Many of us alcoholics have been asked "Why can't you just quit drinking?" Perhaps -- that wasn't right right question to be asking. Perhaps, the right question would have been "Why can't you see what you're doing to yourself?"
Every time I would try to stop drinking -- as I got sober, those horrible feelings of guilt, shame, remorse, and a dis-like of myself (self-anger) would surface. My defense became: "If you felt like I do, sober -- then, you'd drink like I drink!"
As my condition progressed -- so did the horrible feelings. And, the mismanagement of my thinking progressed also. My defenses (excuses) to continue on, to take the first next-drink -- became part of the delusional thinking that further damaged and destroyed my ability to understand and perceive what I was doing to myself.
One of the many things that make it impossible for the alcoholic to stay sober -- is those feelings of guilt, shame & remorse. Coupled w/ the fear -- of even thinking about it, let alone to do something about it -- it becomes much easier to just turn to the bottle (or the drug) to try to escape.
However, the fact is: Unless and until we do something about correcting the errors of the past -- sobriety, if any, will be precarious for us.
Here's an interesting sentence in the book, Alcoholics Anonymous, that I believe is worth pondering:
"Simply we tell him that we will never get over drinking until we have done our utmost to straighten out the past." ~pg 77-78 BB.
The sentence, is part of the suggested instructions for completion of Step 9: Making Direct Amends.
When coupled with the context of the sentence that comes right after it -- it's even more illuminating:
"We are there to sweep off our side of the street, realizing that nothing worth while can be accomplished until we do so, ........" ~pg 77-78 BB.