Easy Way to Control Alcohol a Book Review

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When writing My Top 10 Most Influential Books in my Life, I considered writing them in an order of influence, as I thought it would heighten the anticipation for the reader.

Instead, I decided a more educational method was to write them in chronological order. That way, not only could you learn from the inspiration behind why the book had such a profound effect on me, but also see my journey unfold.

But if I had placed them in order of influence, then this would have topped the list.

It changed everything.

13-years ago, when my son was born, I read The Easy Way to Stop Smoking, by Allen Carr, and instantly gave up a habit that I had tried, and failed, to quit on multiple occasions.

Smoking is one of the world’s biggest killers, but in my view, alcohol is far more damaging. Pitching smoking in a battle with alcohol would be like throwing me into the ring with Mike Tyson. Alcohol is the invisible killer; the destroyer of families, the creator of lies and deceit that creates a powerful illusion that nobody even sees coming.

The first time I drank was stealing alcohol from my parent’s drinks cabinet. To avoid detection we smuggled small amounts of various bottles into a single two-litre bottle of devastation. It tasted disgusting and I was violently sick before passing out in the middle of a football field. I was 14 or 15-years of age.

It was no big deal.

All adult’s drank alcohol. My teachers received bottles of wine for Christmas, and I always left a can of Carling Black Label for Santa.

It was never a matter of ‘if’, it was always a case of ‘when.’

When you are young, drinking alcohol seems fun.

Uncle Freddy makes you laugh when he bursts into your house after spending hours in the pub. He plays with you, and you like that. He sneaks you a quid, winks and tells you not to tell your parents. He stinks, but it’s a smell you have associated with Dad.

A smell of love.

You go to sleep and dream of growing up happy like Uncle Freddy.

As you fall into slumberland Uncle Freddy is telling his wife to fuck off. What does she know about anything? He proceeds to puke on the floor and falls asleep at the top of the stairs.

I drank that poison, under the illusion that it provided me with benefits, for over two decades.

All it brought me was abject misery.

Then, one day, while I was walking through a bookstore, I saw Easy Way to Control Alcohol. It piqued my interest.

Could I?

Dare I?

I was attracted to the word control because total abstention seemed improbable. My whole life was built around alcohol. It was part of my foundation, my values and my beliefs. Everyone that I knew drank alcohol. How could I function without it?

Then I started to read.

Memories came racing back from that dark place.

I remembered how Easy Way to Stop Smoking had change my life. Quitting smoking was simple. Was alcohol going to be as easy? Perhaps I could function without it?

As I licked the thumb and forefinger a part of my life was left behind on each page. I had gone from trying to control alcohol to wanting to destroy it.

When I closed the book – I was free.

I was normal, an alcoholic, and normal again. All in the time that it took me to get from start to finish.

For the next three and a half years I abstained from drinking alcohol just like I had abstained from smoking.

But the journey was very different.

Smokers realise that smoking is stupid, but they feel powerless to stop. When you quit smoking your loved ones don’t convince you to return to the ways of the yellow spindly fingers. They know it’s lethal, and so they support your stance.

With drinking it is different.

Society is not ready for people to tell them that alcohol offers them no benefits. When you stop drinking alcohol people become afraid of you. You are given the label ‘strange’. Your friends and family think there is something wrong with you.

And it makes sense right?

You are the minority, so how could the majority be wrong?

Without a need to drink poison, there is no longer a need to visit the places that serve it. Your friends are still there, but having a conversation with someone who is legless – while you are legless – is a different experience than having that same conversation when you are sober. It is a socially awkward and unpleasant experience. All of a sudden the parties you used to frequent become places of terror.

Once again Allen Carr had changed my life, but this time it was different. Not only had Carr shown me the myth behind the booze, but he also gave me the belief that I could achieve anything.

How powerful is that?

I personally know hundreds of people, and not one of them had given up drinking apart from Grandad.

Can you see where this belief of invincibility came from?

If the world could be fooled into believing that the consumption of a poisonous substance can provide you with a benefit, then what else was I not seeing with these socially controlled eyes?

Allen Carr had peeled back my eyelids. Suddenly the world looked very different to me, and I set about changing every aspect of my life.

Everything changed.

Life became magical

Do you want to feel what I feel?

Read the book, and I promise you that a new world of possibilities becomes available to you.

I successfully quit drinking using the Allen Carr method and I am still sober five years later. Carr’s book is a great tool if you want to quit drinking, but I have learned that there is more to it than that. I have learned of the need to make other changes in your life to continue a life of sobriety. 

Are you ready to change your life?

Are you ready to quit drinking?

Why not e-mail me at needyhelper@gmail.com and hire me as your coach?

10 Other Books That Changed My Life

1. The Easy Way to Control Alcohol by Allen Carr

2. The Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Allen Carr

3. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

4. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

5. The Key to Living the Law of Attraction by Jack Canfield and D.D.Watkins

6.The Success Principles by Jack Canfield

7. Time Power by Brian Tracey

8. Lean Thinking by James P.Womack & Daniel T.Jones

9. The Machine That Changed The World by James P.Womack, Daniel Roos & Daniel T.Jones

10. The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt and Jeff Cox

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Thanks- this is wonderful stuff.

