mind) books.
2. Read my blog from the beginning and you'll see how my life (and the lives of many of my virtual friends) has changed since I quit. Click here.
3. Find a picture of you looking drunk, bloated and shambolic and stick it on the fridge next to one of you looking happy, healthy, sober, energetic (doesn't matter if it's decades old!). Remind yourself over and over again that that's the transformation you're looking for. Because it will happen!
4. Read this fabulous article sent to me by Julie (thank you, Julie!). It's written by Andy Boyle and it's about what he learned from two years of being sober. Click here.
5. Read what my sober virtual friends have to say about life alcohol free in the comments (I hope they're going to write!) below.
Quitting drinking isn't just about avoiding the negatives, about getting rid of the hangovers, the drunken texts, the excess weight and the health risks (although those are all bonuses, obviously)....
....It's about gaining the positives - being happy, even tempered, finding peace, becoming a better parent, a better friend, taking up new hobbies and discovering what you really want to do with the rest of your life.
So don't wait for rock bottom. Do it now. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
(And thank you to Ang and TWTIK for letting me share their stories)