Why keep drinking? It’s a fair question.

Our lives are finite. As I got into my forties, I started asking myself: when are you going to stop drinking? Are you going to be an older drinker, the guy in his sixties who still ties one on? We all know that guy—or that gal—and I certainly did not want to become them. Once that realization settled in, it became more a question of when, not if I would stop (or at least radically reduce) my drinking.

Many of us don’t stop because we never stop to ask ourselves a key question. For John Daniels, author of the subtle and affecting Rogue River Journal, the question about his father was: if you already know what it’s doing to you, why keep drinking?

In my case as a young person, the question would have been what are you drinking and are you aware of what it is doing to you?

Whatever shape the question takes, it’s a fair and good one to ask yourself. What is alcohol doing for you, really? I found that when I examined and tested my beliefs about alcohol, I found that it wasn’t doing anything for me any longer, and that I was ready to live without it, and to live better.