    • Lee Davy says:

      You’re welcome.

      • I gave up smoking with Allen Carr. After a recent health scare and many years of binge drinking I decided to look into “controlling” my intake which was my idea of getting to grips with what I had realized had become a habit out of control. I was hoping to not drink in the week and then have alcohol on the weekends. I found Allen Carr’s book and I was really hopeful and positive reading the book. However, when it got to the point where I realized I would actually have to cut drinking out of my life altogether I became afraid. Rationally, I do understand every point Carr is making, well, except for one – just because alcohol has a vile taste by itself does not mean it should be avoided as a poison. As a kid I hated brussel sprouts, and still do but can stomach them with lots of herbs and some cheese. Also, who would eat escargot without the delicious garlic sauce, so yes, not palatable by itself, but still pretty good mixed with something else. Doubt there is anyone out there who is going to tell me that the bitter taste of brussel sprouts is because it is actually a poison. Anyway, that isn’t even the stumbling block for me. But what I am battling with is this idea of never drinking wine again. So many of my relationships are built around alcohol. I know, that sounds pathetic but it happens to be true. My father-in-law is a wine collector with several thousand bottles in his cellar. My brother is a brewer and my grandfather owned a brewery. Both my husband and I have done courses on wine tasting, grown up in wine country and at one point seriously considered buying a vineyard. My best friend, who comes to stay with me, when my husband is on a business trip, loves her red wine and talking into the wee hours. None of these people get smashed to the point that they are offensive, or vomit or do anything equally disgusting, and nor do I. Sitll, I know I drink too much and too often. A bottle every night is not good and I know it is wrecking my health (my liver function tests are slightly abnormal and no cause can be found – I am sure it is because of the 20 years of daily wine consumption). I am what some people would call a functioning alcoholic. I do not miss work because I have imbibed the night before although I might feel exhausted and that is something I could do without; I never drink in the day (even on weekends). So, all I was hoping for is to cut out the daily evening wine and go and have a merry time on the weekends. But, that is “not getting it” and I know I am not really getting it. I am so scared of coming home after a busy day at work and not having that wine. I can’t imagine spending time with the in-laws and not trying wine from the cellar; I don’t know how it would be having my wine-loving best friend over to stay when I don’t drink. So, while I would really like to get the message and be done with alcohol, I just “don’t feel it” – if you know what I mean. There is still a little voice in me that tells me that social interactions require alcohol to relax and have fun. Yeah, I know, not good and I hope you can help me because intellectually, I understand it all, and wish I could stop drinking forever. Hope this is confidential, because none of my colleagues or friends suspect I drink the amount I do as always quite controlled in company (I live in a small town).
        Help.

        • Lee Davy says:

          Hi Jane,

          Thanks for writing such a long comment. I really appreciate it and hope I can help you.

          I’m not sure you understand the point that Allen Carr is trying to make when he says that alcohol doesn’t taste nice, and it may help to go back over that part of the book.

          Alcohol on its own tastes poisonous because it poisonous. It is made to taste palatable by the introduction of a variety of different ingredients. Take wine for example. It’s the fruit, sugars and other ingredients that help the alcohol become palatable. So why drink alcohol? It cannot be for the taste and therefore it must be for another reason. If it was for the taste then we would just drink lot’s of sugary, fruity drinks instead.

          People are convinced that they like the taste of alcohol because to admit otherwise would mean that they have willingly spent thousands on pounds drinking something they don’t even like. You can’t win in a war with your own mind when it is hellbent on its refusal to budge.

          The Brussel Sprouts comparison is somewhat different. I know because it’s the only type of food I refuse to eat today. I believe I don’t eat Brussel Sprouts because I hated them so much when I was younger. I built up such a story in my mind that nobody could convince me otherwise – they are foul (same trick people use to believe alcohol tastes nice). But now I know my mind helped to create a monster (Sprouts are horrible but it isn’t like eating rat poison) I could easily eat them again, but I choose not too because I have other healthy choices.

          Sprouts are good for you. This means that if there was no other alternative on the planet I may eat them, but there are so I don’t have to. Alcohol is not good for you. It slowly kills you and destroys your life. Even if the idiots that preach that drinking a glass of red wine helps the heart are right, there are other more healthier alternatives like going for a run around the block.

          There are very few people whose lives are not intertwined with alcohol. Each individual has a choice and they have to take 100% responsibility for the decisions they make in their life. I understand your concerns but you have to make decisions that improve your health and well being. Are you afraid your friends would leave you if you stopped drinking? If they did what type of friends would that make them? If you stopped drinking and suddenly found you had very little in common with them, that what does that tell you?

          There is no beating around the bush. One of the major reasons people do not quit is because of the peer pressure of those that surround them. You feel as you are in the minority that there must be something wrong with you. Why can’t there be something wrong with every one else? This is a really tough spot and one that takes a lot of work before you build up the courage to be different and look after number one.

          I feel your pain, worry, concern and confusion. I too went through everything you are pondering right now so I know how difficult it can be.

          If you really truly want to quit drinking then maybe the Lean Life coaching course can help you.

          Lee

          • Thanks. That’s certainly food for thought. What is the Lean Life coaching course?

