My second bout of drinking is a period of time that is very clear to me and is an integral part of my learning process when it comes to the alcohol trap. The biggest shock was how quickly alcohol started to creep back into my life. A sceptical friend once said to me, “Stopping drinking doesn’t impress me. If you want to impress me then just cut down.”
I don’t think he realised how much sense he was making at the time. Trying to control the uncontrollable is like trying to take the ball off the feet of Lionel Messi. Before I knew what was happening I was ordering glasses of wine with every meal and couldn’t walk past a bar without suggesting that we go in and have a quick drink. I was very conscious and realised that I didn’t like the taste, but my mind kept telling me to buy it and drink it. Fortunately, I was happy with my decision to drink again. I was at peace and so didn’t get angry with myself for stepping back into the dark side.
Then one day I was on holiday with my son. We were at a restaurant, sharing a meal together, when I ordered a bottle of wine.
“Dad, what are you doing?”
“I’ve decided to start drinking again, but don’t worry, I’m in control. I have learned a lot and I only drink when I am in a social occasions.”
“But you told me that drinking doesn’t add anything to a social event except misery.”
“You also told me that you don’t like the taste of it.”
“You also told me that it provides you with zero benefits whatsoever.”
“So what are you doing?”
And that was that. All it took was a ten year old boy to remind me of the simple truth.
ALCOHOL OFFERS YOU ZERO BENEFITS
Why I didn’t see it before – I don’t know. I have thought long and hard about this. Maybe it was the science? Maybe I had set off those neurotransmitters and they were screaming out for their hit of poison? But if that was the case then where was the come down? When I did stop why didn’t I crave?
I stopped drinking immediately after that meal, and I have never craved a drink and never felt like I was missing out on anything. I believe I made a few choices. Things that nobody can take away from me. I made a choice to start drinking after two years of not drinking, and then I made a choice to stop drinking almost one month after I started. I can’t control chemicals, but I can control my own choices. I made a fundamental decision to stop drinking four years ago, and despite my relapse two years after, that fundamental decision still stood true. Despite drinking again, my beliefs were still the same. I wanted my life to be drink free, I made a mistake and very nearly paid the ultimate price – I nearly headed back from whence I came. It is a highly addictive poison and anyone that thinks otherwise is deluding themselves. But without the fundamental choice to quit, I might have turned full circle. Instead the determination was still there and I just needed someone to hold me still and point me in the right direction, and that person turned out to be my son.
If you are trying to give up drinking, but are finding yourself dragged back into the pub time and time again, if you find yourself in the same garage buying another bottle of wine then don’t despair. Did you really think it was going to be this easy? Why do 80% of the world’s population drink the stuff in the first place. It’s a terrible addiction and one that takes time to remove from your life. So when you find yourself staring down at the worm, don’t fret, don’t give up and don’t start moving backwards. Be at peace with yourself, understand that nobody got anywhere without screwing up. Each time you screw up you learn something more about the process. More knowledge means more power and more power means you are more likely to make the right choices.
Never give up!
Do not allow alcohol defeat you!
Make the fundamental choice that you are going to quit and just get on with it!
Keep on keeping on!
Have you made the fundamental choice to quit, and yet find it difficult to keep off the drink 100% of the time? If so use this space to air your thoughts and feelings.