I'd thought about attending AA, but didn't think I was that bad. Searched on Amazon and read the reviews for Allen Carr's work.
I am a Brit and grew up in a pub-culture, rugby matches were followed by binge drinking, nights out became "heavy" sessions. I got into triathlon in a big way in my early 20s and that curbed my drinking a lot. I was obsessive about training and racing, I was doing well both in my career and in competition.
When we had kids, I stopped training so much and I guess I filled the void with a beer or two, or three...I became good at drinking again..
I am in my late forties now, lost my job about 3 years ago, I was drinking too much and had trouble keeping calm under pressure. I had 2 trips to the psych ward for a few days due to severe depression, feeling I had let people down and saw a scary future, school fees, retirement saving etc..
During that time, I lied about my drinking, I believed I could control it and didn't want to give it up as I was worried I would have no life...
In a way, losing my job was a really good thing...I know it's cliche...but, I never really looked in the mirror, I always found a way to blame someone else. I've now read some really good books that helped me piece together some root causes, the 7 Habits, 8th Habit and Speed of Trust by the Covey's really helped. The Mindfull Way through Depression by Mark Williams and co, What Happy People Know, by Dan Baker and Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser all helped me fully "get" what the heck went on and how to deal with things way differently.
However.....things would be great and then, I'd get the urge for a beer or two and the wheels would be off. At parties, I felt less confident and drink like a ship full of pirates. I read Allen Carr's book, like I had learned from reading others....keep an open mind, don't judge it until I've finished and really, really look in the mirror before making a decision.
I am now 3+ weeks above drinking and doing very well, I've had a couple of pangs for a beer, but got passed it. I remember how I felt in the mornings and I do not want to go there.. I can get up early again and back cycle racing...slow though, 25+ extra pounds are blinking heavy.
I've made it through birthday parties and Thanksgiving without drinking and honestly, I enjoyed them more. My family is proud of me, our eldest daughter (19) told me she was really worried by my drinking last year..but didn't feel I would listen to her.
I know it's tough to buy into a book changing your life. I actually did better reading books than meeting clinical psychologists, I found it more depressing going to the hospital, talking about how I felt, when what I wanted to know was WHY was I feeling like this and how could I think differently to get out of it. Allen Carr's book fitted my thinking, it gave me facts, helped me realize how I ended up where I was and really laid out what you don't have if you drink. I can't think of anytime I actually enjoyed a hangover...
My drinking was part escape and part programmed...but, if I peel it right back, it was escape. I am now facing issues I have left open for years...and they actually are not that hard...