            Jane

          • Lee Davy says:

            Hi Jane,

            It’s a six week coaching course where I help people create better habits than the ones they currently have. I help people improve their lives.

            Lee

            Lee

          • Hi thanks for the reply. But why is there no REPLY option? Do I only get one shot at answering your replies? Anyway, I had a look at the 6 week lean living course. How does one connect for the first session? When you say it is a lot of work, can people do it who work all day every day? Any more info? Any testimonials? Forgive me for asking, but how do I know this is indeed a good course for me to do? How long have you been doing this? And do you have any psychological training? Just questions I have.
            Thanks
            Jane

          • Lee Davy says:

            Hi Jane,

            I don’t know why you can’t reply to my reply? I guess it must be the software on the site I use. Send me a note to lee.davy@btopenworld.com so I can pick up your e-mails and we can chat that way.

            Thanks

            Lee

          • Hi Jane,

            I too read the book a long time ago, and though I quit with Carr’s method on smoking, I didn’t on the drinking.

            The initial reason I think I didn’t quit when reading Carr’s book was, I was simply afraid that the connection my bf of many years and I felt over having a bottle of wine (well me one bottle, him two, and maybe a few beers after that) would disintegrate.

            I find myself in a similar situation now. I want to quit, but my new love likes 2 bottles between us at the weekends. I can tell there is the same “need” there as I have, even though we don’t talk about it and keep it casual about that fact and are happy. And while my mom didn’t used to drink more than a glass, it has started to move into problem territory. These are the most important people in my life.

            I have now remembered, I quit smoking while living with that last guy. My friends still smoked, as did he. I just didn’t mind! The point was, I was who I had always been. People who drink/smoke are just worried you will disapprove. You can and will have exactly the same fun you had with them as when you were drinking. They are still funny and you will still be relaxed. You won’t be a killjoy and won’t lose the ones you love. Just don’t say a WORD about their drinking and enjoy their company.

          • Lee Davy says:

            Hey Rachel,

            Thanks for supporting Jayne.

            Lee

  2. Thanks for a very personal review of this book. I’ve become interested in Allen Carr partially through observing the behaviour of a friend who used him to quit smoking. I was surprised at how relaxed he seemed to be when he quit. I haven’t actually read any of his stuff, just reviews and videos of him. He certain seems to perform miracles.

    I haven’t given up Alcohol, but I’ve moderated my use of it dramatically. I liked what you said about ‘there’s no welcoming committee offering you fags when you give up’.

    I agree with you, loads of people just don’t get it. Which, I personally don’t understand – don’t they feel like shit the day after? It’s also disturbing to see someone get progressively drunker, when you’ve only had one or two yourself.

    I can also related to what you said about all adults being drinkers. I really thought that was one of the markers of an adult.

    Good luck with your book.

    • Lee Davy says:

      Hi Chris,

      I believe that everybody who drinks realises how stupid it actually is, but they are so afraid of change that they will never admit it. I even know some people who admit that it is stupid and still refuse to change! The same can also be true of life. How often do you hear people say, “I know my life is awful but what else can I do,” followed by the same old thing? It is fear! Fear that is so strong that people would rather smoke and drink themselves into an early grave rather than try to change.

      This is what this blog is all about Chris. I want to show people the way. I want people to read something I have written and think, “bollocks to it…let’s have a go!”

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and I hope you come back and comment som more in the future.

      Regards

      Lee

  3. Fascinating review. I read the book on 7th April 2007. The next day I was a non- drinker. Interesting what you said about the ‘welcoming commitee’, you hit the nail on the head.

    Does this mean you restarted drinking?

    My family were shocked when I quit suddenly. For smokers, if you quit, everyone says ‘Great!!!’. When drinkers quit everyone says ‘but why?’. Big difference. My best friend keeps complimenting me on my amazing willpower! Little does he know it requires none.

    Interesting you used the word ‘abstain’. I always think that’s the wrong word, it smacks of discipline & self-denial. Eg I don’t abstain from heroin! It’s just not a factor as I have no desire. It would be more proper to say ‘I have as much desire to drink as I have to take heroin, ie, none.’

    • Hi Paul,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      Yes, I did restart drinking and I am really glad that I did – I learned a lot from the experience. I have not drunk a drop for 18-months since drinking for a few months.

      Great point about the word ‘abstain’ I guess I never really thought about it and the word must have just rolled off the keyboard. You are right though because I have absolutely no desire to drink.

