Do you think you’re a REAL alcoholic or just a problem drinker?

Do-you-think-you’re-a-REAL-alcoholic-or-just-a-problem-drinker

“The body achieves what the mind believes!”

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Do you think you’re a REAL alcoholic or just a problem drinker?

Do you think you’re a REAL alcoholic or just a problem drinker? Do you think AA is a solution to your problems? Do you believe you can or can’t control your actions by using your thoughts?

I’m Kevin O’Hara for Alcohol Mastery.
Today, I wanted to make a video about a comment I got on the Facebook page in response to one of my videos.
He said:

“Good ( perhaps ) for the Problem drinker
But NOT SO for the REAL Alcoholic . Mind over matter is of no use. We would have quit long ago if thinking yourself sober works.
Just saying.
AA works for countless x-problem drinkers & Real alcoholics.
I need not look further .
If it’s not broke … Don’t fix it”

There’s a basic truth in life, mind first, matter next, if you can believe you can achieve.

So many of the greatest thinkers our world has seen have reiterated this truth again and again.

Nikos Kazantzakis said “In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can.” Mind over matter!

Norman Vincent Peale, who wrote one of the first books on positive thinking said

“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”

Mind over matter!

William James, the father of American psychology said,

“Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.”

Mind first, matter second!

US President Theodore Roosevelt said,

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”

Mind over matter!

Henry Ford

“Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.”

Mind affecting matter!

Lincoln

“The best way to predict your future is to create it” …

He also said,

“Determine that the thing can and shall be done and we shall find the way.”

Mind controlling matter!

Thomas Edison

“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.”

Mind influencing matter!

What is this term REAL alcoholic that this guy is talking about? Is it a person who drinks every day, all day? Is it a person who only drinks spirits and needs to consume it all day, every day?

This all goes back to the belief that any alcohol drinking is normal. Some people love the tag alcoholic. They wear it as a badge of honor. They’d never admit it, but it’s true. They like playing the victim card, how their misery is much worse than yours, how their past story was filled with so much torment, and how you don’t know the meaning of suffering. I’ve heard this so many times in the comments to my videos, especially in YouTube. You’re not an alcoholic (Yes, I agree), you’re only a problem drinker, this is the general gist of the conversation. Then they go on to spout horror stories about how much they drank, what they did when they were drunk, how badly they treated other people and themselves. And they make sure that everyone knows that they were REAL alcoholics. And when you’re a REAL alcoholic, as this guy points out, mind over matter is of no use. He also says, we would have quit long ago if thinking yourself sober works.

I’m sorry to tell you this, but…

…thinking yourself sober is the only thing that works.

How else are you going to do this? How else are you going to quit drinking? How else are you going to prevent yourself from picking up another glass of alcohol?There is no magic wand that you can wave over yourself which will instantly make the alcohol disappear from your life. There is no pill that will take away the craving for booze. There might be pills that create blocks to your drinking, but at what cost? Once you stop using the pills, you go straight back to the cravings. The side effects alone are not worth it. What about the long term damage? I’ll do a video on my opinion about these in the future.

So the only thing that really works is mind over matter.

The only way you can stop drinking is to think yourself sober.

Even if you go to AA for the rest of your life, the only way to prevent yourself from taking another drink is to not do it. The only way of not doing it is to think about what you’re doing first. Before you take any action or don’t take any action, you have to think first. The thought comes first and then the action, that’s the way it works. No matter the way you stop, you first have to think you want to stop, then you have to plan how you’re going to stop, then you have to think your way through the plan, and put it into practice. This all takes thought first and action second.

MIND OVER MATTER!

The only reason we haven’t quit long ago is because we didn’t see anything wrong with what we were doing. This is what millions and millions of people are doing every day around the world, hiding from the truth about what they’re doing to themselves or being duped by other people who have a vested interest in them drinking and drinking and drinking. That’s the world we live in.

You say that AA works for countless x-problem drinkers & Real alcoholics. That all depends on your perception of working. There’s no statistical data that says it works. If you mean it gives people a tool to not put any more alcohol in their mouths, then yes, for some people I’d say it does work. But to me, it seems like many people are replacing one addiction with another, attending meetings. Instead of relying on themselves to not put any more alcohol into their bodies, they rely on an outside source –

the group, the sponsor, the higher power.

