Letter #5: You Only Need a Few Good Ideas to Beat This Summary

Letter #5: You Only Need a Few Good Ideas to Beat This; Summary


In letter 5 Marcus talks about your accountability in your sobriety. He talks about how you can help your sobriety by not just having the information you need for sobriety or even have the willingness to do what you need for sobriety, Marcus explains what you need to DO to get and maintain sobriety.

Marcus explains that he has been down this “getting sober road” before you. He has given you lots of tools, advice, and tips that he used on how to stay sober. Yet you keep on getting drunk!

Is it a weakness that needs to be considered or do you need a firm kick in the butt?

Maybe you need someone to yell you into sobriety.

Can it be that simple? Someone to yell you into sobriety?

It can be but there is more to it than that.

Marcus talks about how it took him a year and half of seriously trying to finely get and stay sober. He went to a meeting in Vegas and his anxiety started to overwhelm him. He drank way too much and ended up regretting his actions that evening. He decided he was done and would get help.

He looked for therapists and counselors that would help him with his emotional issues. he thought that was the cause of his excessive drinking. He got books, programs, went to meetings, church alcohol support groups. He talked with many “professionals” but couldn’t get an answer to what his problem was. He even tried to get into a rehab and they wouldn’t give him an answer on what to do.

Marcus felt that everyone just wanted to get him to beg for help so he could write them a big check, so he could join others in praying to some God of his understanding.

Marcus wanted something that was going to work for him. Something that was going to help the real alcoholic. He wanted to know what was going on with him.

Marcus goes on to explain that his feelings of guilt, self-hatred, and his negative consequences were not keeping him sober. How many times have you woken up after a big night of drinking and said, “I’m done!” Then sure enough you do it again.

People tend to deal with problems in two distinct ways:

  1. Keep doing the same thing over and over again but feel better about it by paying false repentance or,
  2. Accept the problem, forgive yourself, and become better.

Ask yourself this: Are you OK with your life right now if you didn’t get any of the negative feelings alcohol gives you? Would you still drink if you didn’t get hangovers? Can you honestly say, “My life isn’t so bad.”

If you are wondering if alcohol is a problem or not, the fact that you are wondering means it probably is. Healthy (nonalcoholic) people don’t drink until they pass out in gutters or take time off work because they are hungover. It may be hard to believe but most people don’t drink much at all and many don’t drink at all, not because they can’t they just don’t want to.

So, Marcus asks you, “So are you an alcoholic who wants help… or do you just want to feel better about fucking your life up by your own hand over and over and over again and relying on others to clean up all your mistakes and bullshit and have to listen to you whine like a two-year-old about all your problems?”

If you do that’s ok. He’s not going to baby you. The problem is that no one has called you out on your actions. Maybe you’re good at hiding your actions and pretending that everything is good.

So, how do you get help? How do you stop drinking long enough to see what’s going on?

First you need to build a foundation of knowledge to use when you feel like drinking. This is a foundation of knowledge of what to do, not what to say or think, what to do.

Knowledge gives us tools, but actions keep us sober.

There may be many other issues you are dealing with and we will work on those, but we have to start here as active alcohol addiction affects those areas too.

Alcohol has affected your perspective. We need to fix that first, so we can take care of other problems in a productive positive way.

It seems easier for the addicted mind to just take another drink and put off those problems but that always makes them worse. Alcohol has crept up slowly, you didn’t even see it coming, and now it’s got you.

Now you need some tools to 1. See the problem and 2. Deal with the problem.

It’s not easy, most of us have wanted to drink again or worse but the little tools we will give you can help. Your mind wants to take the easy way out, drink. But we have to develop new ways to deal with problems.

We do this by taking statements and making them into thoughts and actions. Remember thoughts, words, books, even rehab will not keep you sober, actions will.

When you find yourself in tough situation or just simply going on through your day let these next statements guide your actions:

  1. One of my favorites: I am not going to drink today even if my ass falls off… tomorrow I can go get all fucked up but today I am going to stay sober.
  2. Life is a journey… not a destination… no matter what I am on this journey making my way thru life… things do not have to be perfect right now, but I can get better every day by not drinking today.
  3. Amend your behavior and do the best you can in life… let others do what they are going to do… focus on your part.
  4. Start your day on the right foot and the rest will come much easier for you.
  5. Remember… these emotions will not kill me or hurt me… but drinking to ignore them probably will.
  6. Arguments don’t change minds… love and patience does.
  7. Right now, even though I have these feelings and it’s starting to overwhelm me… I can ALWAYS allow a minute or two for the filter process before I respond… to others and even my own thoughts
  8. If I do not stand for something… I will fall for everything… what do I stand for right now in this situation… how can I make it better
  9. Failure is 100% guaranteed if I don’t at least try doing some of the things that have helped others stay sober.
  10. Perfection is the enemy of excellence… remember you may not be able to do everything perfect right now… but you can start somewhere
  11. Guilt is a fire alarm to change your behavior… instead of sitting and wallowing in the fire alarm and complaining about how loud it is… get out of the fucking house.
  12. Procrastination is the thief of time… what can I do right now (no matter how small) to get to work on my bigger plans
  13. Today… I forgive myself and allow myself to be human… some days I just don’t feel good, or get everything done, or change the world, but it is ok… some days are not blockbuster winners… but I don’t have to drink anymore and that is a start.
  14. The one that gets you is the one you don’t see coming… what is coming my way and how can I not let it get me.
  15. Be the change you want to see in this world
  16. Give yourself a break… stop being your own worst critic and allow yourself to just be ok today.
  17. A mistake doesn’t become an error unless you do nothing to correct it.
  18. Knowledge gives me options… actions keep me sober
  19. GUILT is not a method of paying our dues… its useless unless I DO something different from here on out.
  20. Quit crying about it… and go to work on it.
  21. Decision is your first step… but you have to follow it up with actions
  22. I can win all the arguments and fights… but lose the war and pay dearly with my sanity.
  23. Be willing to disappoint people… if it means you are sticking to your principals
  24. Do what you NEED to do REGARDLESS of how you feel.
  25. Surround yourself with people who will tell you the truth even if it means stepping on your toes
  26. I cannot win tomorrow right now… tomorrow is another day… I will focus on today… and today I will not drink eve if my ass falls off.
  27. Develop a life you do not have to escape from.
  28. The teacher is always here… am I ready to learn?

Pick out a few of these statements and make them your own. Check out talksober.com for many more videos, audios, and tools to help you stay sober.


It doesn’t matter what you did yesterday or what will happen tomorrow or what you’ve been through even if you have had lasting sobriety before and lost it. YOU CAN GET AND STAY SOBER!!!!!