      Lee

  4. Hi Lee

    I read your review with great interest. I read Allen Carrs Easyway to Control Alcohol book a few years ago when I wasn’t ready to. I enjoyed it until the part when he said not to drink again. Then after many MORE disasters, I reread it in November 2012 and happily never touched a drop for 5 weeks. It was bliss. I felt absolutely great!! Then for some reason, I had some wine on Christmas day (well, who doesn’t?). I then had 2 glasses of wine on boxing day (well, I was dining out) On 30th December 2012 I got my adorable boyfriend back. He didn’t want to be near me when I had a drink in me. Fair enough. However, I went to a New Years party and had a few too many and by the end of 1st Jan 2013 I’d lost him again, for good no doubt.Yes, 48 hours to wreck it all again. In desperation, (and presuming Allen carr was just one guy with an opinion) I attended an AA meeting last night. I despised it with a passion despite the fact I have an overwhelming desire to stop drinking. I now truly do believe Carr is spot on with what he says and I am also reading Jason Vale – Kick the Drink, Easily (which is suspiciously like Carrs Easyway book) I realise even more that the ‘pleasure and benefits of alcohol’ are myths believed by the majority of adults in our society. Something which my very straight laced, wine drinking, sensible sister dismissed instantly as if I was the one in denial about how pleasureable alcohol is!! Why then do I still worry that social events in the future will never be the same without alcohol when I know deep down it will actually making them less pleasureable? This is what I can’t get my head round this and its bugging the life out of me.

    • Hi Karin,

      I am currently helping someone quit alcohol through a six week programme I have devised. Eventually the website will be changed to enable this product to be available to people. In the meantime if you are interested in the programme please contact me at lee.davy@btopenworld.com and I will explain more about it in more detail.

      In terms of enjoying sociable events when you have quit drinking alcohol. This is one area I seriously disagreed with Allen Carr about. He advocates that you shouldn’t change your social scene, but how can you derive enjoyment out of the intermingling of people who are off their faces, talking nonsense and repetitively to boot? Now if you exist in a world where everyone drinks in moderation then this is different. You can have fun in this environment. Not me unfortunately. Where I live people drink to get drunk and that is not a crowd you want to be with when the clock strikes midnight.

      Lee

  5. I just finished The Easyway to Quit Drinking last night. At the beginning of the book, Mr. Carr recommends to continue drinking while reading unless you’ve been sober for more than a day. Since I had (due to a tremendous New Year’s Eve hangover) I kept going through the book, and I took my time, getting every point clearly in my head. Three days later I had the last six-pack I ever want to have. I did just what Mr. Carr recommended. I really focused on the taste and it’s foulness and fully realized that the only reason I drank was for the effect–for the perceived “crutch” of it all–and that it was something I couldn’t continue doing, especially knowing that I didn’t enjoy it at all. Minus that last six-pack, I’ve been sober 6 days but I’m feeling great. I’m staying positive. I’m not ready to go and hang out with friends who drink or go to a bar with friends yet, but I’m actually excited at the prospect of going to a bar, ordering a water, and not making a big deal out of my sobriety while seeming calm and comfortable as ever. I’ve already shed 4 lbs. in 6 days (and I’ve been exercising more because I’ve been able to) and it all has to do with the changed perception that I’ve gotten from Allen Carr’s book.
    Thanks for the review and thank you for the blog letting me know that there are others out there that understand the trap and know the reality of alcohol addiction. I’ll keep coming back to get more words of support and hopefully have some comments that will help support others. Thanks again. —-Jason

    • Jason,

      That is an amazing, inspirational story. I love it when people stop drinking alcohol. I just hope that the message spreads far and wide, so that one day it becomes as sad and tragic as smoking is.

      Keep in touch. If things ever get difficult for you then I am here to offer support, encouragement and an ear.

      Regards

      Lee

  6. Charlene Potterbaum says:

    Hey, lee–I think it is wonderful that you are reaching out to others the way you do. I grew up with an alcoholic, but my daddy was too poor to even be considered an alcoholic, so he was referred to as a “drunk”. As I look back, I am so pleased that he was never a violent “drunk.” But, he drank up all the money my poor Mom needed to feed us five kids, so when I was little I always thought of her as the “mean guy” in this drama they’d created because SHE was always beating up on HIM! It took many hours in Al-anon for me to realize that she was not the crazy one…just the angry one. It made for a very sad childhood, but out of it came someone who made an inner decision never to mess with it, after seeing what devastation it could cause…but alas, one of my children–not having been exposed to what alcohol could do to a life–decided to embrace it as a life-style–so, history repeats itself once again….Char (but I am grateful that he is not a “mean” drunk, either. There aren’t too many who aren’t…)

    • Lee Davy says:

      Hi Char,

      I was the total opposite. Both my parents have drunk a lot their entire lives (it’s just a working class UK thing). I saw that it damaged people and, in particular, relationships. But when I was older I drank all the same. But when I was 21-years old I started to write a lot of poems and songs about the idiocy and damage that alcohol brings to people’s lives. It took be 13-years to eventually quit, but I guess I always knew that something was not quite right with the fact that I was pouring poison down my throat. The average man will spend £100,000 in their lifetime on this filth and yet so many people complain of lack. It’s utterly ridiculous. The biggest con the world ever produced.

      Thanks for spending some time here today.

      Lee

  7. I am nearly at the end of Carr’s book. I haven’t had a drink for a week. I love his approach and managed dinner out without wine last night (i admit just with my hubby and kids) However I am dreading bigger social functions. I live in Melbourne and we are a Foodie city with lots of great bars and restaurants. There is booze everywhere. Everyone is a “normal” “controlled”drinker but it is still poison and that is how I am going to think of it.
    Cheers with a ginger and soda water

    • Hi Katie,

      I think this works differently for different people so my story may not be the same as yours, nevertheless, maybe you can draw something from it.