I’ve seen people with AA addictions for life. So when you say, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it, again it depends on your perspective. Now, it’s a much healthier addiction, physically speaking than drinking alcohol, I’ll give it that. But I’m not sure how healthy it is mentally to be continually surrounding yourself with horror stories, broken people, and people keeping referring back to the alcohol, referring to themselves as alcoholics. I left alcohol behind me the moment I stopped. It took a while to deal with my alcohol lifestyle, which is the real problem by the way, but once I had changed how I thought about alcohol, I could change how I lived my life. There’s that mind over matter again by the way.

I haven’t drank in over 3 years after drinking almost every day for 30 years. It wasn’t easy to get away from the mentality, the lifestyle, and the feeling that I was a bit odd for wanting to quit such a lovely habit of consuming rotten grape juice every night, but my life is a hundred times better without any form of alcohol in my life, physical or mental.

Rule your mind or it will rule youBuddha

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Until next time...
Onwards and Upwards!

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About The Author

Kevin O'Hara

If you want help quitting drinking alcohol, I recommend you join our Mastermind Coaching Program. Here you will find all the help you need with daily exclusive informative videos, Q&A's, and monthly Roundtables on relevant topics. The Mastermind Coaching Group has many supportive members at various stages of their journey. Here you'll find non-judgemental motivation, support, and accountability. Click here for more information.

21 Comments

  • ron

    Reply Reply March 24, 2016

    AA IS basically useless in my opinion in all the time i attended AA meetings 2 members had commited suicide and others had just changed there addictions to some other substance ,i left when i got sick of old Frank reliving his story over and over again ,to my mind these people are never really cured of drinking all there really doing is living in the past instead of the present moment i would seriously advise anybody thinking of attending AA to think again a 4% success rate is not good

  • Stephen

    Reply Reply March 24, 2016

    Very good video Kevin.

    ‘For things to change first I must change’
    ‘The answer lies within’

    The realisation that personal responsibility is required for real change to take place and no external source, power or authority can take care of that responsibility is where freedom begins. We cannot buy our way out of this responsibility or hand it over to someone else and the alcohol industry knows this. The alcohol industry just wants our money, period. The alcohol industry wants us to feel good, special and fashionable about our alcohol consumption and the industry invests a great deal of the profit that it makes from the sale of it’s products to convince us that we are actually in control and are free to choose this or that product that might represent a desire or encourage a belief that we are in control and improving our lives with alcohol. Drinking ‘Old Peculiar’ or ‘Hobgoblin’ will not turn me into some mythical wizard, hero or hobbit or allow me to reconnect with a time when people may have taken pride in being genuine and honest with there dealings with each other.

  • Teren

    Reply Reply March 24, 2016

    While I was drinking my world was consumed heavily with alcohol, both the use and the avoidance as situations dictated. I identified myself as both a refined wine drinker and a drunk, as I’d try to recreate the elegance of that first few drinks of a really nice pino noir until I was plastered, rude and unpleasant to be with.

    My life now is centred around clean healthy sobriety. Although I speak very little about my new path with others aside from my wife, I do read everything I can to increase my feelings of strength where this struggle is concerned.

    It is not a situation where I have physical cravings, but the psychological pull still exists, but it is not greater than my desire to maintain the non alcohol using life.

  • Rochelle Laszczak

    Reply Reply March 24, 2016

    GREETINGS KEVIN,

    YOU ARE 100% DEAD ON BALLS CORRECT!

    AND! EVEN THE HOLY BIBLE SAYS, ” AS A MAN THINKS SO SHALL HE BE”

    AT THE END OF THE DAY AND AFTER ONE’S AA MEETING, IT ALL COMES DOWN TO IF YOU! BELIEVE YOU CAN, YOU CAN. BELIEVE YOU CANNOT, YOU CANNOT.

    LISTENING TO PEOPLE’S HORROR/WAR STORIES IS POSITIVE/HELPFUL HOW?

