For a number of years after I had woken up after a session, I knew my drinking was holding me back. Correction, I had always known drinking was holding me back. I would have considered myself a moderate to heavy drinker. Mainly drinking at weekends, at home or any occasion, I was the type that would immediately get the drinks in on any social occasion. Any activity that did not involve knocking back the drinks was boring.
Drinking was holding me back
I had been drinking since my late teens and I found it really helped me to come out of my shell and allowed me to talk to people with confidence which was a revelation for a tongue tied painfully shy young man. Once I started I never looked back and drinking alcohol was what everyone did and what was expected. It was great for a while, but then the nagging feeling that this was not good for me was always at the back of my mind.
Questioning my drinking
After a big blowout in August of 2017, I started to question my reasons for drinking and began to loathe the automatic drinking that on the weekend. I realised drinking was holding me back. I had also become more aware of the dangers of alcohol as its general acceptance was being questioned more and more by the media. I had become a Father and becoming aware of my mortality and a sense of responsibility towards my children sent me looking for a way to cut down or at least take a break from alcohol.
I was not a problem drinker
A few internet searches later and I found a website that appealed to me. It was a way to take a break from alcohol that allowed to do so without labelling myself an alcoholic or problem drinker. Alcoholic in particular having connotations of park benches and methylated spirits and something that was completely alien to me. After listening to a couple of podcasts and being inspired by the general message I signed up to www.oneyearnobeer.com . They had a choice of 3 challenges 28,90 or 365 days. I selected 90 as I wanted to test myself with a decent time period and 28 was too short, 365 too long but 90 was in the goldilocks zone.
Apprehensive as I was at the beginning of my challenge I was determined to succeed and was hell bent on engaging the process fully. After joining I got access to the website and their closed facebook group. I also started daily e-mail messages with links to videos of co-founder Andy Ramage giving daily tips and trick on how to start, get stuck into and crush the challenge. I was filled with excitement as the daily mails and the instant community I had joined was filled with inspiring people living an authentic, healthy alcohol free life. The message was that there was nothing to give up and everything to be gained.
Will McD succeed?
Editor’s Note :
So will Mc D succeed in his quest to give up alcohol? Well, he’s increased his chance of success in the way he’s approached his problem.
He’s done his research and chosen a way that appeals to him. He has not labelled himself as an alcoholic or problem drinker.
Labels are dangerous
There’s lots of research which shows labels are dangerous. The alcoholic label is really dangerous because as Mc D says we think of park benches. We’ve seen this so often. You’ve got to be homeless and drinking on a park bench to be an alcoholic. The unfair myth alcoholics are really nasty awful people who are causing their own problems.
The alcoholic label is really dangerous
The alcoholic label stops people looking for help. Often, it even stops us getting better as the label is so negative we are defeated before we start. Hard to believe, but we’ve seen how our own beliefs can kill us.
Stop with the labels
So listen to your thoughts. Are you constantly telling yourself you’re a no good alcoholic ? If yes, it’s time to change the label. Try McD’s approach of not using labels and focus on the positive side, that you’re now trying to manage how much you drink.
Next week, Mc D will describe how he got on.