      I too dreaded social functions when I finished the book. But my reasons were slightly different than yours. I knew that there was no way I could enjoy myself in the company of my drunken friends if I was sober. By the time I had finished Carr’s book I realised that alcohol offered me ‘zero’ benefits, and this included drinking it just so I could try and interact better with my drunken friends. Four years later and the thought of that statement makes me feel remarkably stupid.

      In the end I stopped going to these social occasions. Do I miss them? Not at all. The only time I go out with my friends who drink is to play poker. I can quite easily sit with them and play poker all night while they drink. As soon as one of them gets so drunk they start to spoil my night then I will leave. But there seems to be something about poker that calms them down. Maybe they drink slower? Maybe they are concentrating on the game? Whatever it is, it allows them to still function and have funny and interesting conversations with me. It is this that I crave and why I go out to social functions. But when they cross that line and get drunk. Thats when the conversation ends and it is no longer fun.

      I was able to stop going to the social functions because I realised they weren’t fun. In fact, they were painful. I never wanted to drink alcohol in order to get ‘on the same level’ as my friends because this way of thinking is flawed. If you believe that there is some value in drinking connected with being able to socialise with your friends, then you haven’t’got it’ so to speak and there is more work to do.

      If you want to go out with your friends and drink water then do so. Just be prepared for how boring you may find it. When you do, ask yourself this question, “Does alcohol actually make my life less boring?” If you are not sure then lock yourself away in a room on your own, without any mobile phone, conversation, TV, books or radio and drink. Whilst you do this ask yourself if the drink is helping relieve you of your boredom. You will find its incredibly boring. Social occasions are not boring because of the people you are with are funny, charming and have great things to talk about. The alcohol removes all of these niceties. Not in all…but in most.

      Keep in touch and let me know how you your first experiences are.

      You can keep in touch with me here or on my Facebook page.

      Lee

  8. Miranda Smith says:

    I agree with you that Allen Carr should have been knighted. The most bewildering thing about his method is the fact that anyone smokes or drinks anymore, as he has it all worked out so brilliantly. The brainwashing we receive from birth about alcohol being a normal and natural part of everyday life is a killer.

    I finished reading the book a week ago and have had a fantastic week enjoying life free from alcohol. I am 39 and my story is similar to others – gradually increasing my drinking over a period of years until I was drinking nearly a bottle of wine every evening, starting to drink a little earlier so by 5pm I’d be wondering how soon I could have a drink (that was what made me decide I had to stop), hiding bottles, trying to conceal how much I was drinking by having two bottles open so it was less obvious, topping up with a little port or sherry at the end of the evening, drinking until the effect started to take hold. I have a lovely life – a fantastic husband, four lovely, healthy kids, a house, a fulfilling job. No reason to try to alter my state of mind every day.

    Every day I woke up with a sense of remorse and shame for drinking too much the day before, vowing to change. Worried about driving the kids to school in case I was over the limit. Fuzzy headed, thinking about going back to bed when I got home. Putting on weight. What a ridiculous way to live, when the source of it is completely unnecessary, tastes disgusting, costs a fortune and does nothing for you.

    I’m so happy that I’m free and I intend never to drink again. What you said about the welcoming committee is fascinating though – even my husband said “But are you sure you don’t want to drink again? You like it.” We went to a friends’ house the other day and I ended up drinking some vile low calorie ginger beer as they couldn’t accept that I just wanted a glass of water. One of the things that Allen Carr said was that it doesn’t make your friends have a less good time if you’re not drinking – but they seem to have a hard time believing that!

    I will have another look at the book, but my recollection is that Allen Carr doesn’t suggest avoiding social situations, but that you work out which friends you actually want to see – the ones who you only saw because you were drinking with them may not be real friends; the ones who were friends who you also drank with you should maintain a relationship with.

    • Hi Miranda,

      Thanks for taking the time to write a long and meaningful post.

      I just want to give you a great big cyber hug for joining the minority in the world. Go girl, I am so proud of you. Isn’t the brainwashing angle so funny. So many critics of the methodology complain that it is all brainwashing yet blissfully unaware that they too are drinking because they were brainwashed in the first place.

      You are going to be facing a lot of challenges in the coming years. Notice I said years and not days, weeks or months! This doesn’t mean you will be constantly battling with the thought of returning to drink – because you won’t – but your life will change. Your friends and family will find it more difficult to adjust to the ‘new you’than you will to them. This will put a lot of pressure on you, but I know you are strong enough to deal with it because you gave up drinking.

      I want you to know that I am here to support you. Please become a member of my Facebook page and interact with me on there also. If you have any questions or feel you need any help then get in touch.

      Congratulations and well done.