    IT WAS GETTING REALLY DEPRESSING AND NOT HELPFUL AFTER A SHORT WHILE, GOING TO THESE DAMN MEETINGS, BUT I HAD AN OWI (OPERATING WHILE INTOXICATED) SO WAS ORDER BY THE COURT ( THEY DO NOT KNOW DICK, THEY JUST DO NOT HAVE A BETTER PLAN, JAILS ARE FULL, BUT THAT WOULD NOT HELP EITHER. OH, SORRY YOU DO GO TO THERAPY FOR SEVERAL WEEKS BUT AA IS A MUCH MUCH LONGER SENTENCE! LOL)

    CBT OR COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY IS BEST! SAME AS WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT AND YOU HAVE PROBABLY HEARD OF IT. THESE PEOPLE, MYSELF INCLUDED, HAVE UNDERLYING ISSUES. AA DOES NOTHING TO ADDRESS ANY OF THEM. SO BASICALLY, WE ARE LOOKING FOR ANSWERS FROM A BUNCH OF DYSFUNCTIONAL PEOPLE.

    SO I WENT TO AA – FOR SIGNATURES – ONLY! (WHICH AFTER A YEAR OR SO I JUST STARTED HAVING FRIENDS SIGN FOR ME BECAUSE I WAS WANTING TO DRINK MORE AFTER A MEETING!) THEY (PROBATION OFFICER AND ATTORNEY AT SECRETARY OF STATE) JUST GLANCE OVER THE SHEET AND TOSS IT IN A PILE OF OTHER WASTED TREES (PAPER). I HAVE SIGNED COUNTLESS SHEETS FOR PEOPLE W/ MY PHONE# AND WAS NEVER CALLED ONCE! EVER!!!

    INDIVIDUAL THOUGHT AND QUESTIONING ANYTHING ABOUT”AA” IS FROWNED UPON. AGAIN, HELPFUL HOW, EXACTLY?

    I LOVE THIS LINE I FOUND ONLINE; “TRYING TO OVERCOME ALCOHOL DEPENDENCY BY RELYING ON G.O.D. (GROUP OF DRUNKS) IS JUST FUCKING STUPID”

    NOTHING AGAINST GOD BECAUSE I AM A BIG TIME BELIEVER!

    I AM STILL LOVING MY FEW BEERS AFTER WORK SO STRUGGLING – NOT USING MY HEAD TO BE HONEST. EVEN A COUPLE MAKES IT HARD TO JUMP OUT OF BED THE NEXT MORNING.

    BUT! WHEN USING CBT, IT HAS WORKED! I HAVE TO STOP BEING LAZY BECAUSE OF STRESS. WE ALL HAVE IT FROM 1 DEGREE TO ANOTHER.

    THANK YOU, KEVIN AND I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO THE FOLLOWING VIDEO!

    ROCHELLE

  • Gerry

    Reply Reply March 24, 2016

    Hi Kevin
    I truly enjoy your videos. They are informative and motivational. My husband went into detox last November. He was in hospital for 6 weeks and then spent another few weeks in a nursing home. He has always been a so called high functioning alcoholic and held down an extremely demanding job as a college teacher. He retired in 2013 and since that time he has deteriorated.

    My brother in law has been with AA for 11 years and doesn’t drink now. I agree that he goes to a lot of meetings and sponsors people etc. he has tried to help my husband but he doesn’t want to quit drinking.

    I attend Alanon and it has been my saving grace. The God aspect or HP doesn’t have to represent Jesus Christ or anything like that. Some members are non believers. Also the biggest part of the program is about leaving the past in the past and moving forward with healthier choices about how to live happier.
    I don’t think AA is a lot different. I’ve been to some open mtgs to understand the nature of alcoholism and they don’t sit around moaning. But give each other support.
    Everyone is different. It might not be for everyone.
    Thanks Kevin.
    Keep posting.
    Gerry.

  • Paul

    Reply Reply March 24, 2016

    Hello Kevin.

    Like you I am an Ex Smoker & I found the Allen Carr way the key to my smoking addiction.

    Now in answer to our Mate who is obviously a “Real Alcoholic” I have to say the following.

    1) I drank every day. I ended up on a 134 units a week. This caused me health problems and kicked off a life time illness. I started in 1985. I could never stop. I guess that by our Mate’s standards I am just a lightweight problem drinker, because as of yet I have failed to crash the car & get arrested or failed to have a liver transplant. By now my “sissy problem drinking” if dealt with in 1985 would have purchased me a house.

    2) This man has clearly run out of excuses. Both you and Allen Carr are spot on with dispelling all the myths as to why we drink. What better way for our Mate to bolster his continued drinking with the ingenious excuse of “I only do it because I am a REAL ALCOHOLIC.” I say his continued drinking because I cant see a true ex practicing alcoholic begrudging any other route than the AA’s way out.

