I spent 22 years of my adult life as a terrible alcoholic. I did quit drinking 37 years ago, and people who still drink and want to quit occasionally ask me how I did it. I quit cold turkey without meetings or medicine. What I did was I asked myself four questions every time I contemplated opening a bottle of beer. These are the questions I asked myself:
ONE: How many people have I hurt in my drinking life? I was married and divorced twice, had children I didn’t take proper care of and been in numerous relationships that never lasted. Is this my goal in life?
TWO: How healthy is it to live on cheeseburgers, doughnuts or anything else you can grab when you get hunger pangs? When you are under the influence of alcohol, you don’t make good dietary – or any good – decisions. Is it my plan for the future to have a happy heart attack at a reasonably young age?
THREE: How does drinking another bottle of beer affect my ability to make a living? I can’t count the number of jobs I had in those 22 years and certainly can’t remember many of them. Is this my goal for the future, to continually be out of work because I can’t function properly?
FOUR: And this is most important – is it my plan to be emotionally, mentally and physically sick all the time as I will be if I drink that bottle of beer, or do I want to regain my emotional, mental and physical health?
When I reflect on those questions, it is obvious the best choice is to throw that bottle of beer away and remember to count to FOUR every time I get the urge to drink. That worked for me, and I haven’t had a drink in 37 years. Not drinking isn’t a guarantee for a completely happy life, but at least you will have the ability to make reasonable decisions that can positively affect your life as well as the lives of your loved ones.
Richard “The Bugman” Fagerlund is a non-toxic pest management consultant who has written several books and the nationally syndicated “Ask the Bugman” column, carried in the Albuquerque Journal for years.