      Lee

    • Miranda,
      First, congratulations on being happy and free! I totally agree with your last paragraph. If you can’t hang around your friends sober while they are drinking then maybe they weren’t the best kind of friend to begin with. Personally, I am surrounded by loving and thoughtful people. They were never my “drinking” or “party” friends – drinking was just one part of our already great friendships. They may never fully understand or see alcohol the way I do now (I was quite the avid wino partier – nothing was complete without a bottle of prosecco or malbec) but they support me nonetheless. And just because they get drunk and tipsy and begin to slur their words or get a little over-affectionate, it doesn’t make them inherently less interesting or fun to me. They are smart, happy people – they don’t instantly become complete idiots everytime they imbibe. I should also say that I am in no way less social as a non drinker. In fact, maybe even more social because now I no longer have any worries about the when/where/whats of drinking. I dance my butt off at weddings and concerts and talk to even more people than I did as a drinker. Quitting alcohol just brought out the best in me. And if I had any friends who weren’t cool with that, so be it. But I’m a lucky lady. Some even admire what I’ve done because I am proof that life is brilliantly beautiful without booze. Some are even considering it themselves.
      All the best to you in life’s journey!

      • Lee Davy says:

        Hi Kia,

        Thanks for your wonderful words.

        I think you make a very good point regarding the changes to ones social life when one decides to stop drinking. It’s all about choice and to hell with the excuses. I think I have made too many excuses not to socialise, when i could make a choice to socialise more and enjoy myself.

        Overall, I am happy with the decisions that I make, but understand I have work to do when it comes to building a new circle of friends, or retaining my existing ones.

        Good look on your journey and keep in touch.

        Lee

        • Miranda Smith says:

          Thank you Lee and Kiah for your encouragement. I am just over 3 weeks into my F-R-E-E-D-O-M and despite a tough time for other reasons (serious and sudden family illnesses) I haven’t considered having a drink once and indeed have appreciated not thinking about it, if that makes sense. I was a bit of an Allen Carr evangelist anyway having used his Easyway Smoking book successfully 12 years ago. The only problem with the alcohol one is trying not to evangelise to friends who simply don’t get it, and I end up sounding unhinged! So happy to be free.

          • Lee Davy says:

            Miranda,

            I hear you and I still evangelise today. I find it has helped me be so solid and turned a belief that alcohol offered zero benefits into a conviction. Although my friends and family will just say I am a pain in the arse.

            Lee

  9. Those last 2 comments have really inspired me. I am in the middle of re-reading ACs book to make sure I really ‘get it’. I do but the hardest part for me as you point out Lee is coping with other people’s reactions – one ‘friend’ visably got so annoyed with me and I ended up actually choosing to have a drink to make THEM feel more comfortable! I have done this on more than one occasion with friends and family. How stupid is that?

    A new week ahead and I’m going to get stronger :)

    • Lee Davy says:

      Hi Diane,

      It’s a really difficult situation to be in.

      My advice would be to give people some time to get used to you being a non-drinker. Your friends will need time to adjust. You can help by being strong with your convictions. If you succumb, and have the occasional drink, then you confuse them and add strength to their argument that just makes your situation even worse.

      If they are truly great friends then you should be able to sit down with them and make them understand how important it is for you to quit. At this point ask them for their support, and if they are true friends they will step up to the plate. The ones who continue to give you a hard time, after you have told them how it makes you feel, are not really worth having as friends in the first place.

      Keep in touch either here or on my Needy Helper Facebook page and keep updated with progress.

      Lee

  10. Hi Lee

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences, I have found them very interesting.

    What I am most impressed about, is that you answer everyone’s emails authentically – that takes a lot of time, effort and commitment.

    I gave up smoking in 2000 having read Allen Carr’s book – fantastic, just stopped even though I was around smokers on a daily basis and the fact that originally I really enjoyed smoking.

    I’m Irish, so grew up with the association that happiness was linked to alcohol – so if I was sad and wanted to be happy drank alcohol, if I was happy drank alcohol to celebrate that fact.

    I got breast cancer in 2010. Riddled with guilt that I had caused this through my alcohol consumption (which wasn’t major, just every night – I couldn’t not have two glasses of wine a night after work whilst I was doing tea but more at the weekend, because it was the weekend.) and I was now putting my family through such pain.

    Anyway, in desperation because recovering from cancer wasn’t enough to make me give up I found Allen Carr’s book on alcohol and achieved success. I didn’t touch or desire a drop for a year. I could go on social occasions, but admittedly wasn’t attracted to the ones I had been previously, and cope without drinking.

    Then one day, I had a mad moment and decided i’m bored with not drinking, I have proven my point and then I had a drink of wine. I sooooooooooooooo regret that day. I am worse than I was before and I don’t think back then I was really bad…well of course I would say that wouldn’t I.

    What are your thoughts/advice on people who feel the success of this approach and then get out of the blue a moment of madness. Can you re-read the book and be cured like before? And if so, how can you be sure that it won’t happen again.

    Do you come across this situation in your coaching programme?

    Many thanks for your enthusiasm and drive to help others.

    Cazbo

    • Lee Davy says:

      Hi Cazbo,

      I honestly am not sure what date I gave up drinking. I guess I’m not the type of person to keep tabs on dates, but I am sure it was around four year ago. Just like you I gave up instantly and had no withdrawal issues to speak of. I actually found the who episode very easy.

      Then two years later I got divorced, and six months later met someone else. Suddenly, I found a reason to drink that was not covered in the Allen Carr book. I had been with the same woman for the past 20-years and suddenly I felt vulnerable . What if this new woman didn’t like me? What if she found me boring?

