I thought about this (and the reason for the awful picture is there to support the fact), and when I was about sixteen years old, I would go to the local pub every night (I never did homework), drink three pints of Worthington E (a beer I loved the taste of), stagger home about ten o’ clock and go to bed. As I lay down in bed the room would start to spin, I would come out in a muck sweat, and lay there in misery for at least two hours. I would then summon the willpower to go and throw up in the toilet, after which I felt well enough to fall asleep and the spinning would slow down.
Why did I do this every single night? I have no idea. Was I escaping from being at home and having to do homework? Was I doing it because I could get away with it as my parents were always away on business and so I effectively lived alone? I certainly loved the taste of the beer although I couldn’t afford to buy it so had to steal the money from Mum’s hoard of cash. Was it because I had nothing else constructive to do and so it became a habit? I had no friends where I lived as my school was two hours away by train, I didn’t belong to any clubs or anything, so maybe I was seeking solace with the old guys who would play darts with me. Maybe I was just lonely. Whatever the reason, why did I always drink too much knowing that I would be sick later – I hated being sick.
I know I have been a heavy drinker ever since those days (until I quit in 2012) although I gave up on the Worthington E, and looking back on it I suppose drinking just became something I did because I had always done it. Just like I always smoked back then as well, but then everyone seemed to in the 1970’s.
I can certainly relate to the fact that if something else had been there to replace the drinking back then, that could have become a habit instead. That could have been sport, a more local school that offered evening activities and local friends, or even a girlfriend but that was only in my wildest dreams.
I can also see now that in quitting drinking and without really thinking about it I have adopted a host of new habits. These include always having a large glass of water with my meal, always writing at least 1000 words per day of whatever book I have on the go, swimming every day unless it is karate night, and going for a walk late in the evening regardless of the weather. I am not obsessive about any of these to the extent they have become addictions but they are certainly habits that get due consideration every day. I can also easily relate to my not drinking being a habit, and certainly not one I want to break.
I think I am going to learn a lot about myself in these workshops! Watch this space.