How to Quit Drinking without Alcoholics Anonymous. Does this work?

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The "CORE" Process= Commit,Objectify,Respond,Enjoy How to Quit Drinking without Alcoholics Anonymous Edited byJames Quirk and 40 others Article Edit Discuss History Quit Drinking without Alcoholics Anonymous Many people who recognize that they have a drinking problem aren’t aware that there are alternatives to Alcoholics Anonymous. This article, for example, outlines the CORE process, which stands for Commit, Objectify, Respond, Enjoy. By employing these simple techniques, you can beat the bottle quietly -- and for free -- in the dignity of your own home. 1 Understand why you drink. Before you can use the CORE process effectively, it’s vital that you recognize the problem. In Alcoholics Anonymous, alcoholism is viewed as a disease which only a Higher Power can help you with; outside AA, however, there are other models of alcohol dependence. One useful way to look at a drinking problem is to view it in terms of survival instincts. The brain is divided into two basic parts, which we will call the human brain (you) and the animal brain (it). The animal brain is concerned only with survival, and when you are chemically dependent on alcohol, it falsely thinks that you need alcohol to survive. Because of this, you could call it the "booze brain." If you don't understand how the booze brain works, it can easily trick the human brain (you) into drinking. 2 Commit yourself to permanent abstinence from alcohol. You do not need alcohol to survive. Make a plan to quit for good. When you're ready, say the words "I will never drink again." Pay attention to how you feel. If you are scared, panicked, angry, depressed, or feeling badly in some way, that’s the booze brain at work. And, in all honesty, you WILL feel bad at first. Your body has been operating with this chemical for...however long. It thinks it needs it. It has to learn how to operate without it now, and learning has a curve. Give it time to learn. Your neurons, which have been dulled by booze for quite some time, and now are all a-buzz with activity, which means that resting and sleep will probably be hard to get for a couple of days. In the meantime, your booze brain will tell you lies; call it a liar and watch late-night TV till it passes! 3 Objectify your booze brain. The human brain is much smarter than the booze brain, which doesn't understand that you can live without alcohol. You can outsmart your booze brain by learning to think of it as something other than yourself as well as hear when it’s speaking to you. Objectify it by saying "it wants a drink" instead of "I want a drink." When you objectify the booze brain, you realize that it has no power over you. You are in control and it is an outsider. All it can do is try to trick you into drinking, but you can outsmart it every time. It will try anything to get you to drink because it falsely believes that you need to drink to survive. If you are feeling bad, it will tell you to drink to feel better. If you are feeling good, it will tell you to drink to party or celebrate. In fact, it will try to use any event in your life (good or bad) as an excuse to drink. Whenever you have any thought or feeling that suggests drinking, that is the booze brain trying to trick you. 4 Respond to your booze brain by saying "never" whenever you hear it asking for a drink. This causes the booze brain to back down because it recognizes that it is not in control and there is no way it can force you to pour alcohol down your throat. It will try many different ploys to trick you into drinking (especially at first), but now that you have this information, you will know what it is up to every time. Remember, any thought or feeling that suggests drinking at any time is the booze brain at work. When you recognize it, just tell it "I never drink" and continue with whatever you were doing. Don't argue with it; just tell it that you never drink. If your friends offer you a drink, say "No thanks, I'm quitting." You can also say "I'm slowing down" or even just "No, thanks" if you don’t want to get into it. However, if the people in your circle tend to drink, it’s probably best that you be up-front with them so they can support you by being discrete. If they don’t support your decision, find new friends. Your booze brain will get more and more discouraged as time goes on, bothering you less and less. Before too long, you'll be an expert at dealing with your booze brain, making it easy to stay sober. 5 Enjoy your recovery from alcohol dependence. When you decide to quit drinking forever, one of the first difficulties you will face is simply dealing with the day-to-day reality without alcohol. If you sit at home with nothing to do, your booze brain will pester you for a drink and it will be very difficult to make it stop because your human brain is idle. This is why you will need to develop something to occupy your human brain. Find (or rediscover) hobbies that give you something to show for your time. Get in shape, fix up an old car, or start a new relationship. Learn to cook, play an instrument, decorate, or go out with (sober) friends. Write helpful articles on wikiHow. Set aside the money you used to spend on drinking and watch your piggy bank grow. Celebrate every sober anniversary whether it’s a week or a decade: things are going to keep getting better from here on out. Don't be afraid that you’ll slip or relapse: that fear is the booze brain at work trying to give you an excuse to give up. Eventually, the CORE process becomes automatic, meaning you won't have to make a big effort to stay sober. You may feel bad, angry, sad, or depressed at times, but that's normal. If the booze brain tries to use these feelings as excuses to drink, you’ll know what it’s up to and how to deal with it. You’re better, smarter, funnier, wittier, and even taller when you stand up to your booze brain!
Trisha K.'s picture

I have one question or maybe concern, why wasn't medical treatment discussed initially or throughout the process?
“The more I traveled the more I realized that fear makes strangers of people who should be friends.” Shirley MacLaine
Marko D'polo's picture

if all you want to do is quit drinking, that's not so hard. What's hard is getting to root causes in your life and changing your perception of yourself and the fear based thinking you family of origin most likely bestowed upon you. This "booze brain" concept is a way of avoiding the real issue. Blaming a substance is a loop hole. I didn't have a drinking problem, I had a drinking solution. I was the problem. My fear based thinking was the problem. Lots of people agree.
Clara's picture

I did all of those things in AA except objectifying my brain and calling my alcoholism my alter ego or "the enemy" and giving it a name so that I could talk to it. While I think SMART has some merit, it just lifts alot of AA into it. But, yes, we talk about it in Living Sober. Many of what you listed are in that book. "Move a muscle, change a thought" covers taking up new interests that probably eluded you while drinking. Going out with sober friends isn't much different than recognizing that there is a certain amount of changing of people, places and things that needs to take place, particularly in the beginning. You don't owe people explantions as to why you aren't drinking. You could be taking medication that would conflict with that, might just not feel like it... I never wanted people to feel uncomfortable about drinking around me, and I thought explanations would create just talk that I didn't need to have at the moment. Of course, the easiest part of that was just to go out for breakfast or lunch where my friends generally didn't drink, anyway.
Remember Christopher Stevens when you vote.

I agree with what you've said about the fear based thinking and changing your perception of yourself. I get that. The problem that I found in AA is that most of the meetings I went to, people I spoke to, literature I read, failed to address this appropriately. I found that more fear was being piled on and that admitting powerlessness could only add to an already horrendous self-perception.
"If I forget who I am, I am myself. If I remember who I am, I am you."
justme's picture

But the part I don't like about it is the committing yourself to total abstinence. I don't want to do that. Why do people have to commit themselves to total abstinence? This is the part I don't understand.

I know with every fiber of my being that I cannot drink at all and expect it to end well. I've tried and failed again and again. I'm not willing to experiment with it again as I'm not willing to end up where I was when I was finally able to stop drinking. It's simply not worth it.
"If I forget who I am, I am myself. If I remember who I am, I am you."