You have undoubtedly heard some good reasons for why you should quit drinking. Maybe you already accept that alcohol is a bit of a negative force in your life and that you might have a problem. The reality is though that knowing this stuff doesn’t necessarily give you the motivation to change. If you believe escaping alcoholism involves too much of a sacrifice, you are not going feel too enthusiastic about doing it.
Negative versus Positive Reasons for Escaping Alcoholism
Fear can be a powerful motivation force in the short-term. If you were told that you were definitely going to die tomorrow unless you quit drinking, you would have a powerful reason to take action. You would probably be willing to sacrifice alcohol because of the fear of death. This motivation might keep you sober for a few months or years, but it might not be enough to keep you that way for the rest of your life. So long as you believe you are making a sacrifice, there will always be a reason to relapse – and you will give into this instinct once you convince yourself it is safe to do so.
A positive reason for escaping alcoholism is more powerful because you are no longer thinking in terms of sacrifice. It means you have quit drinking because you want to be happier, and this is a self-sustaining type of motivation – sobriety becomes something you want and not something to be endured.
Escaping Alcoholism is Not a Sacrifice
If I offered you $1000 in exchange for a $100, would you be making a sacrifice by giving me that $100? This is the same situation with alcohol. If you have developed an addiction, it means the negative impact of drinking already outweighs any benefiting you may feel you are getting from it. Not only that but the downward spiral associated with this behaviour means things are likely to only get worse for you.
Drinking is almost certainly holding you back in life, so when you quit this behaviour, things are going to start improving for you – where is the sacrifice? Maybe you think that it is not possible to experience happiness without alcohol, but this is just part of the denial. Countless people have already managed to build a great life in recovery, and there is no reason why you can’t do the same. The only thing you are sacrificing is your suffering, and you are not going to miss it.