      I started to drink to show her that I wasn’t boring. As soon as I touched my first drop I suddenly saw alcohol everywhere. I only remember getting really drunk once, was never sick and so I guess the two years of abstinence did help me deal with my relapse.

      I was always very aware of my drinking the second time around. I was questioning each mouthful and running through the words of Allen Carr through my mind ‘alcohol provides you with zero benefits’.

      I think my relapse lasted maybe two months. Then during dinner with my son he asked me what had changed? I could see a confused look on his face that shook me up. I was fading as a role model.

      So I quit on the spot. I told my girlfriend and she said she didn’t want me to drink anyway. I realised she loved me warts and all and I didn’t have to pretend to be anything other than who I am. My girlfriend hardly ever drinks and that’s important to me. I don’t think I could have a relationship with someone for whom drinking was an integral part of their life.

      THIS RELAPSE WAS THE MOST CRITICAL POINT IN MY BATTLE AGAINST ALCOHOLISM.

      I want to reiterate something. During my relapse I never liked the taste of alcohol. I kept telling myself that it was a stupid thing to do. I lost control many times. other areas of my life such as gambling started to spin out of control. My old drinking habits very quickly returned.

      This is why I think people who try and search for the moderation approach are always going to have a problem. Alcohol is uncontrollable. You cannot see it until you choose to see it, but once you decide to drink you do not have a choice. The alcohol owns you.

      I don’t believe you can read the book again and get the same benefit. I already knew the secret, which was ‘alcohol offers you zero benefits’ but I still drank. Reading the book again won’t have the same effect as it did the first time around.

      If you want to return to abstinence then my programme can help you. It’s important that you change the way that you live your life and not necessarily focus on the alcohol. When you dig deep into the root causes of why you drink you will find so many different problems that need fixing that will eventually lead to an alcohol free life.

      I haven’t drunk a drop for two years, and there are so many different tips and techniques that I can share with you during coaching to help you along. One of them is the creation of Needy Helper. One of my roles is to help other people to stop drinking alcohol and in order for me to be able to do that it’s important to me and those whom I touch that I do not drink. I need to lead by example and that’s an important concept.

      Relapse is perfectly natural, and often expected, so don’t beat yourself up about it. The million dollar question is what route do you now want to take? Do you want to try and control the uncontrollable, or do you want a drink free life?

      Much love

      Lee

      • Hi Lee,

        I must echo Cazbo’s earlier comments on how impressive it is that you reply to each comment individually! Keep up the good work man!

        I read “The Book” for the first time just over a month ago but I felt I needed to re-read it straightaway as Allen suggests towards the end of the book and really focus on the point made in each chapter. (I find that as you near the end of the book for the first time reading it, you get the impression that there is going to be some magical secret or trick on the very last page that will be the answer to your prayers, and therefore people can tend to rush the last few chapters and not totally absorb their full benefit).

        Anyways, the second time of reading it has been very successful in that regard, I have underlined many of the more poignant quotes and have started to jot down my own thoughts on the various points that Allen makes. I REALLY feel this made me get to grips on the illusions of alcohol and why anyone would want to drink and I would recommend the writing down of your own thoughts as a useful aid to anyone who is having doubts etc.

        With all that said, I totally agree with the earlier comments about how others around you will find it more difficult to accept you’re not drinking than you do yourself.. It just really goes to show the extent of the brainwashing!! You’re not aware of it until your looking at it from the outside, so to speak.

        As I am still relatively young, (in my mid-twenties) I love to socialise and meet new people, but now I find the hardest thing to do is to go from being the “mad energetic party guy” to convincing people that you are not just some “boring weirdo” because you don’t drink alcohol, again just another aspect of the brainwashing!

        So there’s just my thoughts on the topic that I’d like to share, really glad I found this blog! and I’ll be keeping a close eye on the site! Best of luck to everyone out there trying to change their life for the better! Thanks Lee!

        Bob

        • Hi Bob,

          I totally agree with you with respect to the importance of making notes when you are reading.

          You will find it difficult when you first start mixing with your friends as a non-drinker, but after a while people will start to respect your decision and little will be said about it. People who drink feel uncomfortable around people who don’t because it makes them feel a little foolish.

          Last night I went to a house party and most people were drinking. I had a right laugh up until the point when everyone got too drunk. When that happened I just left and that’s what I suggest you do also. It is always a good exercise to think back to the people who were drinking and ask yourself what difference the drink made between their enjoyment and your own. When you analyse a party like this, the illusion that alcohol exists in comes alive. There is nothing – NOTHING – that alcohol provided my friends – in a positive sense – that I didn’t have last night.

          It’s such a shame to see people spending their hard earned cash on a poison that just damages their health, and through habit they cannot see that it provides zero benefits.

          Take care Bob and good luck.

      • Hi Lee, Cazbo,

        I have to say I disagree on the re-reading point. I read the book, quit easily then had a relapse some months later. Further down the line I quit again after re-reading the book. It did work again. I think that the societal influences, the brainwashing from friends, can make you forget that there is no benefit from drinking. Reading again helped wipe the slate clean.

        Cazbo, I would say read it again very carefully. It did work for me the second time.

