Ultimately, I believe that a person will do what a person has to do to stop drinking, if that’s what she wants. I spent many years in the hellish limbo where part of my wanted to stop, and knew I had to stop, and part of me held out hope of some way to drink successfully. I would never recommend my road to recovery to anyone. After six years of drinking in AA I finally stopped, but I quickly got married, got pregnant, had a baby, and moved 3000 miles. Not recommend.
The effect for me was to change everything, really, all of my people and places and most of my things. I spent almost all of my drinking years living with my mother. There was alcohol readily available and at times I drank it. I was saved more that once by having to go somewhere and buy alcohol, and changing my mind during the time it took to do that. A strange fragment of a memory just came back to me, where I bought a six-pack at a bar, or tried to, I don’t remember if that was legal there and then. I would almost never sit at a bar and drink, though I have done that a few times. Almost all the time I took the alcohol home where I could be alone to drink it.
For me I can never know if the unavailability of alcohol is what finally did the trick, but I don’t think so. When I listen to people in meetings talk about changing people, places and things to avoid drinking (because this topic can also speak to our efforts to change people, places and things by seeking to control them) they often find that their drinking buddies are not very appealing in sobriety, or that achieving sobriety allows them to finally leave a bad situation. Again I think that in the end, a person will do what she needs to do if she truly wants to get sober. Some will have to give up relationships and jobs and places, and some won’t.