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Tips to stay sober

Dear Annie: I wanted to offer a few thoughts for your readers regarding alcohol awareness. The truth is that any method that helps someone reduce their alcohol consumption has to be commended. People with alcohol dependency come from all walks of life and demographics.

These phrases are the basis of Allen Carr’s “Easy Way to Quit” and Holly Whitaker’s “Quit Like a Woman” (based in part on the first program). They have been my mantra for more than two years. The two methods helped me to cut my alcohol dependency completely. I have them written on an index card. At first, I read it every day. While that became less necessary after the first year, I still occasionally reread them and maintain my commitment to being a non-drinker.

Fundamentals to Abstinence:

Make a vow to quit forever.

Define yourself as a non-drinker.

Take away the desire to drink.

There’s no such thing as one drink.

One drink is all it takes to hook you.

Never doubt your decision to quit.

To stop feeling the need, stop use.

Definition of Alcohol:

It’s not a weakness; it’s a trap.

It doesn’t bring pleasure or a crutch.

You cannot control alcohol; it controls you.

It’s an addiction, not a habit.

The tendency is to drink more, not less.

Cutting down results in drinking more.

It’s a poison.

Advantages to Quitting:

Choose a life of health/happiness.

You have everything to gain.

Start with a feeling of elation that you have quit.

You have improved self-respect.

Rejoice to not be enslaved.

You have more money, time and clarity.

Drinking Disadvantages:

It removes your ability to know when you’re dull, rude, obnoxious.

It takes away your power.

It impairs your sleep.

It makes you more stressful and fearful.

It causes a deterioration of looks.

It causes horrendous hangovers.

It causes arguments/violence.

It causes dread.

It is your worst enemy.

Your ability to deal with stressful situations is reduced.

— Alcohol Awareness

Dear Alcohol Awareness: Thank you for sharing some of the teachings that have helped you stay sober for two years. Other readers have used different messages, particularly the 12 steps from Alcoholics Anonymous. As you say, any method that helps an alcoholic get sober is good for that person.

Dear Annie: I feel you overlooked an important point in your response to “Inheritance Issues,” which has been an occasional topic in your column.

Elder financial abuse is all too common. If the mother can’t make bill payments without help, the implication is that the brother prepared, or had a lawyer prepare, the paperwork to transfer the beach property to himself. Was the mother acting as a well-informed and independent agent in this transaction?

The mother’s excuses could be hiding a very real struggle with declining abilities. The other two siblings might be well advised to be less judgmental of their mother, converse with each other about their mother’s state of health and, if possible, talk with her doctor. If her abilities are declining, she will need their understanding and possibly legal protection. — Inheritance Issues

Dear Inheritance Issues: Thank you for your letter and commonsense suggestions.

Dear Annie: I love your column and read it every day.

I am a firm believer in positive vibes.

I believe in waking up every day in gratitude.

I believe in helping others.

I believe that we all have a purpose.

Thank you for living your purpose.

Your purpose is helping others by giving your positive advice to those in need.

Have a great day. — Positive Vibes

Dear Positive: Thank you for your letter. It made me smile.

Dear Readers: Below are some poems to help you enjoy the beginnings of the summer months.

“The Lake Isle of Innisfree” by William Butler Yeats

“I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, / And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made; / Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee, / And live alone in the bee-loud glade. / And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow, / Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings; / There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow, / And evening full of the linnet’s wings. / I will arise and go now, for always night and day / I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore; / While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey, / I hear it in the deep heart’s core.”

“Fireflies in the Garden” by Robert Frost

“Here come real stars to fill the upper skies, / And here on earth come emulating flies, / That though they never equal stars in size, / (And they were never really stars at heart) / Achieve at times a very star-like start. / Only, of course, they can’t sustain the part.”

“How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?” is out now. Annie Lane’s second anthology — featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation — is available as a paperback and e-book. Go to http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.

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