        May I also echo the sentiments of everyone on here; Lee, good work on your blog. And Allen Carr, well what can I say? A true life saver.

        • Lee Davy says:

          Hi Jim,

          I am so glad to be proved wrong for once in my life.

          So many people may read the book, quit and then need to re-read it again so I am glad to hear of a success story!

          Lee

  11. Hi Lee,

    I have just stumbled across your site and just wanted to drop you a quick note to say that it is fantastic, as are the everybody’s candid and heartfelt comments. I have just bought Easyway to Control Alcohol and am very excited to start reading – and stop drinking! I have an 8-month-old daughter and I am absolutely terrified of ruining her life through my daily drinking. It is going to be a hard one because my husband and I are regular wine drinkers and pretty much base our evenings around two or three bottles (every night!) I don’t know how he is going to react if I suddenly stop? Anyway, being a positive role model for my daughter, and being alive and healthy so that I can enjoy watching her grow up, are more important at this stage. I will keep coming back to this site for encouragement along the path.
    Cheers Lee, keep up the good work!

    Nat

    • Hi Nat,

      Thanks for the praise and well done for the making the decision to make what will be the best decision of your life. If you want any help whilst you go through this, you can always join my six week Lean Life habit change program. It’s designed to make sure that the changes you choose to make become a new way of life and not just a fad that you find yourself battling with every day.

      If you are interested drop me a line at needyhelper@gmail.com

      Best of luck and keep in touch (If you like my Facebook page you can keep in touch regularly on there.

      Lee

    • Hi Nats,

      I have just ordered the book but have not read it as yet. I am don’t have young children anymore. However I know that I have to stop drinking. It has become such a habit to come home every night had have 3, 4 or more glasses of wine. I am tired of waking up in the morning feeling exhausted and depressed. I know what I need to do but the biggest problem is my husband. The same as you mentioned above. It is almost like he waits for me to come home in the evenings or on weekends to have a drink with him so he can drink. Most nights he falls asleep on the couch because he has drunk to much. I suppose my biggest fear what will happen to our marriage if I stop drinking? However keeping a relationship going through drinking is not the answer either.

      Nats I wish you all the best. Don’t get to the stage where you look back and feel sorry for all the times you have wasted sitting and getting ineebriated.

  12. Thank you for your review and all the comments left by other. I finished reading the book today and plan to have the final drink tonight. I am excited and scared all at the same time. May this 20 year habit of binge drinking be behind me for good. I am a highly functioning alcoholic that works out 6 days a week and eats an extremely healthy diet EXCEPT for a pint of whiskey every night for nearly 20 years (minus a total of maybe 2 years with months here and there). This book just makes good sense. I pray for the conviction to keep it up.

  13. Heather says:

    Hi Lee,
    thank you for your review. I just finished the book tonight and I did a search on the internet because I wanted to read other people’s comments on the book and your site came up. I’m really excited to make this change in my life. My eyes have definitely been opened. I have a question – I don’t even want to have that final “goodbye” drink. The thought makes me sick. Do I have to do it? I’ve followed all of Allen’s other instructions so I’m wondering about this one. I have to say, I never thought I’d turn down a drink. Eureka! I’m free!

    Thanks!
    Heather

    • Lee Davy says:

      Hi Heather,

      I am so happy that you have finished the book and now don’t want to have that final drink.

      I gave up smoking and drinking and in neither case did I have that final ‘cigarette’ or ‘drink’ and it didn’t do me any harm, so if you don’t want to drink it then don’t.

      If you need some support in the next few weeks then I will be here for you.

      Congratulations.

      Lee

      • Kathy Prenger says:

        Hi Lee,
        I finished reading Allen’s book last week and am rereading it. I just wasn’t quite “ready” to take that last step. My problem is I drink to get to sleep and I’m afraid if I quit drinking, I won’t be able to sleep. I’ve been drinking daily for about 10 years and have come to realize it is destroying my life. I truly want to quit! My life has become filled with anxiety and depression, largely because of the alcohol–I know this is true. Any advice??

        Thanks,
        Kathy

        • Hi Kathy,

          Thanks for reaching to my for advice.

          In my experience, the Allen Carr method works better the ‘first time’, and I think this is because the message he is sending you is so powerful, that it loses some of it’s magic the second, or third time around.

          I am not advocating ditching the book, and would recommend that you continue reading it, but I think you have reached a point where you may need some additional help and support with it, and I can help you with that if you would like me to (send an e-mail to needyhelper@gmail.com).

          On the point of using alcohol as an aid to sleep it’s like placing a band aid on a shotgun wound. What you really need to be doing is working on the root cause of why you can’t sleep. Once you fix this little beauty then you will sleep like a baby. I used to have a big problem sleeping. I didn’t use alcohol to put me to sleep, and instead I would just get irritated by the lack of hours that I would get under my belt.

          Then I quit my job and created The Needy Helper. I sleep like a baby now and I reckon I get less sleep than I ever used to. It was the stress of my choice of career that was interrupting my sleep patterns, and if I would have chosen drink as my method to get through this nothing would have changed. But by getting to the root cause of the problem I was able to move on.

          So you need to ask yourself.

          “Why can’t you sleep?”

          Look forward to hearing from you.

          Lee

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