The definite answer is a massive NO.
With all this lovely weather we are having, I was in a supermarket the other day and saw an attractively packaged tin of cider. The can itself looked refreshing and inviting and if it had been zero alcohol cider I would have bought a pack there and then. I knew however that just one sip would make me drink the whole can in seconds and I would be back to wanting a constant supply until drunkenness took over. Why is that?
I am obviously not dependent on alcohol otherwise I couldn’t have managed well over five happy years without it. I never crave alcohol and don’t even think about the stuff except with disdain when I see it wrecking other people’s lives as it did mine. I also know that alcoholism is not a disease as some would tell you or I would still have the disease and still be crying out for my next fix, or I would have needed professional help to quit. So, what makes me know with a certainty that one drop would lead me straight back to be the wreck I once was?
It has to be because I enjoyed drinking so much. Yes, it was a habit, and a habit that got out of control, but I loved drinking and the relaxed feeling I used to get from having that first glass of wine in my hand, or that first cold lager. The problem is it would never stop there and once having had that habit, if I tried drinking again I know that same habit would return immediately.
So does this matter to me? The answer again is a big NO.
I really and honestly don’t miss alcohol at all so despite the fancy packaging or the inviting advertising, I am never going to be tempted to have that sip. I have almost (but not quite) given up praising myself for having quit and reflecting on the wonderful life I live because I am sober, because that has become a natural habit for me too. The only reason I keep a log of how many days is to use the data to help others in my blogs, and to record with delight the things I am achieving in life because I am so much healthier and of course wealthier. I do often reflect on the old drunken me however. Probably every week I will say to my wife ‘the old me wouldn’t have being doing this because I would been drunk’, or ‘five years ago we couldn’t have afforded this’, or ‘ I would have missed this experience because I would been in some stinking pub instead’, or ‘I had that opportunity but I blew it because of drink’.
So, for anyone reading this who secretly thinks they can quit ‘forever’ but then safely go back to having the occasional drink and truly control how much they imbibe, I don’t believe that works or will ever work. If you quit forever it has to be forever and that is why the commitment has to be that genuine and concrete. If you allow even the smallest chink in your resolve you will fail. Not only will that destroy the self-belief you have built up, but also the confidence and belief that others have in you. So if you are planning to quit forever make it mean forever. The good thing is that with that attitude you really won’t miss alcohol because there is no point, you really will look back and wonder what all the fuss was about and why you deliberated for so long, and like me you will every day celebrate the new you because of the freedom and self-ownership you have discovered. You can get to 2000 and beyond just like me, and to find out how I started this long journey visit www.idontdrink.net and read the blogs, or even better - read my book.