Health And Wellness

How The 'Wallet Analogy' Can Stop You From Ever Wanting To Drink Alcohol Again

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How The Wallet Analogy Can Stop You From Ever Wanting To Drink Alcohol Again

The wallet analogy is extremely helpful to change one’s mindset and focus for the future.

It’s nothing groundbreaking in terms of the information shared, but it helps change one’s perception about how they view their alcohol consciousness (sobriety) and is a great tool to decrease the chance that one will ever relapse in the future.

How The Wallet Analogy Can Stop You From Ever Wanting to Drink Alcohol AgainPhoto: Kmpzzz / Shutterstock

RELATED: 10 Early Signs Of Alcoholism You Should Never, Ever Ignore

What is The Wallet Analogy?

First of all, I must be clear that I did NOT come up with The Wallet Analogy. That credit belongs to my homie, Jeff Graham, from the Getting Bac2Zero YouTube show who came up with this during our interview recorded in January of last year.

During that interview, I was walking through the concept of The MEDS — the process I used to quit drinking — and how important the last step, Success Seeking, is because it allows us to invest so much into the newer version of ourselves that we could not fathom going back to our old self for fear of losing all the hard work we’ve invested.

He then came up with The Wallet Analogy:

Imagine you’re walking down the street minding your own business.

Out of nowhere, a big, scary-looking man comes up to you and demands you give him your wallet. It doesn’t appear that he has a knife or gun or anything, but he is much bigger than you and could probably rough you up pretty well if push came to shove.

Now, there’s nothing special about this wallet. You just bought it and have no sentimental attachment to it at all. It’s just a three-dollar piece of material that you brought from Target that you can easily replace by spending another three dollars.

How The Wallet Analogy Can Stop You From Ever Wanting to Drink Alcohol AgainPhoto: Photography / Shutterstock

In your mind you think, it’s not worth getting beat up or potentially even losing your life over, so you hand it over in this scenario.

On the flip side, what if you’ve had the wallet for a while?

Instead of being brand new, it is worn and tattered and full of things that are going to be hard to replace, e.g., pictures of your family, credit cards, and your driver’s license. You know it’ll be a lot of work to replace all of the things that you’ve stored and invested in that wallet for all of those years. You know there are some things in there you won’t be able to replace at all.

Would you be willing to so easily turn that wallet over then or would you put up a fight?

RELATED: Why I No Longer Call Myself An Alcoholic

How does this relate to alcohol and why does it work?


With Success Seeking in The MEDS, you have to begin to focus on pushing yourself to get outside of your normal comfort zone to grow into someone that you couldn’t be while drinking alcohol.

The concept of success-seeking is to choose a goal that is well beyond what you thought your previous alcohol-conscious self was capable of doing to strengthen your mental and physical capabilities to be able to “level up” to achieve it.

This focus will then make you realize that for you to continue on your course and gain the skill or ability that you are working on, you could never go back to drinking alcohol.

How The Wallet Analogy Can Stop You From Ever Wanting to Drink Alcohol AgainPhoto: Cast Of Thousands / Shutterstock

For example, my original Success Seeking goal was to learn Korean.

The thought of learning a language that required an entirely different alphabet from what I was used to was something that I never thought I could do. And I didn’t as long as I was drinking.

However, once I gave it up, I had the mental clarity and daily consistency to learn this skill. I invested in myself and now know that if I ever go back to drinking, I would lose all of that hard work and never be able to speak Korean fluently.

Therefore, my wallet is filled with all the time and energy I’ve put into learning this skill and this makes me refuse to allow the thought of drinking to come back into my life for fear of risk losing it.

RELATED: Being Human Is Hard — And Alcohol Isn't Making Us Feel Any Better

How do you take heed of it?

Think big. That’s it.

You have given yourself an amazing gift by deciding that alcohol is no longer something that you desire for your life. You now have the physical and mental capability to truly do anything you want in life and become anyone you desire. Therefore, you shouldn’t waste this sitting on the couch every night and watching the latest Netflix or Amazon Prime original.

You shouldn’t be happy to just be alcohol-conscious and not think big about what you can do in the world. Instead, create a lofty (maybe even a little scary) goal of what you are going to do or who you are going to become in life.

Focusing on a future that will require a much higher version of yourself is one of the most surefire ways to keep any thoughts of going back to drinking at bay.

And while I can’t promise that you won’t get tempted and have some big scary man come up and threaten to take your wallet (alcohol-consciousness) from time to time, I feel confident that you’re going to be ready and up for that fight.

RELATED: It Took Losing Someone I Love For Me To Finally See Alcohol For What It Is

Ken Makimsy Middleton is obsessed with helping people build the best versions of themselves. He started the Medium publication “Alcohol is NOT Your Friend” in May of 2020 and is the author of the book “Bamboozled: How Alcohol Makes Fools of Us All." 

This article was originally published at AINYF…Alcohol is NOT Your Friend. Reprinted with permission from the author.