Obviously. Or we wouldn’t be reading or writing blog posts like this, would we?
When we make the decision to stop drinking, very few of us stick to it.
And that is totally understandable.
If we had those tools to hand, we would have stopped drinking the moment something bad or scary happened to us whilst drunk.
We would have stopped after the horror of the first blackout.
We would have switched to orange juice after the first argument with a partner.
There would have been no more drinking after the first drink-related injury.
I didn’t do that. I definitely wasn’t able to do that.
And if you are reading this, then you weren’t able to either.
Not being able to stop drinking on our own is not a sign of failure.
It’s not even a sign of addiction.
We live in a society absolutely saturated with alcohol.
Drinking is our default setting.
We don’t get a chance to choose not to drink.
It’s a rite of passage.
So very few people see non-drinking as an option.
And even fewer have the tools to hand to stop drinking after years of doing it through sheer habit.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for instructions to assist in stopping drinking.
It’s no different from having a driving instructor.
There is genuinely no need to keep drinking until we have a full-blown addiction to alcohol.
Yet-again-in our society, we are told to keep drinking until there is a definite problem.
Which is absolutely fucking ridiculous advice.
GP’s send people away from surgeries because they aren’t drinking enough to need medical attention.
Doctors send folk away from rehab centres because they aren’t physically addicted to alcohol yet.
Being actively encouraged to drink to the point of physical and mental crisis is sad. It’s so sad that I can’t bring myself to go into why things are this way, so I’ll do it next time, when the thought of it doesn’t make me cry.
For now, all I really want to say is that it doesn’t have to be that way.
That if I had my time over again, I would never have waited as long as I did to stop drinking.
Though yes, I’m aware that 25 is quite young in the scheme of things, it didn’t feel it at the time.
I let it drag on for years, the horrible way I was living.
The absolute self-loathing.
The dangerous situations I put myself in.
And I only did it, because I knew no better.
If I had my time again, the first thing I would do is stop spending my money on booze, and give it to anyone who claimed they would help me.
Looking back, I can’t believe I didn’t do that.
Because when I was in a wheelchair, it was the first thing I did.
I gave all the money I had to anyone who claimed they could help me.
Some were full of shit, obviously.
But some treatments really worked.
And they were all a step in the right direction.
But for some reason, when it came to stopping drinking. I refused to pay for help.
Actually, not “some reason”. The real reason was I always lived in motto fear of there not being enough money for drink.
It’s why I never spent money on anything else.
So I can’t have been that interested in stopping drinking at all.
Not the first few times I tried, anyway.
There are hundreds of people who say they can stop people from drinking.
And every single one of them, no matter how much they cost, are still cheaper than getting pissed every night for the next few decades.
Don’t get me wrong, I would still insist on seeing feedback from people they have worked with.
I would ask around and gauge their reputation, very carefully, before parting with hard earned cash.
But a refusal to pay for help, is a massive indicator that we would rather save the money, just in case we need it for drink.
And if that’s the case? It will always get spent on drink.
We all deserve the best chance at non-drinking. We all deserve to live a life filed with happiness, security and peace.
And nowadays, I personally have no problem paying the right people to make sure that happens.
So, if you are doing it alone, and finding it a struggle, why not have a look around and see who is out there that you feel drawn to?
There are so many people that could be helping you as soon as this week.
And then who knows where you could find yourself the week after?
Just remember a few key points:
•do your research. If they are a charlatan, the Internet will tell you in a matter of seconds.
•don’t give anyone money until you feel they can be 100% trusted.
•make sure they have genuine testimonials.
•better than that, ask your friends in recovery for word-of mouth-recommendations. Nothing is better than that.
•make sure the price they quote you for their services is inclusive of everything. No add-on’s. No need for more sessions than they originally quoted you for.
•ask them to be very clear about the progress they expect you to make within the timeframe you will be hiring them for.
•never trust anyone who tells you their way is the only way. Or That something awful will happen if you don’t do it their way. This is just scaremongering, pure and simple. And it’s never true.