Cost benefit analysis of drinking

Old 11-11-2017, 08:56 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 2,775
Originally Posted by vulcan30 View Post
Hi again

I'm very aware that the only way to successfully stop drinking is to be convinced that there are no benefits to drinking, only costs, and that there are only benefits to being sober, no costs. Now, I'm at the stage of ambivalence, I know that drinking is costing me, but at the same time, I'm fearing missing things.

Write out on a sheet of paper 4 columns titled; costs of drinking, benefits of drinking, costs of not drinking, benefits of not drinking. If you do that, the things that might appear in the 'costs of not drinking' and 'benefits of drinking' column are the things that need to be addressed.

In the costs of not drinking column, you're very likely to have concerns about losing friends, concerns about how you'd cope in social situations, concerns about not being able to think of things to say and many more.

It's important that the resources should address these concerns and teach coping strategies. I feel that conventional 12-step systems don't do this.

For any benefits of drinking, the solution should be simple; find ways of realizing those benefits without alcohol. There's a huge myriad of reasons we might use alcohol, but for all of them, there are alternative ways. This is where I believe that more resources are needed and this is where I think that much conventional stop drinking material fails.

If you can only see benefits of drinking, and costs of for drinking, or if you feel that costs of not drinking don't matter*, then you cannot blame yourself for being weak-willed and lacking discipline and willpower.

I think that blaming failed attempts at quitting on lack of discipline and willpower is dangerous, because it's basically instilling the message that all those times you've tried and failed is a sign that you're not capable. What's more, it can instill a mentality that 'there's no point in trying, why bother'. That's the irony of willpower narrative.

The truth is, if you're not convinced that there are no benefits to drinking, you'll find yourself 'white-knuckling' it. You don't want to see sobriety as deprivation. That's no way to live and not a recipe for success.

What's missing and not accessible are the resources that can address what we might identify as benefits to drinking and costs of not drinking

So give it a try if you think it will work. I considered hypnosis back in the day.

It really didn't matter what anyone said about my drinking.

Only I could decided when enough was enough.
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Old 11-11-2017, 09:27 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
scaredikklegoth's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: UK
Posts: 323
You haven't responded to your own post so no idea where you are in your recovery today but I hope you're doing well. If this approach works then have at it.

For me, continuing drinking is costing me money, my health, my pride and is putting the good relationships in my life at risk. It's also a big part of why I'm still unemployed (I'm volunteering but that's still been a struggle), why I'm so overweight and why I've had such awful anxiety for so many years.

I want to live a better life. I can't do that while drinking. So, no booze.
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Old 11-14-2017, 05:54 PM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 86
RE having not replied

I'm glad I've been asked this. The reason is simple; I feel too anxious to and have trouble working up the courage to even log in, that's why, that's the most straight answer.

The reason I made this thread was to see if I could find ways of overcoming my fears of stopping drinking. I still see benefits of drinking and costs of not. I fear that social situations will be boring, stressful, and unpleasant. There's more beyond stopping drinking that needs to be explored in order to make those situations in which I drink less painful without alcohol.

It was made from a third person perspective out of fear that anything short of not being willing to stop for life would not be welcome. That being ambivalent wouldn't be welcome. That's the fear that made me make the post from a third person perspective.
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Old 11-14-2017, 06:39 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: SE USA
Posts: 599
I used "fear of quitting" and "fear of what things would be like without alcohol" as excuses to keep drinking for a long time. Also used "fear of withdrawals".

Don't let the fear stop you from doing what you know you need to do.
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