    3) AA – yes I have tried the meetings. They are a reasonable spring board to your first night off the booze. But the meetings are tinged with people who have yet to mentally free themselves from the chains of alcohol. I don’t think it helps the new AA member to find out that many of them are still going to the meetings ten, twenty or more after stopping drinking.

    4) When Allen Carr who you refer to as well 🙂 started his method it broke the mould in treatment of drug addictions. The answer is so simple and the path so easy it should have been the subject on every bodies lips. But I guess the booze and tobacco industries won’t like it, nor will some plush bottomed addiction specialist who is a professional. And the drug companies who make the pills & patches wont make any money either. Ha!

    Thanks again. Paul

  • Debra P

    Reply Reply March 25, 2016

    Thank you Kevin!! One of your best videos!!!

  • Peter

    Reply Reply March 25, 2016

    Another good video Kevin. It is true that AA is truly a surrogate for alcohol and you are dropping one addictive lifestyle for another. When I finally gave up alcohol I replaced it with an addiction to a web based discussion group that contained a large percentage of AA members. It really did seem to help me to interact with this group and I actually found some answers that worked for me. But once I basically understood and believed that alcohol was simply a bad thing for people to ingest (for a variety of legitimate reasons), I wanted to get on with my new sober life and I had a hard time leaving my support group. Ironically I had become “addicted” to this group and I had to make a conscious effort to say goodbye and leave them behind. I have one good friend who has been an active member of AA for over 30 years. I don’t think she believes she can stay sober without the tether to this group because AA has programmed her to believe she needs their support for the rest of her life. Good marketing.

  • Lisa Quick

    Reply Reply March 25, 2016

    Aloha Kevin! Whatever you’re doing, it’s obviously working for you. You look great! Big difference in your appearance since you first started posting videos. Congrats, and thank you for your videos.

  • Pamela

    Reply Reply March 25, 2016

    I really agree with your comments. I realise that it has nothing to do with how much a person drinks but rather why and coming to terms with a nice glass of wine is going to be a bottle before you even start. Some people like to wear a badge like I am a vegan or vegetarian or alchoholic. I gave up in January and had a week in Turkey recently and had a few drinks but one morning I had a hang over and spent a day feeling ill. The penny dropped that I will never waste another day of my life to this poison. I also found that this is a matter of choice and only we have the power within us to effect a change. I used to say that giving up smoking was the best thing I had done. Giving up alchohol has brought me peace and happiness beyond my expectations. As a society we feel it is someone else’s job to fix us and we want that to happen immediately. I feel AA feeds that mentality but hey if it works for some people then I can’t knock it. I am so glad I discovered KO and the weekly video shorts

  • Chris

    Reply Reply March 26, 2016

    Great video Kev, fully agree and with also with Pamela’s comment above that we seem to live in a culture that demands instant gratification or solutions from an outside source so we don’t have to take personal responsibility. It’s actually quite liberating when you realise that your future is in your own hands it just takes a bit of EFFORT. All the nonsense about a ‘higher power’ just doesn’t wash with most people who have a brain these days and for that reason AA is always going to be a non-starter for me.

  • Ian

    Reply Reply April 2, 2016

    AA has a high failure rate. But most readers of books like Kevin’s won’t succeed either. That’s no disrespect to Kevin. You can take a horse to water…… Kevin’s resources seem first class to me but so do AA’s. It all depends on what works for you. I’ve been to AA and I don’t want to drink afterwards. The horror stories usually end on a positive note and the people who attend are mostly positive people who want you to succeed. Other authors of books like Kevin’s seem to have used AA in their early months whilst achieving recovery and then stood on their own two feet, I fall down because I work most evenings and can’t get to meetings for days at a time and usually fail with this model as continual attendance in the early days is what is needed. I need another motivation to replace AA or to bridge the non attendance days until I can achieve recovery. I just read Kevin’s “How to Stop” book and have bought “Alcohol Freedom” to read this weekend. I’ve also signed up to the site, received my 2 ebooks and am looking forward to putting all this into practice. Why? Because I believe Kevin is really onto something here. The negative comments he received are completely wrong for the reasons Kevin states and because they’re from a guy who hasn’t even tried Kevin’s techniques. But the negative comments about AA are wrong too. AA works and has saved thousands of lives. It works well for chronic users who need personal, constant support in the early days. All the roads leads to Damascus but most people simply won’t get there. The ones that do will be saved. Or put another way, “horses for courses”. Thanks for your resources Kevin, I’m sure you’ll save many lives too over the years.

  • Joshua Hopson

    Reply Reply November 3, 2016

    Kevin,

    I’m 36 and been a complete lush since I was 16. I don’t expect you’ll read this comment nor do I expect to remember posting it as I’m a quarter way through a 12 pack I bought after waking up defeated by last night and just need to feel better (3 hours into your videos so I’m sure you understand).

    I woke up this morning a small, embarrassed man. I honestly thought nobody understands (lol you knew I’d say that).

    Tomorrow it will not own me,its too late for me today but tomorrow….btw we just met today:)

    Thank you for saving my life.

    Regards,

    Joshua

  • Bill Merrick

    Reply Reply June 17, 2017

    In the beginning, I joined AA because it seemed like the only game in town. It helped for a while, but I started having disagreements with their philosophy. I discovered that AA people dislike their program being criticized and will attribute any attempt to think for yourself as an attitude problem. I quit going and looked for other resources. The ones I found were all superior to AA. It made me feel sad and a little angry for the failure of this massive, self-serving bureaucracy to incorporate new knowledge and improve its approach. Yes, it has helped people, but it could’ve helped a lot more. It’s anonymity shields it from accountability.

  • Retha

    Reply Reply June 28, 2017

    I listen to your talks every day. It has helped me. I have been drinking for 57 years did AA one year. not going back. I have stopped it feels great.

  • Jesse

    Reply Reply August 5, 2017

    They covered this topic on an episode of “Bullsh*t”. Turns out the success rate for AA is 4%, and that is for all the people who come in. Many come in once, many are court ordered, others come in for months, only 4% remain long enough to succeed at quitting drinking.

    The success rate for those who try to quit on their own: also 4%.

    AA does not increase your chances one percentage point.

  • Rochelle

    Reply Reply September 23, 2017

    Couldn’t agree with you more Kevin. Because at the end of the day, I don’t care how many meetings you went to at AAA, you got to use your mind any way to discipline yourself to stay away from the booze if it’s causing problems in your life. And people know if it is or not. Thanks for all your videos. I don’t comment enough but I really appreciate that you’re out there.!!

  • Tricia

    Reply Reply November 11, 2017

    Hi Kevin, no, couldn’t deal with the despair, depression and dreaful moanings in AA; just need to get some joy into our lives – that doesn’t!!

  • Chris Henning

    Reply Reply November 17, 2017

    I tried AA and it did not work for me personally. It kind of made me feel even worse about myself. I’m doing your online course on Udemy. How to stop drinking Alcohol. Best money I’ve spend in my life. Thanks so much Kevin for your help.

  • Jen

    Reply Reply February 15, 2018

    Great video. It is ultimately up to us. When and if we decide that a life with alcohol in it is not working at all any longer, it’s time to quit. People have taken many routes and AA is one of the oldest. AA only has a 25-27% success rate so I am not sure that it is a grand idea to go through life thinking that you will always be an alcoholic. The way we think and the way we feel creates our personal reality and ultimately becomes our personality. If we change the way we think and feel about our relationship to alcohol, we will change our personal reality and thus create a new life for ourselves. There’s a great book I have recently read called, Sober for Good: New Solutions for Drinking Problems – Advice from Those Who Have Succeeded by Anne M. Fletcher. She interviewed hundreds of people who have quit and how they did it. It’s a very informative resource. I ultimately had to do this on my own (with help from your videos). I had to decide that I wanted to feel better, spend my time more productively and not miss so much of life because I wasn’t present and clear. I don’t want to think of myself as a person with a problem for the rest of my life. I like to think of myself as someone that can create changes in my life that I desire. Gotta tell a new story about the future! Thanks, Kevin….for all the good information. Jen

  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply April 29, 2018

    LOVE THIS MAN. JUST PLAIN LOVE HIM!!! SOBER FOR A MONTH NOW AFTER OVER 20 YEARS OF SERIOUS PROBLEM DRINKING AND HE IS REALLY TRULY HELPING ME THROUGH!!!

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